Saturday, 31 March 2012

LLGFF 4: Double exposure

The BFI 26th Lesbian & Gay Film Festival includes a range of archival screenings stretching from hits of the past year all the way back to the early days of cinema. And the highlight this year was a chance to see the films of iconic film pioneer Peter de Rome on the big screen, with the man himself in attendance to chat with the audience. Filmed on Super 8 in the 60s and 70s, his shorts are mainly erotic glimpses into New York life, but it's the way they're shot and edited that's so groundbreaking. And this inventiveness can inform today's generation of filmmakers who are working on iPhones and webcams. Here are some highlights from Friday and Saturday...

Fragments: The Incomplete Films of Peter de Rome
dir Ethan Reid; with Peter de Rome, Leee Black Childers 12/UK ****
Way ahead of his time, the unassuming British filmmaker Peter de Rome has made a name as a porn director, but there's clearly much more to him that that, as this insightful, engaging documentary shows... FULL REVIEW >

Gun Hill Road
dir Rashaad Ernesto Green; with Esai Morales, Harmony Santana 11/US ***
For a story set in the Hispanic subculture, this film takes on some rather enormous themes, contrasting intolerant machismo with a real-life situation that would test anyone's mettle. While the plot isn't particularly original, it's played with real power... FULL REVIEW >

dir Baldvin Z; with Atli Oskar Fjalarsson, Hreindis Ylva Gardarsdottir 11/Ice ***
It's obvious why this has been called the Icelandic Skins: it's about a group of 16-year-old friends exploring their independence. In addition to being a bit overstated, the filmmaker tries too hard to make everything achingly young and cool. But there's also an honest exploration of relationships... FULL REVIEW >

Stud Life
dir-scr Campbell X; with T'Nia Miller, Kyle Treslove 12/UK ***
Most films set in East London are gritty, edgy dramas, so it's refreshing to see a comedy centred on people who vividly demonstrate the city's diversit. And while the plot sticks to a rom-com structure, there are surprises along the way... FULL REVIEW >

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