Archive by Author

Denial

Essential Opinion: Denial

Christine Hallquist is a groundbreaking public figure in American political culture. After becoming the country’s first business CEO to come out as transgender a few years ago, earlier this year she put the world of industry aside to become the first trans person to run for governor in a Gubernatorial election.

Essential Opinion: Speed Walking (Kapgang)

Set in rural Denmark in the mid seventies, Speed Walking (Kapgang) follows Martin, a reserved 14 year old who is also the star member of his school’s speed walking team. One day following practice, he gets home to discover that his mother has instantly passed away after a quick, painful battle with cancer. This unfortunate news coincides with an increased awareness of his sexual confusion, in particular relating to his classmate Hans.

Essential Opinion: Who Will Save the Roses? (Chi salverà le rose?)

As far as opening title cards go, there are few that are quite as immediately attention grabbing as “For the piece of shit, my father”. This deadpan introduction to the feature debut of director Cesare Furesi may suggest a more cynical tale of a family relationship, but Who Will Save the Roses? is anything but.

Benjamin

Gay Essential Review: Benjamin at BFI London Film Festival

Comedian Simon Amstell’s second film in the director’s chair follows a socially awkward filmmaker suffering from crippling anxiety due to the imminent world premiere of his second film. And if this didn’t already feel dangerously close to autobiography, Amstell’s second directorial outing has just had its world premiere at this year’s London Film Festival, just like the embarrassingly personal film directed by the title character of his latest effort, Benjamin.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Gay Essential Review: Can You Ever Forgive Me? at BFI London Film Festival

Despite the cultural cache from having works in the New York Times bestseller list, Lee Israel fell upon hard times, with no publisher wanting to release her biographies on increasingly lesser known subjects – which led to a drastic career move that gained her notoriety.

Rafiki

Gay Essential Review: Rafiki at BFI London Film Festival

So much attention has been devoted to the controversy surrounding Rafiki, the first LGBT film produced in Kenya, that discussions on the film itself have been something of an afterthought. To put it simply, the Kenyan censorship board didn’t have the same rapturous response to the film as audiences at Cannes (where it premiered earlier this year), effectively banning it – only to upturn the ban, submit the film as their entry for the foreign language Oscar, and premiere it to sold out audiences upon opening in Kenya.

The Favourite

Gay Essential Review: The Favourite at BFI London Film Festival

The Favourite is something of a change of pace for Lanthimos. Not only is it the first time he’s adapted a screenplay he didn’t pen himself, with a comparatively muted surrealism compared to his previous films, it’s also the closest he’s got to crafting something that could be described as emotionally sincere.

Colette

Gay Essential Review: Colette at BFI London Film Festival

Outside of its documentation of gender fluidity and same sex relationships during a period where they were scorned by society, Colette still remains a breath of fresh air amongst a field of stuffy costume dramas. The film is often hysterically funny (Westmoreland co-wrote the screenplay with his late partner Jonathan Glatzer), with Dominic West giving an entertainingly histrionic performance in the lead.

Consequences

Gay Essential Review: Consequences (Posledice) at BFI London Film Festival

The feature debut of director Darko Stante manages to find a new angle on a familiar staple of LGBT storytelling, throwing its protagonist into a world of hyper-masculinity that seems beyond parody. It feels contemporary due to, for the most part, the lack of overt homophobia – here, even the name calling is embedded with a bizarre homoeroticism, so comfortable with their sexuality the (presumably) straight characters appear to be.

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