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L’Animale

Gay Essential Review: L’Animale at Melbourne Queer Film Festival

Mati is a tomboy nearing her final high school exams, who devotes most of her free team on her motorbike, hanging with an irritating group of boys. One day, when helping out her mum at the vets, she meets Carla, a local shop assistant who she is instantly attracted to. As her attraction to Carla grows, the rifts within her friendship group become more palpable, especially between her and Sebi the son of a local farmer who clearly has feelings for Mati.

Night Comes On

Gay Essential Review: Night Comes On at Melbourne Queer Film Festival

In a few years time, when we look back on the festival films that had left a standing impression after the hype wore down, Jordana Spiro’s feature debut will likely be amongst those held in the highest regard. Night Comes On is an intimate drama that can easily fall through the cracks when drowned out by more nakedly audacious films at festivals.

Wretched Things

Wretched Things, The Gay Essential Interview

The feature film Wretched Things is made up of three separate shorts that are only connected thematically. “We men are wretched things,” writes Homer in The Iliad, and writer-director Gage Oxley throws each of his three leading men into an odyssey during which they become a kind of sex worker. Shot in Leeds, the films are powerful and pointed, each with its own distinct kick. Oxley and his cast sat down with Gay Essential to talk about the project.

Giant Little Ones

Essential Opinion: Giant Little Ones

Giant Little Ones isn’t the first teen movie to realise that being openly gay in high school is a waking nightmare – but it is one of the rare few that lets its character mature without ever offering a neat conclusion that he wouldn’t be afforded in real life. The best way of describing writer/director Keith Behrman’s film is a grittier Canadian cousin of Love Simon; a film about the all encompassing hell of being in the closet, even if there are more people in your life who would accept you than ones who wouldn’t.

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.

The Last Match

Gay Essential Films To Watch, The Last Match (La Partida)

In The Last Match, two Cuban boys named Reinier and Yosvani are struggling to maintain enough income to take care of their families. Meanwhile, the two boys have fallen in love with each, and find that they must fight even harder to be together in a country where homosexuality is frowned upon.

Getting Go, the Go Doc Project

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Getting Go, the Go Doc Project

A film about obsession, Getting Go, the Go Doc Project, tells the story of a college filmmaker named Doc who is enamoured with a popular New York go-go dancer, aptly named Go. After befriending Go, Doc begins shooting a movie about Go, following him into every club, bar, and even into his bedroom.

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.

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.

Mixed Kebab

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Mixed Kebab

Mixed Kebab is a Belgian drama that examines the crossroads between gay and straight, and modern and traditional Muslim lifestyles. Cultures clash as a closeted gay Muslim man must face the prospect of an arranged traditional marriage. Written and directed by Guy Lee Thys, this film stars Cam Akkenat, Simon Van Buyten, and Gamze Tazim.

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