Thursday, 29 March 2012

LLGFF 3: Obsessions

If there's a theme to this year's BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, it's got to be obsessive love. An unusual number of films in the programme feature stalkers, from the predatory student in Absent (above) to the prowling "uncle" in Beauty - two of my favourite films from the festival so far. What's nice about this is that it shows a maturity in filmmaking, as writers and directors play with new genres to explore issues of gender and sexuality from unexpected perspectives. Here are some highlights from Wednesday and Thursday...

dir-scr Marco Berger; with Carlos Echevarria, Javier De Pietro 11/Arg ****
As he did in Plan B, writer-director Berger explores latent homosexuality in this low-key thriller, which has an added ethical/legal dilemma. The film is a bit obtuse, but it gets under the skin... FULL REVIEW >

dir-scr Oliver Hermanus; with Deon Lotz, Charlie Keegan 11/SA *****
Intensely personal filmmaking takes us deep into this darkly involving drama about a man who simply doesn't have the skills to deal with his inner desires. And watching it is a challenging, moving experience that's hard to shake... FULL REVIEW >

dir-scr Maryam Keshavarz; with Nikohl Boosheri, Sarah Kazemy 11/Fr ****
This Iranian drama was far too provocative to be filmed in Tehran, but shooting in Lebanon gave filmmaker Keshavarz the opportunity to inventively explore some hugely important themes in an unusually honest way...  FULL REVIEW >

The Green
dir Steven Williford; with Jason Butler Harner, Cheyenne Jackson 11/US ***
Strong writing, directing and acting make this issue-oriented film more engaging than we expect as it sends its characters through a seriously harrowing situation. And while it doesn't say much about child abuse, it makes some potent comments about our tendency to jump to conclusions... FULL REVIEW >

Jobriath A.D.
dir-scr Kieran Turner; with Jobriath Boone, Jerry Brandt 12/US ****
Fast-paced and colourful, this documentary chronicles the astonishing story of a gifted artist who never found the success everyone knew he deserved. It's recounted with energy and warmth by people who lived through the events. Sadly, Jobriath died at 36 at his piano...  FULL REVIEW >

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