What stands between mundane everyday life and tomorrow’s hangover? La Noche, narrates the sexual adventures of a man who navigates the prostitution underworld of Buenos Aires. For company, he has only drugs, prostitutes, and the incessant solitude that pushes him time and again towards the next fuck, the next shot, the next adventure.
With increasing political and social justice movements emerging and the trans community receiving more and more pop culture exposure, you might begin to think that going against the grain of society’s gender compliances is not only accepted nowadays, but also praised and somewhat glamorized. Unfortunately, for many LGBTQ members this is merely another glorified media representation that has little to do with the reality of what trans people encounter and deal with on a daily basis.
Marcelo Caetano is a newcomer, but ambitious feature director who has a fascinating approach to gay cinema and LGBTQ relationships. His debut, Body Electric, is a candid and tender tribute to Brazil’s racial and sexual heterogeneity, as well as an unbridled, sincere addition to this year’s BFI Flare Festival.
With Handsome Devil, writer/director John Butler, reprises the poignant reflection on the meaning of masculinity he had explored in his fun 2013 debut The Stag (aka The Bachelor Party) but this time he takes the diatribe back to high school – a rugby-obsessed, all-boys boarding school to be precise – and by his own admission infuses the story with inevitable autobiographical references.
There’s nothing quite as enticing as this year’s BFI Festival selection – Center Of My World, along with its fascinating cinematography, remains one of my personal favorites due to its candid and refreshing approach to gay relationships, as well as its memorable and enveloping performances. Despite using a teenagey framework, which could have easily diverted the film into a bland kitsch romance, Erwa sets the bar high and proves that any type of setting can be molded into a masterpiece with the right tools and sensibility.
Scrutinising complex and far-reaching topics like gay military relationships, refugee policies and homophobia in the Middle East, Out Of Iraq is a beautifully gripping and heartwarming account of a truly unique and inspiring love affair and its journey to becoming a protected and legalised marriage.
You’re probably familiar with Pride Toronto and other popular, long-awaited festivals and activities that happen during the summer. But have you ever heard of a gay parade in the Arctic? Well, it just so happens that an unusual pride event in the capital of Canadian Nunavut spurred interest among two filmmakers and was the decisive spark in igniting a desperately needed discussion about LGBTQ rights within the Inuit community.
Upon the Centennial celebration of Finland, award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski presents a moving biopic of one of the country’s most beloved sons. Tom of Finland is a roughly 115 minute biographical dramatization that aims to reveal the creative genius behind the famous homoerotic illustrations. Shot across 3 different countries, the film presents nearly 50 years of Laaksonen’s life, from his time in the war until his death in 1991.
Just as reliable as the Spring thaw, BFI Flare once again presents an exquisite showcase of the world’s best LGBT films. As one of the longest running LGBT film events in the world, BFI Flare attracts storytellers from all walks of life. This year’s Short Film category was no exception, offering everything from quirky to melancholy in bite-sized portions that can be consumed while you’re awaiting your next Uber.
Being different is not a blessing or a curse, it’s what you make it – and you have the power to make it into anything you want. This is the seemingly idealist, but sublimely compelling message of Jewel’s Catch One, a heartening documentary on the most revered and cherished disco for the LGBT community in Los Angeles. Despite its historical roots, the film focuses less on providing a comprehensive chronicle of the club’s evolution and more on shedding light on the ethnic violence in Hollywood, as well as how bravery and a strong purpose can impact the lives of thousands of people.