Archive by Author

Billie and Emma

Billie And Emma, Gay Essential Talks to Samantha Lee

Billie and Emma, revolves around the romance shared by two teenage girls. In its charming simplicity, this touching comedy drama touches on delicate themes, such as homosexuality, teenage pregnancy, religion and the education system. Furthermore, while it carries on the director’s work of advocating for better representation of women and LGBTQ+ in her local cinema, it also speaks to an international audience.

Halston, Gay Essential Talks to Fréderic Tcheng

After working on the highly-acclaimed Valentino: The Last Emperor (2009) and directing Dior & I (2014), French-born filmmaker Fréderic Tcheng returns with a new film about another style icon. His new documentary, Halston, tells the story of the American fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick, who rose to international fame in the ‘70s, during which he became a household name and a mainstay of the New York City scene that revolved around its most iconic discotheque, Studio 54.

This Spring

Gay Essential Opinion: This Spring (Au printemps tu verras)

Filmmaker Wim Wenders once famously said, “The camera is a weapon against the tragedy of things, against their disappearing.” By virtue of association, filmmaking can be seen as an act of preservation. All throughout This Spring (Au printemps tu verras), there is a constant reference to the passing of time, the importance of memories and the importance of remembering.

Fireflies

Gay Essential Review: Fireflies (Luciérnagas) at International Film Festival Rotterdam

The characters of Bani Khoshnoudi’s film are broken and lost, each in their own way; they are marked by a restlessness and instability that is reflected in the Mexican port city of Veracruz, where Fireflies is set. Veracruz was once a place of luxury and vibrant culture but is now a place of decay and oxidized, crumbling buildings. Much like the Casablanca of that famous Michael Curtiz 1942 film noir, Veracruz is a depicted as a place of passage and transit, mirroring the internal struggles of its inhabitants as well as the current globalized situation of exile.

Fabiana

Gay Essential Review: Fabiana at International Film Festival Rotterdam

Journey is, in every sense of the term, more important than destination in Fabiana, directed by Brazilian filmmaker Brunna Laboissiére. Here, Laboissiére hitches a ride with a lesbian transgender woman named Fabiana, a seasoned truck driver approaching retirement who has criss-crossed Brazil for several years, joining her on what will be one of her last ever work trips.

Men of Hard Skin

Gay Essential Review: Men of Hard Skin (Hombres de piel dura) at International Film Festival Rotterdam

José Celestino Campusano is an Argentinean filmmaker known for a type of brutal realism that often unearths the origins of hidden desires and the energies that influence the nature and machinations of the environments of his stories. The strongest of these energies is sexuality and while the characters are never either likable or entirely unpleasant, they are often divided between those who take charge of it and those who, for one reason or another, do not.

For Izzy

For Izzy, Gay Essential talks to Alex Chu

For Izzy, writer-director Alex Chu’s latest film, is a story of broken people who find strength through fellowship. It is the story of retired divorcee Anna, and her lesbian daughter Dede, struggling with addiction, whose lives change after they move next door to a lonely widowed father, and his autistic daughter, Laura.

After 82

After 82, Gay Essential Talks To Ben Lord and Steve Keeble

After 82 is a new feature length documentary directed by long-term partners Ben Lord and Steve Keeble about what really happened in the UK during the early years of the AIDS pandemic. The film took almost six years to make and started as a short film.

50 Years Legal

50 Years Legal, Gay Essential Talks To Simon Napier-Bell

Last year was the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in the United Kingdom. Director Simon Napier-Bell created a documentary, 50 Years Legal, to coincide with the anniversary. The film is described as an engaging but informative journey through LGBT rights in Britain since 1967, and how changes in politics and social attitudes, for better or worse, have evolved over the subsequent decades.

Beyond the Opposite Sex

Beyond the Opposite Sex, Gay Essential Talks To Dr. Bruce Hensel

“Sex is about who you want to sleep with; gender is about who you want to sleep as,” says Dr. Bruce Hensel, co-director and executive producer of a new documentary, Beyond the Opposite Sex, which premiered on Showtime on March 16. The protagonists of the documentary, Rene and Jamie, are two very different people who went through very different journeys since their long-awaited gender affirmation surgeries.

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