Julianne Moore & Eddie Redmayne + Bette Davis: BFI Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

April 4

Julianne Moore in Savage Grace by Tom Kalin

Tom Kalin's Savage Grace, starring Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane, and Eddie Redmayne, focuses on a dysfunctional family that includes a much-too-doting mother, a gay son, and his unaccepting father. Kalin is expected to attend the screening.

“Fresh from its world premiere at this year's Berlin Film Festival, this fascinating insight into the attempts to mount a Gay Pride march in Moscow takes us into the lives of the organisers and uncovers a surprising range of gay life.” That's Jochen Hick's East/West - Sex & Politics.

More from Brian Robinson's commentary: “Moscow's seemingly vibrant club and bar scene, a gay friendly Orthodox priest, a gay magazine and a lesbian cruising ground are all seen in stark contrast to local rightwing fascist neo-Nazi thugs, whose opposition to gay life is violent and unchecked by the police. There seems to be a sinister collaboration between the office of the mayor and the police who share President Putin's fears for the future of humanity if lesbian and gay lifestyles are encouraged. This film offers a chilling reminder of the fragile state of the rights of sexual minorities in Russia.”

Céline Sciamma's Naissance des pieuvres / Water Lilies follows three teenage girls who must deal with the unexpected blossoming of love and sexual desire. In the cast: Pauline Acquart, Louise Blachère, Adele Haenel, and Warren Jacquin.

Shine Louise Houston's In Search of the Wild Kingdom is thus described: “A straight girl's film crew embark on a quest to uncover the mating habits of 'real lesbians' in San Francisco, and in the process capture hot femme-on-femme, threesome, stud boi, and transguy action!”

More details/schedules at the festival's website

April 5

To celebrate Bette Davis' centenary, Dr. Martin Shingler will give “an illustrated lecture on Bette's movies and why gay men and lesbians love her so.” (Talk about a sweeping generalization…)

Bette Davis John Loder Now Voyager

Many consider Irving Rapper's Now, Voyager (1942) the best Bette Davis vehicle of her Warner Bros. years. I'm not one of those many. I find it overlong and overwrought, featuring one of Davis' most unconvincing acting jobs of that period.

Robert Aldrich's What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) is my favorite of the Grand Guignol movies of the 1960s. Though tighter editing and a screenplay less reliant on absurd coincidences would have helped, Baby Jane? is great entertainment chiefly because it features three top-notch performances – by Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Victor Buono.

Birthday Negin Kianfar Daisy Mohr

Kyle Stephan describes Negin Kianfar and Daisy Mohr's The Birthday:

“In 1976, citing the Qaran's [sic] silence on the subject, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa to allow Iranian transsexuals to their change birth sex. However, despite access to medical services and legal protection, transsexuals in Iran face acute public discrimination.

“Central characters Mahtab, Sayeh, and Afshin consider how their gender transition affects their faith, relationships, personal freedoms, and rights in male-dominated Iran. While transman Afshin is largely accepted for his bravery and masculine presentation, Mahtab and Sayeh grapple with new social limitations and family shame for their decision to transition from biological male to female.”

In the same program, Remy van Heugten's 35-minute short Shahram and Abbas, about “two Iranian men pretend to be gay in order to obtain asylum in The Netherlands.”

Solace by Michaline Babich

“Only Connect” features a series of shorts about Internet hook-ups, including John Lochland's Sweat (“an ingénue goes to the sauna and learns some lessons”), Michaline Babich's Solace (above, “a lonely man hooks up on an internet date and it seems to go so well…”), Cassius Matthias' Trent2Rent (“a curious straight boy gets drawn into prostitution through a gay friend”), and Joe Tucker's For the Love of God (“a lonely gay boy is in love with God. Award-winning animation with the voices of Steve Coogan, Julia Davis, Ian McKellen”).

Spider Lilies by Zero Chou

Zero Chou's Spider Lilies is described as an “offbeat romance from Taiwan, which sets traditional themes of family obligation and fate in a candy coloured world of internet chatrooms and tattoo parlours.” In the cast: Rainie Yang, Isabella Leong, Jian-hung Shen.

Gay Zombie by Michael Simon

“Blood and Pink Lace” features a series of short horror films, including Michael Simon's Gay Zombie (“life can be tough if you are gay. Especially if you are already dead! Boys, bodies and bloodshed combine in this hilarious queer addition to the living-dead mythology”), Craig Boreham's Love Bite (“as two boys hang out after school, one of them uncovers a dark secret he is hungry to share”), and Nataly Lebouleux's Illuminate (“an animated doll finds herself in a mysterious world of freaks and misfits. An eerily inventive and stylish gothic fairy tale”).

Otto; Or, Up With Dead People by Bruce LaBruce

“Bruce LaBruce combines horror, pornography, silent film and documentary styles in his story of a gay zombie facing an existential crisis.” That's Otto; Or, Up With Dead People. In the cast: Jey Crisfar, Marcel Schlutt, Katharina Klewinghaus. La Bruce is expected to attend the screening.

More details/schedules on the festival's website

Julianne Moore & Eddie Redmayne + Bette Davis: BFI Lesbian & Gay Film Festival © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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1 Comment to Julianne Moore & Eddie Redmayne + Bette Davis: BFI Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

  1. Sweaty Palms

    Well I was never a Betty Davis fan all she ever did was smoke? Really never saw anything there.