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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.

Denial

Essential Opinion: Denial

Christine Hallquist is a groundbreaking public figure in American political culture. After becoming the country’s first business CEO to come out as transgender a few years ago, earlier this year she put the world of industry aside to become the first trans person to run for governor in a Gubernatorial election.

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.

Benjamin

Gay Essential Review: Benjamin at BFI London Film Festival

Comedian Simon Amstell’s second film in the director’s chair follows a socially awkward filmmaker suffering from crippling anxiety due to the imminent world premiere of his second film. And if this didn’t already feel dangerously close to autobiography, Amstell’s second directorial outing has just had its world premiere at this year’s London Film Festival, just like the embarrassingly personal film directed by the title character of his latest effort, Benjamin.

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.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Gay Essential Review: Can You Ever Forgive Me? at BFI London Film Festival

Despite the cultural cache from having works in the New York Times bestseller list, Lee Israel fell upon hard times, with no publisher wanting to release her biographies on increasingly lesser known subjects – which led to a drastic career move that gained her notoriety.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Opinión Esencial: Bohemian Rhapsody

“Tu vida va a ser muy difícil”, Mary Austin, la mejor amiga, y se pudiera decir la compañera de vida de Freddie Mercury, interpretada por Lucy Boynton, le dice al enterarse que Freddie es gay. Durante las casi dos horas y media de “Bohemian Rhapsody”, vemos el arco de un joven queriendo ser libre mediante el único medio que sabe, la música.

I Hate New York

Gay Essential Review: I Hate New York at Raindance Film Festival

First, it should be noted that the title of this documentary is ironic, as it explores the lives of four LGBTQ artists who have chosen to make New York their home. I Hate New York is directed by Spanish filmmaker Gustavo Sanchez, who shot his subjects over 10 years.

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