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Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Gay Essential Review: Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (Portrait De La Jeune Fille En Feu) at Cannes Film Festival

Celine Sciamma’s films are uniquely attuned to examining the female body, without a whiff of exploitation or a sexually charged agenda to be seen. After tackling films dealing with puberty and gender dysphoria, she’s taken a seemingly unusual step for her fourth feature, 18th century period drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire. No longer is she dealing with the struggles of young people as they deal with their changing bodies, but she is taking the logical next step, crafting a romance all around the very idea of capturing the essence of the female body in a work of art.

Pain and Glory

Gay Essential Review: Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria) at Cannes Film Festival

The film to which Pain and Glory has been most extensively compared is Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2, the Italian director’s genre-bending, meta textual examination of a filmmaker crafting his most ambitious project to date. Both films are excellent, but the comparisons prove to be something of a dead end; Fellini was more preoccupied with the process of filmmaking itself, while Almodovar is interested in exploring the human factors that would inspire somebody to tell a story in the first place.

The Handyman

Small But Perfectly Formed, FilmOut San Diego ShortFest Our Highlights

From broken hot tubs to one-way trips to Mars, the 2019 FilmOut San Diego ShortFest welcomes the summer season with a rich collection of LGBTQ storytelling. This catalog of 20 films features storytellers from around the globe and across the gender spectrum.

Daddy Issues

Gay Essential Opinion: Daddy Issues

There’s an engagingly dreamy tone to this offbeat queer romantic comedy, continually wrong-footing the audience as the plot twists and turns around complex, likeable characters. Daddy Issues has a tone that’s refreshingly natural, as director Amara Cash infuses the film with real-life awkwardness.

Socrates

Gay Essential Review: Socrates at BFI Flare

There’s a strikingly realistic tone to this Brazilian drama, pulling the audience into the experiences of a teen who is being squeezed in from all sides. Socrates was created in a workshop of young people between the ages of 16 and 20, and it’s the feature debut of Brazilian-American filmmaker Alexandre Moratto.

The Skin of the Teeth

Gay Essential Opinion: The Skin Of The Teeth

As far as first dates go, you’d struggle to think of any that are worse than this. Josef arrives at the lavish apartment where John lives. The pair had met before and agreed to a date, but Josef was too wasted to remember the specifics – a detail that becomes insignificant due to the mounting awkwardness that envelops their evening.

Marilyn

Gay Essential Opinion: Marilyn

Marilyn is based on a true story, but tries its hardest not to transform into reductive misery porn, or emotional exploitation. It offers an intimate look at the life of a queer teenager figuring out their identity in a small town, acknowledging the (often violent) hostility they would face, while still acknowledging the expected identity crisis that is teenage life beyond these harrowing moments.

Gay Essential Review: The Blond One (Un Rubio) at BFI Flare

Over five features, from Plan B (2009) to Taekwondo (2016), Argentine writer-director Marco Berger has sensitively explored the blurred lines between sexuality and machismo in Latin society. His latest feature, The Blond One (Un Rubio), continues this theme with real insight and artistry.

This Spring

Gay Essential Opinion: This Spring (Au printemps tu verras)

Filmmaker Wim Wenders once famously said, “The camera is a weapon against the tragedy of things, against their disappearing.” By virtue of association, filmmaking can be seen as an act of preservation. All throughout This Spring (Au printemps tu verras), there is a constant reference to the passing of time, the importance of memories and the importance of remembering.

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