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Sauvage

Gay Essential Review: Sauvage at Thessaloniki International Film Festival

First-time French filmmaker Camille Vital-Naquet takes an offhanded, almost documentary style approach to the story of a young prostitute who is looking for love in Sauvage. Among the film’s awards, lead actor Félix Maritaud won the Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award at Cannes.

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.

Kill the Monsters

Gay Essential Review: Kill the Monsters at Raindance Film Festival

This offbeat independent film is subtitled “An American Allegory”, and indeed it’s seriously on-the-nose. With Kill the Monsters, writer-director Ryan Lonergan makes every scene mean something. The film is skilfully shot in black and white, and inventively edited and performed.

José

Essential Opinion: José

Winner of the Queer Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the Guatemalan drama José is an astute look at male sexuality in a culture that’s infused with machismo. This is an earthy, honest story using observational filmmaking to touch on big themes without ever being preachy. Chinese-born American filmmaker Li Cheng cleverly lets the plot unfold in such a subtle way that the movie has a documentary feel to it.

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