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.
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.
Rupert Everett spent the past decade working on his passion project The Happy Prince, tracing the final three years in the life of Oscar Wilde. Ironically, these aren’t particularly happy years, following his post-prison exile from England as he loses status, money and finally his health, until his death at age 46 in 1900.
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.
After creating the web series known as Danny The Manny, a series about a gay male living in Hollywood trying to juggle life as a babysitter and a struggling actor, director Mike Roma has re-collaborated with the star of his show, Patrick Reilly, to make the innovative yet heartfelt dramedy Dating My Mother which is Roma’s feature film debut.
The family of director Ed Gaffney has been the foundation of his filmography since he has collaborated with them on each of his projects. His latest feature with them, Russian Doll, is edgy and ventures to some dark places. It is a noir thriller depicting a web of intrigue that will have you gasping by the very end. The film stars Gaffney’s two children, Jason T. Gaffney and Melanie Brockmann Gaffney, with Jason playing the main antagonist and Melanie playing the detective on his trail.
“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.
The FIVE Provocations moves and was shot in chronological order to allow character development to continue throughout filming. Changes in their narrative were prompted by performances of some of Australia’s top stars of the cabaret scene, embodying the title provocations. These can be described as surreal experiences for the characters that allow them to see their choices differently and provide them with an opportunity to take a different path.