Annette Bening and 'wife' Julianne Moore in The Kids Are All Right (top); Pietro Marcello's The Mouth of the Wolf (upper middle); James Franco's The Feast of Stephen (lower middle); Gaea Gaddy in Jake Yuzna's Open (bottom)
Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, a family comedy co-written by Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, and starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, claimed the Teddy Award for best gay-themed feature film at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival. A hit at Sundance – there's already Oscar talk for film, filmmakers, and performers – The Kids Are All Right was screened out of competition at the Berlinale.
Also featuring Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska (soon to be seen in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland), and Josh Hutcherson, The Kids Are All Right shows what happens to a lesbian couple when their two teenage children conceived via artificial insemination bring home their biological father.
The best documentary was Pietro Marcello's La bocca del lupo / The Mouth of the Wolf, described by Neil Young in The Auteurs as an “impressionistic documentary-fiction hybrid of the kind I usually have limited patience with, but which here works beautifully from beginning to end.” Set in the Genoa waterfront, The Mouth of the Wolf chronicles the relationship between a macho ex-con and his lover, a transsexual former junkie. Their relationship is related by way of extracts from their love letters.
James Franco's The Feast of Stephen, won the Teddy for best short film. The plot description of the four-minute short reads: “A young man watches a group of teenagers playing basketball. Suddenly the four lads chase him and start terrorizing him. Or so it seems.” The Feast of Stephen features Remy Germinario, Ty Anania, Louis Anania, Phil Naess, and Theo Saluan.
Franco was also represented by another gay-themed film, Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's Howl, shown out of competition.
And finally, the Teddy Jury Award went to Jake Yuzna's Brave New Worldish Open, about a young hermaphrodite who hits the road with a couple who has undergone plastic surgery so as to resemble one another and thus become a single entity of sorts. Along the way, they meet a transsexual who falls in love with a young punk and gets pregnant.
The Berlinale website describes Open as “a film about hormone treatments and surgery; a film that also unveils a new kind of human being. Pioneers in the world of transcending human experience, authentic hermaphrodites and transsexuals all join forces to present on screen the possibilities that are emerging for humankind at the outset of a century that has barely begun.” Also in the cast: Jendeen Forberg, Tempest Crane, Morty Diamond, and Daniel Luedtke.
Photos: Courtesy of the Berlin Film Festival; The Kids Are All Right (Suzanne Tenner / Overture Films)