Porcupine Lake is an impressive drama about two characters caught between childhood and a forever elusive emotional maturity. With heartfelt and achingly real performances from its central actresses, this low-key coming of age tale is one of the best hidden delights to emerge from the recent LGBT festival circuit.
Nobody could mistake Love, Simon for realism – but its hopeful view of life outside the closet is exactly what teenage audiences need right now, and older audiences are certainly not going to be immune to its charms either. For many teenagers, this is likely to be the first film about a gay romance they ever see, and as an introduction to the wonders of LGBT cinema, you can’t really go wrong with this.
1:54 is a fantastic teen movie, the debut feature from director Yan England tackles a plethora of serious themes you’d expect to find in an after school special- bullying, suicide and the tension of hiding your sexuality in a hostile school environment are all present here. Where England’s film stands out from the pack is by perfectly integrating them in to an underdog sports drama, that breathes new life in to that tired genre.
The rural setting of this coming of age tale may initially remind viewers of the similarly rugged Yorkshire backdrops of God’s Own Country, one of last year’s standout LGBT films. But the Peruvian landscape hides an intolerant undercurrent, with these rural villages populated entirely by townsfolk with reactionary and religiously motivated attitudes towards same sex relationships.
Just over ten years ago, Polish filmmaker Alina Skrzeszewska moved to a hotel near Skid Row, America’s infamous “homeless capital” located on the outskirts of central Los Angeles. Despite only spending a year living in the neighbourhood, it’s had a significant impact on her life – and she’s returned there once again to make yet another documentary following the citizens caught living on the streets just blocks away from luxurious skyscrapers.
As the Winter Olympics grip the world, countless headlines have been written about the fact that this year saw the first openly gay Winter Olympians on the podium winning medals. However, they’re far from the first LGBT athletes to take home prizes – as James Erskine’s documentary The Ice King points out, John Curry took home a gold medal for figure skating in an era when homosexuality was barely legal.