Copenhagen Gay & Lesbian Film Festival: 'Dream Boy,' 'Dostana'

Alexandre and Victor Carril Give Me Your Hand
Alexandre and Victor Carril in Give Me Your Hand.

The 2009 edition of the Copenhagen Gay & Lesbian Film Festival runs Oct. 16-25.

Among the festival's “themes” this year are “Documenting Denmark,” “Daddy Cool,” “Cry for Me Argentina,” and “Bollywood Goes Gay.”

Screening films include Jan Krüger's Rückenwind, which follows a young couple (Sebastian Schlecht, Eric Golub) on a bike trip in the woods that turns nightmarish after they meet with a lone mother and her shy teenage son; Iben Haahr Andersen and Minna Grooss' documentary Hello My Name Is Lesbian, in which several lesbians talk about their outlook in life; Mette Aakerholm's Norwegian documentary Min stolte far/ Daddy's Love, about a Norwegian man who travels to the US to meet the surrogate mother of his recently born son; and Saskia Bisp's Nobody Passes Perfectly, composed of a series of tableaus featuring two different individuals so as to show “how it is possible to have a free and intense romantic relationship while defining your own gender.”

Also, Markku Hieikkinen's Finnish-made All Boys, a look into the gay erotica industry; Lucía Puenzo's love story A Fish Child, in which an upper-class Buenos Aires teenager dreams of escaping to Paraguay to begin a new life with her maid; Pascal-Alex Vincent's road movie Donne-moi la main / Give Me Your Hand, about a pair of twin brothers (Alexandre and Victor Carril) traveling to their mother's funeral; and Christophe Honoré's musical Les chansons d'amour / Love Songs, featuring a happy threesome (two girls and a guy) that is disrupted following a tragic accident – though the male third (Louis Garrel) finds a new lease of love thanks to a Shakespeare-inspired young man (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet).

And Tarun Mansukhani's Bollywood comedy Dostana, about two close friends (John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan) who pretend to be gay in order to rent a penthouse in Miami; James Bolton's Dream Boy, a portrait of two young men (Stephan Bender, Maximillian Roeg) who develop a romantic relationship in 1970s rural Louisiana; and Richard Oswald's 1919 drama Anders als die Andern / Different from the Others, described as “the first sympathetic depiction of homosexuality in the history of film,” in which Conrad Veidt plays a violinist who falls in love with one of his pupils. (According to the Copenhagen gay festival's notes, Different from the Others was made “in collaboration with Magnus Hirschfeld, progressive sex researcher at the time [and who plays a doctor in the film], as a protest against the infamous [anti-gay] Section 175.”)

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