Viewed through the LGBT gaze

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS - TARA BRADY

GAZE IN­TER­NA­TIONAL LGBT FILM FES­TI­VAL Hav­ing scooped awards at Sun­dance, Berlin, and Ed­in­burgh, there’s a huge buzz around Fran­cis Lee’s God’s Own Coun­try, a semi-au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal, York­shire-set Broke­back Moun­tain.

But if you can’t score tick­ets for that, you’re still spoiled for choice at the 25th Gaze LGBT Film Fes­ti­val. With The 34th, di­rec­tors Linda Cullen and Vanessa Gildea have fash­ioned an Ir­ish ver­sion of The Case Against 8, a chron­i­cle that be­gins with the KAL case (Kather­ine Zap­pone and Ann Louise Gil­li­gan) and ends with the his­toric yes vote on 22nd May 2015.

Other hot docs in­clude Jef­frey Sch­warz’ The Fab­u­lous Al­lan Carr, Tris­tan Fer­land Milewski’s bulges-ahoy cruise ship di­ary Dream Boat, and S Leo Chi­ang and Johnny Sy­mons’ Out Run, a bi­o­graph­i­cal portrait of Bemz Bened­ito, the leader of the world’s only LGBT po­lit­i­cal party who is striv­ing to become the first trans­gen­der woman in the Philip­pine Congress.

We Love Queerama, Daisy Asquith’s ex­em­plary col­lage spliced from 100 years of archive ma­te­rial on gay and les­bian lives, fea­tures such ar­chaic ques­tions as “What do les­bians ac­tu­ally do”’, equally ar­chaic med­i­cal di­ag­noses (“I think the dam­age is very of­ten done in child­hood”) and the wry songs of John Grant.

Os­car-nom­i­nated di­rec­tor David France’s new film The Death and Life of Mar­sha P John­son probes the mys­te­ri­ous death of the tit­u­lar trans and gay New York ac­tivist, whose body was found float­ing in the Hud­son River in 1992. Eva Orner and Chris McKim’s Emmy-win­ning Out of Iraq re­counts the won­der­ful true story of Nayyef Hre­bid and Btoo Al­lami, two Iraqi sol­diers who fell in love but were forced to part when Btoo be­came the tar­get of an hon­our killing.

John Tren­gove’s The Wound is an af­fect­ing drama about a con­flicted young South Africa of the Xhosa lin­eage.

There are wel­come shades of The Wicker Man about The Dark Mile, in which a Lon­don les­bian cou­ple (Re­becca Calder and Deirdre Mullins) em­bark on a sail­ing trip through the Scot­tish high­lands, only to en­counter pubs that fall silent when they enter, al­tars to the Celtic god Cer­nun­nos, ret­i­cent lo­cals, and a mys­te­ri­ous black barge. There’s a wel­come op­por­tu­nity to re­visit Neil Jor­dan’s ground­break­ing The Cry­ing Game, which is also cel­e­brat­ing its sil­ver an­niver­sary.

The com­plex­ity of fe­male sex­u­al­ity and fa­mil­ial ties are var­i­ously ex­plored in Hui-Chen Huang’s Small Talk, Uisenma Borchu’s Don’t Look at Me That Way, Lisa Gor­nick’s The Book of Gabrielle, and He­lene Hege­mann’s punk­ish teen drama Ax­olotl Overkill. Icons Alan Cum­ming, Touko Laak­so­nen, and Ar­mis­tad Maupin are re­spec­tively rep­re­sented by After Louie, Tom of Fin­land and The Un­told Tales of Ar­mis­tead Maupin. For more, see gaze.ie.

Clock­wise from above: The Death and Life of Mar­sha P John­son, After Louie, God’s Own Coun­try and Out of Iraq

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