Sunday, 25 March 2012

LLGFF 1: Reel life

The 26th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival kicked off on Friday night with Thom Fitzgerald's Cloudburst, and away we go. The LLGFF is one of the UK's biggest festivals, with premieres from all over the world and a range of provocative films that challenge stereotypes to explore extremely topical issues. A few highlights this weekend...

dir Thom Fitzgerald; with Olympia Dukakis, Brenda Fricker 12/Can *** 
A particularly colourful performance from Dukakis makes this film unmissable, even if the story wobbles in the final act. But along the way, the character-based comedy and drama are thoroughly engaging, even as they comment on a hugely important issue... FULL REVIEW >

dir Jeffrey Schwarz; with Vito Russo, Lily Tomlin 12/US **** 
This superbly well-made doc has an emotional sting in its tail that lingers long after the final credits. It tells the story of tenacious gay activist Vito Russo, who spearheaded causes before his time and changed the world in the process... FULL REVIEW >

Revealing Mr Maugham
dir Michael House; with Selina Hastings, Armistead Maupin 12/UK ***
Even though he achieved huge success, prolific writer W Somerset Maugham was misunderstood because he was such an outsider. This comprehensive academic-style documentary traces his life and legacy with telling insight... FULL REVIEW >

Ballroom Rules
dir Nickolas Bird, Eleanor Sharpe; with Anny Salerni, Marsia Bergh 12/Aus **** 
While documenting the same-sex dancing scene in Australia, this gentle, intimate documentary explores big issues in the lives of people who face bigotry and stereotypes had-on. So the film offers a glimmer of hope for a more tolerant future... FULL REVIEW >

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