It’s that time of year again! Whoooooo!
And just FYI, I am planning to keep on writing reviews of the movies I see. I know, last year I fell way behind, though I did get them all done eventually… But I’ll do better this time, even if it means trimming the reviews themselves down a bit. Sometimes I have too many thoughts, y’know?
Thursday, August 14
Just the opening gala, and I am totally looking forward to it. I adored the original short, I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone / Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho, shown back in the 2012 VQFF.
Final choice: The Way He Looks / Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho
Friday, August 15
a) Boys / Jongens (a coming-out-slash-first-love-story between two 15-year-old boys) and Eastern Boys, “a seductive drama/thriller/love story” with hustlers and gangs and commentary on France’s immigration policies.
b) Appropriate Behavior (not sure what this one’s about. There’s lesbians and closet-related hijinks and pansexual explorations. I think it’s a comedy?); and A Street in Palermo / Via Castellana Bandiera, another lesbian comedy, this one satirising Italian society.
At this point I’m leaning towards international lesbian comedy. Besides, I’m less interested in Eastern Boys and I’ll have the chance to see Boys / Jongens later in the festival.
Final choice: Appropriate Behavior and A Street in Palermo / Via Castellana Bandiera
Saturday, August 16
I’ve got other plans that night, so I’ll only be able to see the early-early show, a documentary about Melbourne’s fat femme synchronised swim team, plus what looks like a bunch of sexy and/or funny shorts. Too bad, I would have liked to see GRIND: Hookup Shorts.
Final choice: Aquaporko! and Grrrls in Space
Sunday, August 17
Early-early show: Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, which is exactly what it says on the tin. Then it’ll be either:
a) Drunktown’s Finest, a drama of life, love and identities on a Navajo reservation; and A Self-Made Man, a documentary about transman Tony Ferraiolo and the trans youth he inspires,
b) Test, a love story set in 1985 San Francisco; and Bad Hair / Pelo Malo, a Venezuelan story of economic inequality, intolerance, and a working-class boy who wants to straighten his hair and become a performer.
Both sets look good! However, I’m slightly leaning towards the gay stuff.
Final choice: Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, Test and Bad Hair / Pelo Malo.
Monday, August 18
a) Boys / Jongens—see Friday above—and My Child / Benim Çocuğum, stories of families of LGBT people in Turkey. Probably not too different from last year’s Mama Rainbow,
Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty, a documentary on sexuality, beauty and disabilities; and Out in the Night, the true story of the New Jersey 4.
Right, so I do want to see Boys, and why not get an extra helping of warm fuzzies with My Child?
Final choice: Boys / Jongens and My Child / Benim Çocuğum
Tuesday, August 19
a) I Feel Like Disco, a disco-flavoured coming-of-age story, followed by Hey, Hey My Kid is Gay, a panel discussion of LGBTQ allies; and Love is Strange, a drama with older gay characters, starring John Lithgow,
b) Boy + Sikat + Das Phallometer (3 shorts, the first of which is a drama of ambition and opportunism) and Pierrot Lunaire: Butch Dandy (a “gender-bending operatic thriller” adaptation of Andy Schoenberg’s poetic melodrama Pierrot Lunaire), which looks too weird to pass up. And I don’t even know what the hell Das Phallometer is about, except it adds up to “weird and German.” Suits me fine!
Final choice: Boy + Sikat + Das Phallometer and Pierrot Lunaire: Butch Dandy
Wednesday, August 20
a) Changemakers (a selection of local queer documentary makers) and The Coast is Queer (films by local queer filmmakers)
b) Test (see Sunday above) and Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger, a look at the amazing artist and activist Kate Bornstein.
Easy decision, though. You don’t think I’d miss The Coast is Queer, do you? I mean, I’m skipping the last day of grass volleyball league to catch this show, that’s how much I want to see it.
Final choice: Changemakers and The Coast is Queer
Thursday, August 21
a) The Way He Looks (see Opening Gala above) and Eastern Boys (see Friday above)
b) The Centrepiece Gala, Children 404, an documentary on the lives of queer children and teens in Putin’s Russia, focusing on an online support forum of the same name currently under legal attack by the authorities.
This one’s easy as well: I’ll already have seen The Way He Looks and I’m not that interested in Eastern Boys.
Final choice: Children 404.
Friday, August 22
a) Tru Love, a lesbian love story set in Toronto; and Quick Change, a drama set in Manila’s underground trans women community.
b) The Third One / El Tercero, a sexy and romantic Argentinian drama; and Salvation Army / L’armée du Salut, a gay drama of identities, race, class and domestic abuse, set in Morocco and Switzerland, and based on an award-winning novel.
Final choice: tentatively, The Third One / El Tercero and Salvation Army / L’armée du Salut.
Saturday, August 23
Early-early show: POWER, “an edgy, hip-hop cabaret show” featuring a diverse youth cast, taking place in East Van with what looks like a strange meta storyline. Then it’ll be either:
a) The Dog, a documentary about John Wojtowicz the man who robbed a bank, served 20 years in prison and got played by Al Pacino in 1975’s Dog Day Afternoon; and Winter Journey, a weird Russian love/hate story between a refined opera singer and a street thug
b) Of Girls and Horses, a German coming-of-age lesbian tale set on a horse ranch; and Anita’s Last Cha Cha / Ang Huling Cha Cha ni Anita, a little rural Bulacan slice-of-life “with a few touches of magical realism thrown in”. Sounds nifty.
I think I’ll go with the lesbian stories this time around. I’m a bit curious about The Dog even though I’ve never seen Dog Day Afternoon, but Winter Journey might be too dark and gritty for me… plus I’m kind of in the mood for super-atmospheric, simple-storied German lesbian cinema.
Final choice: POWER, Of Girls and Horses and Anita’s Last Cha Cha / Ang Huling Cha Cha ni Anita
Sunday, August 24
Only one choice, the Closing Gala: a crazy rock-n-rolling musical with lesbian love triangles, the criminal underworld and a climactic battle of the bands. Fuck yeah.
Final choice: GIRLTRASH: All Night Long
TOTAL NUMBER OF SHOWS: 20. Yikes. But it’ll totally be worth it!