Sunburn (Golpe de Sol) is a conceptual Portuguese drama exploring the complex connections between four long-time friends. Writer-director Vicente Alves do Ó fills each scene with bold experimental filmmaking touches that draw out the attitudes that gurgle under the surface.
Mati is a tomboy nearing her final high school exams, who devotes most of her free team on her motorbike, hanging with an irritating group of boys. One day, when helping out her mum at the vets, she meets Carla, a local shop assistant who she is instantly attracted to. As her attraction to Carla grows, the rifts within her friendship group become more palpable, especially between her and Sebi the son of a local farmer who clearly has feelings for Mati.
In a few years time, when we look back on the festival films that had left a standing impression after the hype wore down, Jordana Spiro’s feature debut will likely be amongst those held in the highest regard. Night Comes On is an intimate drama that can easily fall through the cracks when drowned out by more nakedly audacious films at festivals.
For lovers of classic Hollywood, the trajectory of Montgomery Clift is an archetypal example of a meteoric rise followed by a stratospheric fall. Originally propositioned by agents for years in the hope he’d sign on to become a child star, Clift instead waited until his late twenties to make his screen debut, and did so against the system.
Carmen & Lola (Carmen y Lola), the directorial debut of Arantxa Echevarria, reinvigorates a familiar coming out scenario by transporting it to the heart of Madrid’s Roma community, finding within it specific cultural issues that, sadly, allows for one of the oldest narratives within LGBT storytelling to maintain its relevancy.
Lies, shame and alienation are at the heart of Julia Solomonoff’s seductively tragic Nobody’s Watching, a tale of two identities which confronts the shortcomings of immigration policies head-on. Exposing the tantalizing brutality of iconic cities and the hostility of cliques and Procrustean social norms, the motion picture presents an unparalleled depiction of the Big Apple and its cutthroat nature.
Porcupine Lake is an impressive drama about two characters caught between childhood and a forever elusive emotional maturity. With heartfelt and achingly real performances from its central actresses, this low-key coming of age tale is one of the best hidden delights to emerge from the recent LGBT festival circuit.
Celebrating its 25th year, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival returns in March of 2015 with an impressive program of award-winning gay themed cinema. Opening on March 19th with the Brazilian film, The Way He Looks, the 25th edition of this incredible film festival runs for just 12 days, concluding on March 30th.