Justin Johnson is a privileged rich kid, whose parents only ever wanted two things – a straight son who got straight A’s. Bankrolling his college fund, he’s flown the nest and is finally free to be himself, until he gets phone calls from his disapproving father that always lead to committing various acts of self harm.
Lemebel is an enrapturing look at the life of an LGBT icon, told with an intimacy that feels like catching up with an old friend. Joanna Reposi Garibaldi perfectly honours the spirit of her subject by grabbing your attention with many of his more abrasive, harder to define stages of performance art, then slowly peeling back the disreputable veneer to uncover the man at the heart of it all.
Fumi and Kazu, the subjects of Hikaru Toda’s documentary Of Love & Law, are the first openly gay couple to establish a law firm in Japan, and with regressive laws in the country stopping them making their partnership official, they’ve taken it upon themselves to help other outsiders who are vocal in their fight against societal norms.
Being in the closet is a terrifying experience; the worry that the world is going to end if anybody finds our your secret, so you micro-manage your behaviour so as to not leave a trace of your true identity. We’ve seen plenty of films about teenage characters dealing with this seemingly drastic situation – My Best Friend comes to the same situation from a different angle altogether, realising that coming out isn’t necessarily the definitive coming of age experience for LGBT youth.
The Coming Back Out Ball Movie is a documentary that follows a wide cross section of Australia’s ageing LGBTQI community before they attend a major dance event at Melbourne Town Hall. The Coming Back Out Ball was coined by organisers to celebrate the new found acceptance granted to older members of the community, many of whom hadn’t publicly come out until they’d passed their 60th or 70th birthdays.
Boys (Jonas) is Charrier’s second TV movie, and I suspect that it’s only a matter of time before somebody gives him money to make his big screen debut. His film may tell a fairly melodramatic story as it progresses, but it’s easily forgivable due to being grounded within a heartfelt character study – one that is all the more effective due to the perfectly pitched performances he manages to get from the entire ensemble.
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.
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.
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.
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.