Tuesday, 27 March 2012

LLGFF 2: God loves you

This year's BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival has a decidedly political tone, and there have been a few films over the past few days grappling strongly with issues of sexuality as they relate specifically to politics in the church. On Saturday, Bishop Gene Robinson (above) attended the festival to introduce the Sundance-winning documentary Love Free or Die, followed by a Q&A and then a tea party! And one of the most popular screenings on Sunday was the Catholic-themed The Perfect Family, starring Kathleen Turner. The central message of these films (and many others in this festival) is that God is about love, not fear. And that religion teaches us that marginalised people need a lot more than just tolerance. Here are some highlights from Monday and Tuesday...

Love Free or Die
dir Macky Alston; with Gene Robinson, Barbara Harris 12/US *****
While this is a documentary about the first openly gay bishop in Christendom, it's also much more than that, exploring religion from a distinctly relevant perspective. It not only forces us to examine our opinions, but it moves us to tears... FULL REVIEW >

The Perfect Family
dir Anne Renton; with Kathleen Turner, Emily Deschanel 12/US ***
This engaging comedy-drama astutely observes a woman struggling to balance her religious beliefs with real life. While the film gets increasingly serious as it goes, it holds our interest - and our emotions - while making several very important points... FULL REVIEW >

dir Dee Rees; with Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans 11/US ***
With an original slant on the coming-out and coming-of-age story, this film gets under the skin through its realistic characters and situations. Some scenes are over-played, but the film's still hugely involving... FULL REVIEW >

Our Paradise
dir Gael Morel; with Stephane Rideau, Dimitri Durdaine 11/Fr ***
Gifted French filmmaker Morel explores fairly dark themes in his films, refusing to make things easy for his characters. And this strikingly involving film is no exception, following a relationship that starts out rather bleakly and gets increasingly unnerving... FULL REVIEW >

This Is Not a Dream
dir Ben Walters, Gavin Butt; with Dickie Beau, Glenn O'Brien 11/UK ****
The material in this documentary is so colourful that it almost obscures the film's thesis-like structure. The central idea is that the advent of video has had a huge impact on society. As a result, the gay art world has changed culture while also being influenced by it... FULL REVIEW >

~~~~~~~ ~~ ~~~ ~~~~
CRITICAL WEEK - Yes, amid all of this, screenings continue apace for London critics. This week's films in a nutshell: Julia Roberts in the eye-catching fairy tale Mirror Mirror, British animated comedy-romp The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists!, entertaining horror romp The Cabin in the Woods, Julie Delpy's hilarious sequel 2 Days in New York, the quirky indie comedy Jeff Who Lives at Home, Ben Drew's gritty East London drama Ill Manors, and the lavish Danish period drama A Royal Affair. And next week's offerings include the 3D action sequel Wrath of the Titans, Jason Statham action in Safe, Henry Cavill action in The Cold Light of Day, the British comedy All in Good Time, Catherine Deneuve in Beloved and the acclaimed Finnish comedy-drama Le Havre.

No comments: