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Colette

Gay Essential Review: Colette at BFI London Film Festival

Outside of its documentation of gender fluidity and same sex relationships during a period where they were scorned by society, Colette still remains a breath of fresh air amongst a field of stuffy costume dramas. The film is often hysterically funny (Westmoreland co-wrote the screenplay with his late partner Jonathan Glatzer), with Dominic West giving an entertainingly histrionic performance in the lead.

George Michael: Freedom - Director's Cut

Gay Essential Review, George Michael: Freedom – Director’s Cut at Raindance Film Festival

Originally made for Channel 4 in the UK, this documentary has been returned to its original version, as authorised by George Michael himself shortly before he died. In George Michael: Freedom – Director’s Cut, Michael offers an intimate, honest look at his life, ending just before the iconic singer’s shocking death at just 53 in December 2016.

Consequences

Gay Essential Review: Consequences (Posledice) at BFI London Film Festival

The feature debut of director Darko Stante manages to find a new angle on a familiar staple of LGBT storytelling, throwing its protagonist into a world of hyper-masculinity that seems beyond parody. It feels contemporary due to, for the most part, the lack of overt homophobia – here, even the name calling is embedded with a bizarre homoeroticism, so comfortable with their sexuality the (presumably) straight characters appear to be.

Kanarie

Gay Essential Review: Kanarie at Outfest

With a growing number of queer topics and motion pictures emerging in South African filmmaking, the status quo is being increasingly questioned and dismantled. Kanarie, tackles a variety of controversial subjects, from blind patriotism to the effects of religious dogma on sexuality and healthy self-expression.

Bitter Melon

Gay Essential Review: Bitter Melon at Outfest

Only a brilliant and gifted director can manage to make grueling topics like domestic abuse mesh well with dry humor and dramedy. Albeit slipping out of its vision and losing its prowess at times, Bitter Melon brings a genuinely refreshing and satisfying experience on the screens of this year’s Outfest edition.

Cuernavaca

Gay Essential Review: Cuernavaca at Outfest

Exploring the stunted childhood of a young, misunderstood boy, Cuernavaca is a colorful film that employs a tried and tested surrealist approach to storytelling. Alejandro Andrade’s directorial debut amasses a variety of old-age visual concepts and renders them to the viewer in a soft, easeful manner, reminiscent of the aesthetics of the irrational.

Call Her Ganda

Gay Essential Review: Call Her Ganda at Outfest

Following one of the most gut-wrenching events in the history of the Filipino trans movement, Call Her Ganda is a staggering and thought-provoking documentary on the epidemic of violence against LGBTQ people. Part-chronicle, part-tribute, the film is ushered by three central female figures who take on a seemingly never-ending and irremediable quest for justice.

Man Made

Gay Essential Review: Man Made at Outfest

The public perception of bodybuilding is currently defined by the idea of warped masculinity – a heteronormative activity exclusively for men who take more steroids daily than they have braincells in total. It’s not entirely clear how media representation of bodybuilders has, in the past few decades, gone from presenting them as idealised men to cultural laughing stocks, but T. Cooper’s documentary Man Made is set to send stereotypes back in the opposite direction.

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.

Golden Boy

Gay Essential Review: Golden Boy at FilmOut San Diego

With a story so detailed that it feels autobiographical, this earthy, natural drama can’t help but catch the audience by surprise as it pushes the characters through a series of intense situations. Golden Boy, is a strongly personal variation on the usual story of a young man who ends up lost on the streets of Los Angeles.

Devil's Path

Gay Essential Review: Devil’s Path at FilmOut San Diego

You might think you know the story: two men meet at a remote cruising spot, where men have been mysteriously disappearing for weeks, and find themselves falling deeper into a murderous cat and mouse chase. But this surface level synopsis is the only true similarity between Devil’s Path and 2013’s widely acclaimed anti-thriller Stranger by the Lake, a film to which it will likely be compared based on the subject matter alone.

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