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.

Elisa y Marcela

Gay Essential Review: Elisa y Marcela at Berlinale

Over a century before Spain finally legalized same-sex marriage in 2005, two women called Marcela Gracia Ibeas and Elisa Sánchez Loriga beat the odds and were married under the eyes of God in 1901. Isabel Coixet’s latest drama brings the couple’s story to life in Elisa y Marcela.

Four More Years

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Four More Years (Fyra år till)

Released in 2010, the Swedish film Four More Years (Fyra år till) is a romantic comedy about finding love through failure. Directed by Tova Magnusson and starring actors David Holst and Eric Ericson, this surprising love story unfolds between two career politicians who are aligned on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

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.

Elliot Loves

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Elliot Loves

The 2012 romantic comedy Elliot Loves examines love during two periods of a young man’s life, first in bonding with his mother as a boy, and later looking for love as an adult. Written and directed by Gary Terracino, this film won the Audience Choice Award at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Tremors

Gay Essential Review: Tremors (Temblores) at Berlinale

Pablo (Juan Pablo Olyslager) seems to have it all. With his beautiful family and a respected job in finance, the fortysomething patriarch is the envy of his community, but as Tremors (Temblores) opens, we learn that Pablo has done something which threatens the very foundations of his world, much like the titular tremors that plague Guatemala City.

More than Only

Essential Opinion: More than Only

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.

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