It’s good to be queer and Canadian! This brand-new installment complements The Coast Is Queer to show queer shorts from all over this fair land of ours. The program included a dozen titles, but I’ll only list the ones that made a strong impression on me.
Filmed in Cold Lake, Alberta, I believe. Cold Lake looks… cold. I guess it’s probably not just miles and miles of snow every day of the year, but damn. Anyway, the snow forms a great contrast to the cute animation and cuter fantasy of an all-gay tropical island.
Lesbian National Parks
Oh, sure, it’s full of easy jokes about endangered lesbian species like the Marxist-Feminist and Bull-Dykus Americanus, but I didn’t care. So funny!
Au pays des esprits
The only French language short of the night (with subtitles). In a letter to his father, the narrator draws parallels between Louis Riel’s resistance and his own. Lovely use of archival footage, but I’m not sure I really got it. I’d probably have to watch it a couple more times.
Okay, so having a fetish for cowboys makes you Alberta-sexual? Ha! This cute little movie by David C Jones questioned the importance of all the labels we put on our preferences. Incidentally, it got me thinking about The Butch Factor, where some of the men also downplayed the importance of the label “gay”. The difference is, they didn’t play it for laughs.
The Reason Why
One man’s open letter to four of his exes, all named Mark. Drama and humour in equal amounts
Native drumming and shots of the Athabasca River basin—lovely pristine water and nature, contrasted with the devastation caused by tar sand extraction. Sort of reminded me of Koyaanisqatsi.
This film focuses on American or half-American couples who had to move to Canada to get married. They speak of being exiled, unable to return because their marriage wouldn’t be recognised. Grandparents are separated from grandchildren, families are split… this is the human cost of bigotry. Not that the bigots care.
Mind you, there’s a potentially happy ending. The movie was done before Judge Walker struck down Prop 8, so an update may show same-sex marriages happening again in California. We can but hope.
That’s Right Diana Barry, You Needed Me
Canada has given us Anne Murray and Anne of Green Gables. Put the two together and what do you get? A sing-along to Anne Murray’s You Needed Me, with shots of Anne Shirley and her bosom friend (heh) Diana Barry, of course! There’s nothing like a little lesbian subtext and audience participation. This was by far the best short of the night, and a serious contender for best short of the whole festival.