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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.

Lemebel

Gay Essential Review: Lemebel at Berlinale

Lemebel is an enrapturing look at the life of an LGBT icon, told with an intimacy that feels like catching up with an old friend. Joanna Reposi Garibaldi perfectly honours the spirit of her subject by grabbing your attention with many of his more abrasive, harder to define stages of performance art, then slowly peeling back the disreputable veneer to uncover the man at the heart of it all.

ParTy Boi: Black Diamonds in Ice Castles

Essential Opinion – ParTy Boi: Black Diamonds in Ice Castles

Filmmaker Michael Rice spent a year interviewing a range of people within a very specific community for this documentary, and he packs rather a lot into the brief running time. ParTy Boi: Black Diamonds in Ice Castles is an exploration of the impact of crystal meth addiction on the gay black subculture in America.

My Big Gay Italian Wedding

Essential Opinion: My Big Gay Italian Wedding (Puoi Baciare Lo Sposo)

Homophobia is not the only obstacle to Italian same-sex weddings in Alessandro Genovesi’s latest romantic comedy. Based on the well-known Broadway play, the feel-good film reveals the many hurdles of a homosexual couple that wants to fully commit. Emphasis is placed not so much on the legal and social issues that endanger their marriage, but rather on the hazards of their comical adventure as they make their way to the ceremony.

My Best Friend

Essential Opinion: My Best Friend (Mi Mejor Amigo)

Being in the closet is a terrifying experience; the worry that the world is going to end if anybody finds our your secret, so you micro-manage your behaviour so as to not leave a trace of your true identity. We’ve seen plenty of films about teenage characters dealing with this seemingly drastic situation – My Best Friend comes to the same situation from a different angle altogether, realising that coming out isn’t necessarily the definitive coming of age experience for LGBT youth.

The Coming Back Out Ball Movie

Essential Opinion: The Coming Back Out Ball Movie

The Coming Back Out Ball Movie is a documentary that follows a wide cross section of Australia’s ageing LGBTQI community before they attend a major dance event at Melbourne Town Hall. The Coming Back Out Ball was coined by organisers to celebrate the new found acceptance granted to older members of the community, many of whom hadn’t publicly come out until they’d passed their 60th or 70th birthdays.

The Harvesters

Gay Essential Review: The Harvesters (Die Stropers) at Thessaloniki International Film Festival

With his feature writing-directing debut, Greek-South African filmmaker Etienne Kallos takes a subtle but sharply pointed look into Afrikaans culture as it grapples with larger social shifts. Within this, The Harvesters (Die Stropers) explores the thorny issue of identity and sexuality in a provocative and darkly moving way.

Boys (Jonas)

Essential Opinion: Boys (Jonas)

Boys (Jonas) is Charrier’s second TV movie, and I suspect that it’s only a matter of time before somebody gives him money to make his big screen debut. His film may tell a fairly melodramatic story as it progresses, but it’s easily forgivable due to being grounded within a heartfelt character study – one that is all the more effective due to the perfectly pitched performances he manages to get from the entire ensemble.

Mapplethorpe

Gay Essential Review: Mapplethorpe at Thessaloniki International Film Festival

For her first narrative feature, award-winning documentary filmmaker Ondi Timoner spent more than a decade developing this biopic about photographic artist Robert Mapplethorpe. Her passion in the project shows in its striking attention to detail and her willingness to dig deeply into the more complex corners of this iconic man’s life.

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