Tag Archives: BFI London Film Festival

Moffie

Gay Essential Review: Moffie at BFI London Film Festival

Set in a gruelling military environment in the early 1980’s, Oliver Hermanus’ film is his most brutal to date, unflinchingly depicting a toxic, masculine regime that serves only to indoctrinate the nation’s youth into a repugnant racist, homophobic ideology.

Gay Essential Review: End of the Century (Fin De Siglo) at BFI London Film Festival

After a hookup in a city the two lead characters are both briefly visiting, they discover a past connection that dramatically alters their perspectives of each other. It’s not the simple “love at first sight” film that it initially appears to be – and is all the more intriguing because of it.

This Is Not Berlin

Gay Essential Review: This Is Not Berlin (Esto No Es Berlín) at BFI London Film Festival

For his fourth feature, Mexican director Hari Sama has crafted an unusual coming of age story set within the punk underworld of the 80’s. On its own, this isn’t particularly unique – the power of rock music has helped many teenagers discover their own identities in the movies, and the conservative catholic backdrop of This is Not Berlin doesn’t twist this formula in ways you wouldn’t expect.

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.

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.

Rafiki

Gay Essential Review: Rafiki at BFI London Film Festival

So much attention has been devoted to the controversy surrounding Rafiki, the first LGBT film produced in Kenya, that discussions on the film itself have been something of an afterthought. To put it simply, the Kenyan censorship board didn’t have the same rapturous response to the film as audiences at Cannes (where it premiered earlier this year), effectively banning it – only to upturn the ban, submit the film as their entry for the foreign language Oscar, and premiere it to sold out audiences upon opening in Kenya.

The Favourite

Gay Essential Review: The Favourite at BFI London Film Festival

The Favourite is something of a change of pace for Lanthimos. Not only is it the first time he’s adapted a screenplay he didn’t pen himself, with a comparatively muted surrealism compared to his previous films, it’s also the closest he’s got to crafting something that could be described as emotionally sincere.

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.

Abu: Father

Gay Essential Review – Abu: Father at BFI London Film Festival

Less a documentary and more an unflinchingly personal essay, director Arshad Khan’s Abu: Father is moving and harrowing in equal measure. Utilising home video footage he has amassed since his childhood in Pakistan in the seventies, as well as scenes from the pop culture that played a pivotal role throughout the important stages of his life, Khan’s film deals with his lifelong struggle with his own sexuality and his relationship with his religiously conservative family.

Translate »