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Everybody’s Talking About Jamie | Official Trailer ...

 

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is an upcoming 2021 LGBT musical drama film directed by Jonathan Butterell (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Tom MacRae and Dan Gillespie Sells, based upon the musical of the same name, inspired by the real life story of Jamie Campbell. The film stars Max Harwood, Richard E. Grant, Sharon Horgan, Lauren Patel, Shobna Gulati, Sarah Lancashire, and Ralph Ineson.

BFI: London Film Festival 2020...Our coverage

BFI London Film Festival 2020by David Anderson Cutler

It's our favourite time of the year...LONDON!!!

Bugger...we're not going to be in London [physically]...but, we will be....in spirit, with Gin.

Our watch-list has been finalised...[don't be so silly] of course, there will be a few minor tweaks, changes, additions and subtractions...but, these are [some of] the films that will occupy our multiple senses for the next 12 days...

Join us, watch along...agree/disagree, debate/argue, praise/protest...just email us at [email protected] if you want your comments to appear on this page...

Let the festival begin... 


Day 1...

The DiscipleThe Disciple
by Chaitanya Tamhane

Knowing absolutely nothing about Indian classical music, The Disciple - on paper - presents itself [for an non-aficionado] as a rather 120-minute daunting task. But, yet...it has something rather alluring. So, with open mind and heart...hoping to be educated...perhaps, [even] enlightened...the ticket bought, the embarkation began.

There is an awful lot of 'singing' - had no idea if it was good or bad, heard many a flat note and many a weird run...in truth, it all sounded discordantly similar. But...that is the point of the film, to the untrained ear...this music cannot be appreciated. Even, to those trained ears, some [people] cannot differentiate between the sublime and the mediocre! Critics...they really are monsters!

This disciple is mediocre...who has sacrifices a sizable chunk of his life to the dedication of this ancient art-form. To become a cause célèbre means little notoriety, less renown and the financial dividends are meagre. The is an art-form for the worthy...success and appreciation are modest. Quick fame and fortune are not an option...and, this is where the film switches up a gear...this ancient art-form [actually] can be modernised, can create fame and fortune. Like everything...evolution is in command, those who don't embrace it are left behind and, eventually, become extinct.

One of the most surprising elements to Chaitanya Tamhane's film is...this disciple is a rather unpleasant chap...single-minded, dedicated...and, talentless. A scathing statement is made without any subtlety whatsoever. This is an in-your-face message...evolve, adapt...or die. Hey, it happened with Latin!

A finely directed film...with performances to match. It's not exactly pleasant...but, it certainly makes a stoic point...against elitism...and, for evolution. 

Kajillionaire

Kajillionaire
by Miranda July

Off-beat, down-beat...call it what you will. Kajillonaire will certainly divide opinion...we absolutely loved it.

Basically, this is a lesbian love story that takes its time [it has the same kind of vibe as Little Miss Sunshine]...and, that time is taken up by the ludicrous and the inspired. Bubbles [aka the leak]...would you live in a place that leaked bubbles?!? Lots [and lots] of bubbles!?! Miranda July was certainly thinking [way] outside the box when she came up with that one...hey, filmmakers, that's what gets you noticed...thinking outside of that box! Surprise the critics, energize their flummoxed asses...we all want fresh...this is deadpan fresh.

The comedy is sleight...it's more visual than visceral...that [in itself] is how clever this film is...this is not about feelings. This is about learning to feel, about wanting to feel...about wanting to be wanted...to be felt. Evan Rachel Wood goes way beyond what you would expect...the thrice Oscar nominated Debra Winger...well, she delivers a downplaying, deadpan masterclass.

In truth, you'll either get Kajillionare or not...those lucky enough to get it...will understand. 

Mangrove
by Steve McQueen

The question is: Why has it taken so long to bring this story to the big screen? Institutional embarrassment perhaps!?! Probably...that is, until someone had the balls to tell it to a new generation. Steve McQueen not only has the balls, he has the talent to do this story the justice it deserves.

The role of the 'beat' police officer has changed [rather radically] throughout the years. Once admired, latterly feared...now, if you can find one, tolerated [wholly dependent upon the neighbourhood]. Mangrove is set during the nadir of public opinion regarding their not-so-friendly beating Bobbies. The main culprit being the contemptible and corrupt PC Frank Pulley - a foul officer who couldn't progress further in the Force - because he couldn't pass the Police examination. So, with his limited intelligence...he bullied, intimidated and terrorised the Black community of Notting Hill. How he avoided dismissal from the force is a prime example of institutional cronyism...that still exists today. Will we [as in 'they'] ever learn!?! 

After the essential background, Mangrove becomes a riveting courtroom battle. Heralding that well-used phrase: The law is an ass. Indeed, to some, it may be...usually those who lose. Rather than the law being an ass, the writers has shown the beauty of the law when intelligence is applied to it. The 'ass' here is the procedure and the pomposity of those who practice and malpractice it! Some of the monologues - courtesy of the transcript - are, truly, inspiring and deeply emotional.

'Truth and Reconciliation' was Nelson Mandela's [noble] mantra...reconciliation will always be difficult without justice. There are many who have evaded justice - here, most notably, PC Frank Pulley...isn't about time we named, shamed and blamed these people publicly...for the continuing sorry state of affairs that was then and, is, ashamedly...still now.

Of course Black Live Matter. Black histories matter. Mangrove matters.


Day 2...

DaysDays [Rizi]
by Ming-liang Tsai

An example of slow cinema. In this instance...excruciatingly slow.

The film is book-ended by two immensely static shots...first, the opening, an older man stares out of a window [accompanied by an indescribable cacophony]...it's motionless and goes on for far too long. You would be forgiven in thinking that the film is stuck, buffering...but, there is no little buffering sign. Second, the ending, a younger man waits at a bus stop...for an absolute eternity, for a bus that never arrives. The end.

What goes in-between...domestic doldrums. It all leads to the highlight of the film...a same-sex, inter-generational, possibly gay4pay [possibly not] 20 minute, erotic massage...replete with the happy ending, Well, he did pay for it. The only problem is...it's not, in the slightest, erotic. Neither is it pornographic...for that we can be thankful, but it might have spiced things up a bit! There is minimal dialogue...and, the little there is...is deliberately un-subtitled. Oooh...it's that filmmakers' pretension reigning [redundantly] supreme.

Days is 2 very long hours of relentless tedium. 

HerselfHerself
by Phyllida Lloyd

Possibly inspiring...but, to be truly...inspiring, innovation and invention need to be two vital ingredients, not just luck!

A self-build story that is built against a backdrop of domestic violence and socio-economic disparities. The socio-economic strand is a little difficult to accept...Herself is a cleaner for a wealthy doctor who gives her a chunk of her garden and a loan to build a house. The domestic violence is difficult to watch...but is, by far, the film's power...especially the long-term effects it has on children.

The Law gets a bit of a bashing...surrounding custody issues. But...Family Law is [and will always be] an unpredictable minefield of trip-wires. A child's safety is first and foremost...all avenues, all sides of the story have to be investigated to ensure that safety. This is where the film falters a little...he is an absolute swine of a man...but, does he have a legitimate cause for concern? Of course he does...but, the writers simply paint him as a spiteful, vengeful thug. However...they do deliver a line that every lawyer should heed: Ask better questions!

Herself is competent...in all departments. It just needed that special moment...when you just want to stand up, punch the air and cheer. A story that really did deserve a more satisfying [visual] ending.

Honeymood

Honeymood
by Talya Lavie

On paper...this sounded like a bland, newly-wed rom-com. On screen...it's works like a charm. 

She, the newly-wed bride, is the Crème brûlée of high maintenance. He, the regretful groom, is the Brighton rock of indecisive dependence. Together, they are a mis-match...separately, they may [or may not] be pining for their respective exes...who met at their wedding and - seemingly - hit it off! She's as jealous as Hell...he, not so much [or, is he?].

Everything takes place over the course of one unimaginable night...a night that is crammed and stuffed with both the plausible and the wildly implausible. Talya Lavie drives her story straight down the daft street, round the roundabout leading to dark, murky alleyways...and, back again. Her imagination went into overdrive...and, without Avigail Harari, it all could have gone horribly wrong. She delivers a relentless force comique - a dizzying delight.

A surprising film...for all the right reasons!

The Painter And The Thief

The Painter and the Thief
by Benjamin Ree

There's nothing stranger than fact...especially when you manipulate the situation to your advantage! Ever heard the Francis Bacon and George Dyer myth? No? Watch Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon - or, watch this! They are remarkably similar!

Restorative justice is contentious at the best of times, even more so in the worst of times. Where - on that spectrum - does The Painter and the Thief lie? This is not about finding forgiveness for murder or violence...2 paintings were stolen by a relatively unknown artist. They meet...obviously, the artist wants to know where the paintings are...and, the thief hasn't a clue - due to his drug addled state! But...in his drug addled state, had the ability to meticulously remove each [rather large] painting from their frames...nail-by-nail, rather than by cutting! A few warning bells do ring throughout the film - why is she [the artist] being so kind? Why is she so gullible?

Look...if this thief had been a podgy wee man with no teeth, no hair and no personality...it is highly unlikely that she would be asking him to model for her! Karl [the thief] is a bad boy, a cheeky chappy, a lovable rogue...and, not too unpleasant on the eye! It's a relationship that is equally fascinating and bamboozling to watch. And that's the warning bell that really chimes...this is all being filmed. Is this a grandiose publicity stunt? The cynics may think so.

Whatever you may think...the final shot will make your jaw drop to the floor. The answer...is a little chilling, a touch creepy...wholly sad and painfully truthful.


Day 3...

Shirley

Shirley
by Josephine Decker

Eeew...what utterly ghastly people! Academics playing mind-games...it's both unpleasant and compelling.

The only question that has to be asked: What would Shirley Jackson have to say about this fictional account of herself and her life? A helluva lot...if this depiction is anything to go by. Her venom would be spewed - quite rightly - into the faces of those responsible.

By all accounts, she was neither bisexual nor lesbian - why portray her as such? This whole project - book and film - has that shabby stink of slash/fan-fiction about it - the writer of the book, Susan Scarf Merrell never met Ms Jackson...so, she created her own version of her! Why? Not only is this plagiarising someone's life...which is pretty bad form...but, to create such falsehood is downright disrespectful, irresponsible...even criminal. 

It really is difficult to say anything complimentary about this film...yes, it is well-acted...but, with such erratic direction [and the concept as a whole]...not even the acting can save poor Shirley's reputation. 

RelicRelic
by Natalie Erika James

Indeed...a metaphorical horror that needed less metaphor and more story.

3 generations, 3 states of mind...and too much mother/daughter rivalry. Just get on with the horror! Patience...this is akin to waiting for the kettle to boil [powered] by candle-light. Does the patience pay off? It does...if you want to be unsubtly smacked repeatedly across the face by a great big giant metaphor...then, this is terrifying.

Dementia is terrifying...alas, this film is not. It is a debut feature by writer/director who directed better than she wrote...surprising when you see the litany of producers...none of whom employed their right to a re-write!

An above average film...in terms of where it is destined to be seen...The Horror Channel.


Day 4...

Mogul Mowgli

Mogul Mowgli
by Bassam Tariq

Perhaps...the performance of the festival. Riz Ahmed gives it absolutely everything.

 

 


I Am Samuel

I am Samuel
by Peter Murimi

The most weirdly framed documentary seen in recent times! 

The film opens with graphic, gut-wrenching and horrific footage...of a public, ultra-violent, homophobic attack. Seemingly, these kind of attacks are a common occurrence in Nigeria. Peter Murimi certainly sets the tone of his film, from the off...this is not going to be pleasant. However, it ends with two, gay, grown men [joyfully] playing Hide & Seek...

What lies in between the harrowing start and the happy ending is...more bizarre than uninteresting. This is NOT about that poor man so brutally attacked and humiliated. This is not about that poor man's recovery. This is about Samuel...who was not brutally attacked...but, as he says himself, it could have been him! But...it wasn't.

Samuel's story is nothing surprising, it's the same-old same-old...tradition and religion doing their very best to screw up people's lives. Only, they actually don't screw up his life...after a bumpy moment, when his parents 'see the light' and cast him out...a couple of weeks later, after a phone-call, they are reunited and all is hunk dory. He even takes his partner to meet them and they end up playing hide and seek. The end.

Mr Murimi missed the boat with this one. Why he chose Samuel's story to tell is a question only he can answer. There was a roomful of young gay men, living in Lagos, living in fear...their stories sounded far more interesting than the one told. It really was a case of: Choose your [main] subject more wisely!

Siberia

Siberia
by Abel Ferrara

Laden with symbolism and mysticism...the result is a cryptic, incomprehensible mindf&*k!

Not got much to say about this...simply because, had no idea, not even an iota of what was going on. It's a dream, Abel Ferrara's dream...and, just like every other dream, it's personal and really doesn't need to be shared. 

Yes...the cinematography is fantastic. Some of the imagery is inspired and controversial, well, it wouldn't be a Ferrara film without the obligatory controversy...and, alas, it all amounts to a monumental anti-climax. Make what you will of it...many have slapped their own interpretations down on paper...as futile as buying a cheap paperback entitled: Understand Your Dreams!

Only Abel Ferrara understands what the Dickens is going on. 

Sound for the Future
by Matt Hulse

A toe-curling vanity project...bamboozling as to how and why this got funded by both Creative Scotland & England...

 


Day 5...

Never Gonna Snow Again

Never Gonna Snow Again
by Malgorzata Szumowska & Michal Englert

Is he the second coming or just a masseur with gifted fingers?


Supernova

Supernova
by Harry Macqueen

Be still my broken heart...two seasoned pros, do what they do best: Act.

 

Industry
by Lena Dunham, Tinge Krishnan & Ed Lilly

Think: Billions...with more grit, spit and sex!  


Day 6...

Cicada

Cicada
by Matt Fifer & Kieran Mulcare

Troubled and damaged...a bisexual hypochondriac bares and shares his soul!

 


UndineUndine
by Christian Petzold

A modern take on an old myth...it's quietly potent! 

 

 


Day 7...

Bloody Nose Empty Pockets

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
by Bill Ross IV & Turner Ross

Not pretty...nor, unfortunately, is it very interesting, unless you enjoy watching people get absolutely plastered!

 

 
Rose

Rose
by Jennifer Sheridan

This certainly keeps you guessing...could have benefited from a little more backstory, just a few holes that needed plugging.


Day 8...

If It Were Love

If It Were Love
by Patric Chiha

A dance film that needed more dance!

 

 

 

 Bad Tales

Bad Tales
by Fratelli D'Innocenzo

Life in the suburbs...painted with cruel brushstrokes and incredible bad taste.

 

Shadow Country

 

Shadow Country
by Bohdan Sláma

Last year, London Film Festival presented the harrowing The Painted Bird...this is an equally tortuous companion piece. 

 


Day 9...

Another Round

Another Round
by Thomas Vinterberg

This is not just an emotional rollercoaster ride...but, one very special film indeed.

David Byrne's American UtopiaDavid Byrnes American Utopia
by Spike Lee

Seeing this at 9am was not ideal...dancing just after 9am made my day come alive. This film will make you come alive...genius.


Day 10...

New Order Possessor 

Limbo

by Ben Sharrock

 

 

 

 


Day 11...

Friendships Death 1987 The Human Voice


Day 12...

Ammonite

 

Lovers Rock
by Steve McQueen

It’s A Sin l New drama from Russell T Davies...

Coming in 2021 to Channel 4...

Star, Olly Alexander said:

‘I feel like the luckiest boy in the world to be a part of this project. I’ve been a fan of Russell T Davies ever since I watched Queer As Folk in secret at 14 years old.

‘His work helped shape my identity as a gay person so I’m absolutely over the moon we’ll be working together. The script was amazing to read, I laughed and I cried a lot, it’s a privilege to be helping to tell this story and I’m so excited.’

THE CRAFT: LEGACY - Official Trailer...

In Blumhouse’s continuation of the cult hit The Craft, an eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers.

Written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones, the film stars Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna, Nicholas Galitzine, with Michelle Monaghan and David Duchovny. Blumhouse and Red Wagon Entertainment are producing the film for Columbia Pictures.

MOGUL MOWGLI trailer...

Bassam Tariq’s visceral directorial debut, co-written with Riz Ahmed, finds a British-Pakistani rapper’s life spiralling out of control when, on the cusp of success, he succumbs to a debilitating illness.

Discover the full programme for this year's BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express – taking place 7 to 18 October 2020 in cinemas across the UK and online: https://bfi.org.uk/lff

NEW AMERICAN DREAM...

by

John Cameron Mitchell and Justin Craig, ft. Amber Martin

NEW AMERICAN DREAM - John Cameron Mitchell and Justin Craig, ft. Amber Martin from New American Dream Music on Vimeo.

The first single from "New American Dream," a two-part distance-defying, community-built benefit album recorded during lockdown with 40+ pro bono collaborators - all proceeds benefitting BURRITOS NOT BOMBS FOOD BANK, TRANS-GI JUSTICE PROJECT and the DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING SCHOLARSHIP TRUST FUND. The "New American Dream" single is now available for download ($3 suggested) and the first 9 songs for preorder ($15 suggested) at newamericandream.bandcamp.com .

QUEER LION AWARD 2020...

Queer Lion 2020And the nominations are:

The World to Come by Mona Fastvold (Usa, 98’, 2020)
Cast: Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Christopher Abbott, Casey Affleck
1850: in a farm in the State of  New York, Abigail and Dyer just lost their only daughter to diphtheria. Still grieving, Abigail meets Tally and her husband Finney, her new neighbors. The two women thus form an increasing bond of intimacy and passionate devotion. Once their husbands start to understand the intensity and nature of their relationship, the situation soon gets out of control.
Presented in Venezia 77

Śniegu już nigdy nie będzie (Never Gonna Snow Again) by Małgorzata Szumowska, Michał Englert (Poland, Germany, 113’, 2020)
Cast: Alec Utgoff, Maja Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza, Weronika Rosati, Andrzej Chyra
Poland. A masseur from Ukraine enters the daily, dull lives of the wealthy residents of a closed community. In spite of their wealth, these people look sad and bored. The hands of the newcomer heal them, his eyes seem to pierce their souls. To them, that man’s Russian accent sounds like a song from the past, a memory of their childhood. Zhenia, this is his name, will change their lives.
Presented in Venezia 77

Und morgen die ganze Welt (And Tomorrow the Entire World) by Julia von Heinz (Germany, France, 101’, 2020)
Cast: Mala Emde, Noah Saavedra, Tonio Schneider, Luisa-Céline Gaffron, Andreas Lust
Luisa, a 20-year-old law student, joins a cell of the Antifa group when she and her friends Alfa and Lenor get to know about an upcoming attack planned by a local neo-Nazi gang. As they try to find out more, the three youngsters delve deeper into the scene linked to right-wing movements and their political connections, to the point where they will understand how much they are willing to go further, in order to defend their own beliefs.
Presented in Venezia 77

Laila in Haifa by Amos Gitai (Israel, France, 99’, 2020)
Cast: Tsahi Halevi, Maria Zreik, Khawla Ibraheem, Bahira Ablassi, Naama Preis, Hana Laszlo
The film was shot entirely in a nightclub, with an adjoining contemporary art gallery, whose customers are both Israelis and Palestinians, in one of Israel’s most open cities, Haifa. A long night in a place where the most diverse people meet: Jews, Muslims, gays, heterosexuals, transvestites; and three women, who in that multifaceted microcosm, a gathering peaceful hideout, can find shelter from male bullying and arrogance.
Presented in Venezia 77

Terrain by Lily Baldwin, Saschka Unseld, Kumar Atre (Usa, Germany, Switzerland, 45’, 2020)
Terrain is a journey into the Bardo: an otherworldly space between lives where we find an array of souls from across the world. We slip and at once fall in, leaving the everyday behind. This docu-dream is a story without words using the language of movement. Through a vivid and surreal landscape, each person encounters a series of distinct individuals and slowly rediscovers a larger collective body. Terrain is a dancing unison of difference. Our bodies bridge gaps between worlds, and with this we invent a new kind of non-verbal truth. This new interconnectedness propels us back to life again, essentialized by our shared sense of interbeing.
Presented in Venice Virtual Reality

Tengo miedo torero (My Tender Matador) by Rodrigo Sepúlveda (Chile, Argentina, Mexico, 93’, 2020)
Cast: Alfredo Castro, Leonardo Ortizgris, Julieta Zylberberg, Sergio Hernández
Amid the political turmoil during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile in the 1980s, a mature queer lady engages in a risky clandestine operation after falling in love with a guerrilla who asks her to hide dangerous secrets of the revolution at home. Film adaptation of the first and only novel written by essayist, chronicler, and novelist Pedro Lemebel, iconic figure of the LGBT culture.
Presented in Giornate degli Autori

Saint-Narcisse by Bruce LaBruce (Canada, Belgium, Luxembourg, 101’, 2020)
Cast: Félix-Antoine Duval, Tania Kontoyanni, Alexandra Petrachuk, Andreas Apergis
Canada, 1972. Dominic, 22 years old, has a fetish… for himself. Nothing turns him on more than his reflection, with much of his time spent taking Polaroid self portraits. When his loving grandmother dies, he discovers a deep family secret: his lesbian mother didn’t die in childbirth and he has a twin brother, Daniel, raised in a remote monastery by a depraved priest. The power of destiny brings back together the two beautiful, identical brothers, who, after being reunited with their mother Beatrice, are soon embroiled in a strange web of sex, revenge and redemption.
Presented in Giornate degli Autori


Films out of competition...

The Human Voice by Pedro Almodóvar (Usa, Spain, 30’, 2020)
A loose adaptation of the original theatrical monodrama by Jean Cocteau, on which Pedro Almodóvar worked for decades. A desperate woman (Tilda Swinton) awaits for the phone call of the lover who just abandoned her. It’s Almodóvar’s first english-spoken project. Swinton/Almodóvar, two worldwide icons of both Cinema and Queer Culture, paired for the first time.
Presented in Fuori Concorso

Nattåget (The Night Train) by Jerry Carlsson (Sweden, 15’, 2020)
Oskar is on the night train, heading home after an interview in Stockholm. With a long night ahead of him, he makes eye contact with Ahmad. For the first time he meets the gaze of someone who feels the same desire as he does.
Presented in Orizzonti

The Return of Tragedy by Bertrand Mandico (France, 24’, 2020)
Two policemen interrupt a secret ceremony: a woman being disembowelled at the bottom of a garden to let out her inner beauty. This situation is presented in a variety of ways and all possibilities are explored.
Presented in Orizzonti

Queerskins Ark by Illya Szilak, Cyril Tsiboulski (Usa, 17’, 2020)
Reading a diary left by the estranged son she has lost to AIDS, a Catholic mother (Hadley Boyd) living in rural Missouri finds a way to transcend her self and her grief by imagining him alive and in love. With heart-wrenching performances by Michael DeBartolo and Christopher Vo in volumetric video and the storytelling potential of spatial sound, Ark allows you to enter her imagination and co-create the lovers’ intimate dance through your body position and movements. An Intel Studios Original co-produced with Cloudred.
Presented in Venice Virtual Reality

Gravidade VR by Fabito Rychter, Amir Admoni (Brazil, Perù, 15’, 2020)
Gravidade VR is a wild ride through a chaotic world. In this experience you follow the last moments of two men (brothers? friends? loving partners maybe?) while free falling for 15 minutes. An emotional and thrilling journey in a surreal universe with no ground beneath your feet. A parable, a fable, an interactive experience.
Presented in Venice Virtual Reality

En ce moment (In this moment) by Serena Vittorini (Italy, 15’, 2020)
In This Moment is a love story involving two young women during the lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They meet and fall in love, then the world shrinks around them, and their relationship is concentrated in one place and time. The film shows their attempts to express their own emotions and needs in a series of moments oscillating between intensity, suffering and passion.
Presented in Giornate degli Autori

Miu Miu Women’s Tales #19 – Nightwalk by Małgorzata Szumowska (Italy, Poland, 9’, 2020)
It’s nighttime in Warsaw, Poland. Two very different homes. In one, a father is slovenly stretched out on a sofa, watching sports, expecting his son to be everything he is. In another apartment, all clean modern, an affluent mother sits to have dinner with her daughter, who isn’t like her at all. Simultaneously, both the boy and the girl embark on a night journey of transformation, where they shed their inherited gender layers. The city streets become a catwalk of liberation. When they meet, by chance – face-to-face, body-to-body – they wordlessly mirror each other with comfort and assurance.
 Presented in Giornate degli Autori

J’ador by Simone Bozzelli (Italy, 16’, 2020)
Rome. Claudio is 15 years-old. Someone is writing “J’ador” on his forehead because he smells like a little girl. It’s Lauro, eighteen-year-old, leader of a group made of guys claiming to be fascists and doing a lot of things for a far-right party. Claudio wants to go with them to the “dinner”, but only those who belong to the group can join it, and not the little girls like him. If he truly wants to achieve his goal, one afternoon Claudio must lose its boy scent and learn how to smell like a man.
Presented in Settimana Internazionale della Critica


Queer Lion this year pays tribute to “The Children’s Hour”, the 1961 masterpiece directed for the screen by William Wyler and based on the play by Lillian Hellman.

In the reimagining, illustrated by Francesco Gangemi, Karen and Martha – bound for a different epilogue in the movie – live a long, happy life and lovingly age together.

SPUTNIK Official Trailer...

The lone survivor of an enigmatic spaceship incident hasn't returned back home alone-hiding inside his body is a dangerous creature.

Releases August 14, 2020

BFI London Film Festival announces new format for 2020 edition...

The BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express today reveals its plans to deliver an edition of the Festival from 7-18 October 2020. In the most accessible version of the festival to UK audiences yet, film lovers will be given an opportunity to connect for a unique and innovative festival experience, enjoying both live and digital screenings across the 12 days of the Festival.

Adapting to the extraordinary challenges of the year, the Festival will deliver up to 50 Virtual Festival Premieres in a programme that offers audiences the opportunity to see the best new cinema from around the world and with that same texture LFF’s audiences love, including fiction, documentary, animation, artists’ moving image, and restored classics from the world’s archives. Every film will be presented with an intro or Q&A, and the programme will also include a range of free-to-access additional works and events to include: an international short film programme, Screen Talks with major filmmakers and actors, salons and roundtables and a brand new Virtual Exhibition of XR and Immersive Art.

Industry and Media delegates will also have access to a rich professional programme, also delivered digitally.

In another new innovation, twelve highly anticipated new films from the programme will screen in previews across the UK, in partnership with UK-wide cinemas networks that deliver great independent and cultural films for audiences all year long, including London’s BFI Southbank.

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director, said:

“No year this momentous could beget an ordinary BFI London Film Festival. Like many other live events around the world, we’ve had to make changes to our plans in response to a global pandemic, factoring in safety concerns and restrictions – some known, some still unclear. But as we’ve undergone this planning in the last month we’ve also witnessed major international protests, a stark reminder of just how much we need to do to combat racism and inequality.

This year has also given us an opportunity to think creatively about how we make the Festival more accessible. It was vital to us that we get back to cinemas, and are looking forward to working with independent and cultural venues across the UK, who are such an essential part of our film ecosystem. The Virtual LFF programmes and these cinema screenings take the Festival out across the UK, giving audiences opportunities to engage in different ways. It’s a pleasure each year to speak with audiences who share the ways filmmakers have made them laugh, think, weep, or shifted their way of seeing. Through a number of partnerships and platforms, we can’t wait to share many of this year’s extraordinary new films – from around the world, from artists of different backgrounds and with many bold distinctive filmmaking voices.”

At the heart of the 2020 edition, LFF Virtual features 50 screenings online, with each film scheduled to premiere at a particular time and include additional elements such as exclusive Q&As with filmmaking talent and programmers, online salons and discussions around films. Many of the films will include subtitles and Audio Description for audiences with access requirements. 

The feature film programme will be complemented by a wide range of digital talks and events, which will be free to access, including LFF Screen Talks, which offer in-depth conversations with some of the world’s most influential filmmakers and major on-screen talent. Short films from around the world will also be free to view and the Festival’s previously announced XR and Immersive Art strand will also debut this year, with works that can be experienced in a variety of ways online, with and without headsets.

Through LFF in Cinemas, the 2020 edition of the BFI London Film Festival will also support UK exhibitors with a great range of new programming as they welcome audiences safely back. Anticipating many cinemas will be open during the Festival window, the LFF will partner with exhibitors in the BFI Film Audience Network and other key cinemas and venues around the UK to offer audiences up to 12 exclusive previews from the Festival. These films will also preview at the Festival’s flagship venue BFI Southbank and select other London cinemas over the Festival period.

As a one-off for this edition, we’ll ask our audiences to take the place of the Festival’s official jury. Viewers attending Virtual LFF will be invited to vote on Audience Awards in four categories: Best Fiction Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Film, and Best XR.  The winners will be announced in a live online ceremony on the final weekend of the Festival. Now in its fifth year, The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI returns, benefitting an outstanding first or second time British writer, director, or writer/director. The recipient of the award, which is the most significant of its kind in the UK film industry and awarded annually, will receive £50,000.

The 2020 edition of the LFF will retain its distinctive strands, which offer audiences many ways of exploring the programme: Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Create, Family, Treasures and Experimenta. The new XR and immersive Strand will also be delivered online and will be free to access, with audiences able to explore a virtual gallery, experience different XR projects and join in bespoke talks and events.

The LFF Press & Industry Programme will also move online – UK and International delegates will have access to preview screenings via a secure viewing library, opportunity to attend online buyers and sellers’ meetings and enjoy a delegate exclusive programme of talks and events. The Critics Mentorship Programme – designed to encourage a more representative range of critical voices – and new talent programmes run in conjunction with BFI Network, BFI Film Academy and BAFTA will also return this year, providing access and support for aspiring and emerging creatives and new industry professionals.

The full programme will be announced at an online launch on 8 September 2020.

Ava | Official Trailer...

Ava is a deadly assassin who works for a black ops organization, traveling the globe specializing in high profile hits. When a job goes dangerously wrong she is forced to fight for her own survival.

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Common and John Malkovich

Directed by: Tate Taylor

Queer Eyes – documentaries from the RAI collection...

The Royal Anthropological Institute and the RAI Film Festival are delighted to team up with Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest throughout July this year in celebration of Pride.
The RAI has an extensive catalogue of documentary films which showcase the variety and diversity of human life across the world. Throughout the next month we will be holding screenings of 3 key documentaries which welcome us into the lives of different queer communities around the world, followed by a public Q&A hosted by Fringe! to explore some of these central questions of gender, identity and sexuality through the lens of different cultures.

PROGRAMME

Dream Girls
dir. Kim Longinotto & Jano Williams, 1993, 50 mins
The amazing world of the Takarazuka Revue, the all-female theatre troupe in Japan.
Watch film for free: Thursday 25 June – Thursday 2 July

Get your ticket HERE for the live Q&A on Wednesday 1 July, 8pm.
(Pay what you can, with a minimum donation of £1.00).
Featuring guest speakers Kim Longinotto (director), ShayShay (drag artist) and Jennifer Coates (Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies, University of Sheffield)

This is My Face
dir. Angélica Cabezas Pino, 2018, 57 mins
Using the power of photography, a group of HIV+ men open up about the illness that changed their life trajectories.
Watch film for free: Thursday 2 July – Thursday 9 July

Sign up HERE for the live Q&A on Wednesday 8 th July, 8pm, featuring guest speakers Angélica Cabezas Pino (director), Will from PrEPster, a London-based HIV prevention organisation and Roberto Tovar from Número de Serie, an organisation that promotes the use art and design to build new bridges of communication around HIV activism.

Mirror Mirror
dir. Zemirah Moffat, 2006, 58 mins
London’s legendary Bar Wotever is a club that welcomes all genders and sexualities.
Watch film for free: Thursday 9 July – Thursday 16 July.
Sign up HERE for the live Q&A on Wednesday 15 July, 8pm.
Featuring guest speaker Zemirah Moffat (director).

Films will be available to watch for free in advance for a week, and then please join us for the live Q&A sessions every Wednesday at 8pm. You’ll be able to submit your questions/ comments to the panel speakers through an online forum.

This series of screenings is part of Film FeelsConnected, a UK-wide cinema season, supported by the National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network.  Explore all films and events at filmfeels.co.uk 

Relic - Official Trailer...

Directed by: Natalie Erika James

Starring: Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin & Bella Heathcote

RELIC tells the story of Edna (Robyn Nevin), an elderly and widowed matriarch who goes missing, and her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) who must travel to their remote family home to find her. Soon after her return, they start to discover a sinister presence haunting the house and taking control of Edna.

We Are One: A Global Film Festival...

Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube jointly announced today We Are One: A Global Film Festival, an unprecedented 10-day digital film festival exclusively on YouTube, bringing together an international community of storytellers to present festival programming for free to audiences around the world. Set to begin on May 29 on YouTube.com/WeAreOne, the festival will feature programming curated by the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival, International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), Jerusalem Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, and more, immersing audiences in stories from around the world and providing a voice for filmmakers on a global stage.

Core to the DNA of film festivals is the belief that artists and creators have the power to bring people together and create meaningful connections during a time when the world needs it most. Through We Are One: A Global Film Festival, audiences will not only get a peek into different cultures through a new lens, they’ll be able to support local communities by directly donating to organizations helping the relief efforts for those affected by COVID-19. The festival will benefit the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as local relief partners in each region.

"We often talk about film's uniquely powerful role in inspiring and uniting people across borders and differences to help heal the world. All of the world needs healing right now,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “We Are One: A Global Film Festival unites curators, artists and storytellers to entertain and provide relief to audiences worldwide. In working with our extraordinary festival partners and YouTube we hope that everyone gets a taste of what makes each festival so unique and appreciates the art and power of film."

"One of the most unique and inspiring aspects of the world staying home is our ability to come together and experience an event as one, and We Are One: A Global Film Festival is just that," said Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer, YouTube. "Along with Tribeca Enterprises and our incredible partners, we are bringing fans the opportunity to experience the curated programming each of these festivals provides as part of our ten-day long event. It's an event that's never been done before and we're proud to be the home for this fantastic content that is free to fans around the world."

“We are proud to join with our partner festivals to spotlight truly extraordinary films and talent, allowing audiences to experience both the nuances of storytelling from around the world and the artistic personalities of each festival,” said Pierre Lescure, President of the Cannes Film Festival, and Thierry Frémaux, Cannes Film Festival General Delegate.

We Are One: A Global Film Festival will run from May 29 - June 7 on YouTube.com/WeAreOne. Programming will be available for free, and will include films, shorts, documentaries, music, comedy, and conversations. A full schedule will be available closer to the festival start date.

Papicha - Trailer...

Algeria, 1990s. Nedjma, an 18 year-old student passionate about fashion design refuses to let the tragic events of the Algerian Civil War to keep her from experiencing a normal life and going out at night with her friend Wassila. As the social climate becomes more conservative, she rejects the new bans set by the radicals and decides to fight for her freedom and independence by putting up a fashion show.

Directed by : Mounia Meddour

The Old Guard | Official Trailer...

Forever is harder than it looks. Led by a warrior named Andy (Charlize Theron), a covert group of tight-knit mercenaries with a mysterious inability to die have fought to protect the mortal world for centuries. But when the team is recruited to take on an emergency mission and their extraordinary abilities are suddenly exposed, it’s up to Andy and Nile (Kiki Layne), the newest soldier to join their ranks, to help the group eliminate the threat of those who seek to replicate and monetize their power by any means necessary. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Greg Rucka and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (LOVE & BASKETBALL, BEYOND THE LIGHTS), THE OLD GUARD is a gritty, grounded, action-packed story that shows living forever is harder than it looks.

Coming to Netflix on July 10.

Babyteeth - Official Trailer...

When seriously ill teenager Milla falls madly in love with smalltime drug dealer Moses, it’s her parents’ worst nightmare. But as Milla’s first brush with love brings her a new lust for life, things get messy and traditional morals go out the window. Milla soon shows everyone in her orbit – her parents, Moses, a sensitive music teacher, a budding child violinist, and a disarmingly honest, pregnant neighbour – how to live like you have nothing to lose. What might have been a disaster for the Finlay family instead leads to letting go and finding grace in the glorious chaos of life. Babyteeth joyously explores how good it is not to be dead yet and how far we will go for love.

The Painter and the Thief - Official Trailer...

Desperate for answers about the theft of her 2 paintings, a Czech artist seeks out and befriends the career criminal who stole them. After inviting her thief to sit for a portrait, the two form an improbable relationship and an inextricable bond that will forever link these lonely souls.

BFI Flare 2020...Our Virtual Coverage...

FLARE 20 Header

by David Anderson Cutler

Day 1...

Cicada

Sadly [and quite rightly], Flare 2020 has been cancelled...but, the good folks at the BFI have sent us a few of the films that would have been screened...so, we're going to have a 'virtual coverage' of the festival...as a token of our respect for all their hard work [it ain't easy organising a festival of this size]...and, of course, much gratitude to all the filmmakers who have allowed their films to be viewed via the digital platform. We thank you all.


Day 2...

Ask Any BuddyAsk Any Buddy
by Evan Purchell

Review coming soon... 

 

 

Pain And GloryPain & Glory
by Pedro Almodóvar

It took a while...but, the wait is finally over...Pedro Almodóvar is back...with - without a shadow of doubt - inarguably, his best [and most mature] film [to date].

It happens to everyone, when we reach a certain age...those moments of reflection and recollection that continually [and gently] lap into your consciousness. Memories, part forgotten, always remembered...of lost lovers, faded friends, youthful mistakes and temporary triumphs. Oooh...the pain...that has acquiesced into a tolerable regret. Aaah...the glory of those yester-happy-days, feasts for thought...with side dishes of smiles and tears. Life...what a wonderful, arduous journey it is.

Señor Almodóvar captures it all and covers it all...with cinematic glory. This is a beauty to watch. A gem to listen to...and, a bitter-sweet thrill to experience. When autobiography is mixed with tragic fiction...those lines [of truth] become [all] fuzzy with feeling. Flashbacks to the idyll of childhood pitted against the reality of the now...Penélope Cruz [simply] dazzles, Antonio Banderas [ruefully] embraces...the memories, the decline, the here-and-now...with drug-addled dignity, suffering and suffrage. This is a performance not to be missed, this is an actor's finest moment.

Both human and inhumane...compare and contrast, the ravages that make life so hard-line and fine...this is what Señor Almodóvar has achieved.

The highest [really, the pinnacle] of praise.

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
by Céline Sciamma

As delicious as it gets! This is direction!

Céline Sciamma's back catalogue is mightily impressive, especially her writing. But, with this portrait, this [daring] auteur leaps out of her comfort zone and jumps into the world of period drama and romance...

And, breathtakingly, reveals her alarming [an enviable] artistry...too few films have, too many directors forget [or, are incapable of]...the artistry. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is paint-by-emotion...

This is a film to watch and feel. There are no deafening abstractions, there are no unnecessary words...all that there is...is craft, precision and delicacy. It just seems so effortless...and, as a result, becomes as immersive as any film can be.

What's more startling...this is a political film...without the throat-ramming politics! This is feminism...without the adjunct aggression. But...there is anger...and, as resigned as it is...it's there, knee-deep in the futility of the situation. This about familial expectations and reluctant acceptance...this is about love...unmentionable, unexpected, intolerable, intricate love. Nothing last forever...but, as long as it lasted for a time...no-one can take that away. This bittersweet, cinematic memory.

A tear-inducing beauty.

For They Know Not What They Do Clementine Drag Kids Queer Genius Young Hunter We Are The Radical Monarchs 


Day 3...
You Dont NomiYou Don't Nomi
by Jeffrey McHale

Definitely...a film for a small niche market...to be part of the intended audience:

1. You have to have seen Showgirls.

2. You have to have either loved, liked [or - at least - appreciated] what Paul Verhoeven was trying to say!

3. You have to be able to - willingly - digest absolute fantasy...courtesy of Adam Nayman and his book: It Doesn’t Suck: Showgirls - without which, this film would probably never have been made.

The big question is: Does Jeffrey McHale's [almost] academic reappraisal - of one of the worst films ever made - manage to change hearts and minds? No, it's a simple as that!

No amount of analysis, re-analysis and proselytizing will change the fact that Showgirls is...garbage. Apart from some archive footage, Paul Verhoeven does not take part...shouldn't the man - himself - defend his own film instead of these two flunkies?!?

Without his input, You Don't Nomi  is reduced to nothing more than mere [flunkey] fandom...and, just like its inspiration, is laughable...for all the wrong reasons. Still, there's no getting away with the massive amount of work that went into this...an obvious labour of love!

Make UpMake Up
by Claire Oakley

Review coming soon... 

 

 

Pier Kids Busy Inside No Hard Feelings


Day 4...

And Then We DancedAnd Then We Danced
by Levan Akin

T-R-A-D-I-T-I-O-N!!!

Where [exactly] did tradition get us? Absolutely nowhere, that's where! Okay, okay...a slight concession [for the purists]...it's a good place to start [evolution] from! Evolve...we must.

Levan Akin's film is startling...in its view of [toxic] masculinity within a context that turns its back against any form of toxicity...the world of dance. But, in Georgia...a country landlocked by tradition, constrained by conservatism and dominated by religious devotion...dance is manly, dance is tradition. Dance does not deviate from its origin.

This is a country that sits on a geographical crossroads...and, as Western influences unrelentingly flow in, the strict orthodoxy is being challenged...by the youth...and, by the President who has declared his desire to join the European Union. In 2000, Georgia adopted the Council of Europe's standards relating to the decriminalisation of homosexuality. However, homophobia is a major cause for concern...the Georgian Orthodox Church does not shy away from expressing its [absolute] revulsion of homosexuality.

So...this is where a young, gay, talented dancer finds himself...quite literally, stuck between a rock and a hard place. He finds [requited] love, a [reviled] community and [repressed] expression...he is the 'new' Georgia...with an unenviable fight on his hands.

That fight is expressed through a sensational dance routine...a dance that pays homage to the tradition while daring to evolve. It is dazzling.

And Then We Danced is not an easy watch...but, it is absolutely gripping from start to finish. There are moments of joy, of cruelty, of anger, of frustration, of heartbreak and sadness...of determination...by a determined young man. Levan Gelbakhiani, a professional dancer, in his first film role, simply excels in the vast array of emotions that his character is forced to face, manage and, possibly, conquer.

Levan Akin's film is the voice of the disgruntled. It's bold and brave and beautiful. Easily, one of the finest films of the year.

BooksmartBooksmart
by Olivia Wilde

Deat oh dear...oh dear!

Booksmart seems to have divided the camps...what's not to like about this jolly, light-hearted teen romp?

The dissenters have compared it to being a female version of Superbad - is that such a bad thing?!? Is geek-dom the sole domain of the geeky boy? Of course it's not!

Where Superbad was - and will always remain - cruel, loathsome and misogynistic...Booksmart is bright, likeable and entertaining. And, it's not as wholesome as you may think...two best friends with differing sexualities...have realised they have [seriously] missed out with their all-work-and-no-play ethos...well, the time has come for change. Their virginities are going...just as soon as they find out where the party-of-parties [actually] is!

Cue a few mad moments and a few mad encounters - Noah Galvin is sociopathically hysterical - but, will all their dreams come true?

Olivia Wilde rattles through each scenario, adding [unnecessarily] a few goofy bits here and there...however, the laughs come aplenty...with one particularly brilliant guffaw...and one 'oh my'!

Behind all the silliness, there are a few stabs at the 'Snowflake' generation, judging a 'book' by its cover...and, taking life [just a bit] too seriously.

It's not exactly a wake-up call..nor will it melt a few Snowflakes...it's semi-wholesome entertainment with a subtle [sexy!] edge.

All in all...rather delicious.

Matthias & Maxime

Matthias & Maxime
by Xavier Dolan

Xavier, Xavier, Xavier...where have you been?

After a cacophonous and dissenting win at Cannes with the divisive It's Only the End of the World [although we loved this film]. And, following the full-on flatulent disappointment of The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, Monsieur Dolan [thankfully] returns to what he does best...with one almighty problem!

That 'problem' is none other than that old chestnut itself...being too close, doing too much. The importance of a script editor can never be exaggerated...M&M desperately needed one to shave off all the unnecessary bristle. In John F. Donovan, Monsieur Dolan infamously cut Jessica Chastaine from the entire film [he lost quite a few Hollywood Brownie points with that manoeuvre]...if he had employed that same tactic with M&M, by cutting out the entirely unnecessary scenes with Harris Dickinson...and, by listening to and acting on a script editor's advice, M&M would have been a far better film than it is.

Saying that...M&M is [still] a fine film...with so much heart and wounded soul. Boys born on different sides of the tracks...friends with aspirational benefits, friends destined to become so much more. Monsieur Dolan infuses his character with a decent, deep-down delicacy...he is everything that Matthias is not and vice versa. Yet, they fit. Their relationship is as lovely as it is frustrating to watch...with their histories concluded and their futures yet to be decided...this is all about will they or won't they.

All Matthias & Maxime needed was a closer shave to be more of a marvel than it already is...!

Jack & YayaJack & Yaya
by Jen Bagley & Mary Hewey

Review coming soon...  

 

 

My FionaMy Fiona
by Kelly Walker

Review coming soon... 

 

 

Our Dance Of Revolution

Our Dance of Revolution
by Phillip Pike

Review coming soon... 

 

 

BloodSisters  Midnight Kiss Transkids  Spiral


Short films...

I Am My Mother’s Child

Love, Sex and Other Emotions

Dance Like Everyone’s Watching

Past Imperfect


Day 5...

Sequin In A Blue Room Justine


Short films...

School of Life

Catching Feels


Day 6...

A Dog Barking At The MoonA Dog Barking at the Moon
by Lisa Zi Xiang

Winner of the prestigious Teddy Award' with a few other trophies to keep Ted company...and, inexplicably, regaled - by some - as an outright masterpiece!

Throw a dollop of paint onto the nearest wall and watch it dry...there, that's just as interesting/entertaining as watching 107 minutes of this slow, painfully repetitive, practically static, unnecessarily muddled dirge to/comment on traditional Chinese family values and Chinese society as a whole...told by one diasporic auteur.

This is Lisa Zi Xiang's first film...more homily than homegrown. Present...are all the usual suspects, the mother with anger issues, the doormat father, respect and shame, matching and marriage...and, the kind of 'why-did-you-marry-that-foreigner' racism that seems to [always] avoid criticism. The 'foreigner' in this instance is Thomas Fiquet's Benjamin, the husband...as impotent a character could ever be and - quite possibly - one of the most ineffectual performances ever to disgrace the big screen. Fortunately, Thomas Fiquet's screen-time is limited, saving him from complete embarrassment...sorry, but acting ain't your thing. Or, is it a case of bad direction? Whatever...the character of Benjamin serves only as a wasted opportunity.

As does that of the father...again, minimum screen-time and the crux of the story! Discovered by his wife...fumbling with a [much] younger male student! Indeed! Well, as you would imagine, the proverbial hits the fan...only, in this instance, the proverbial misses the fan [completely] and lands sloppily on the floor...to be trodden on, over and over again.

Yes...there is a great premise here...tradition, homosexuality, communism, religion [with modernity and migration having their say too]...they all go together like oil and water! Explosive ingredients...the only problem is Lisa Zi Xiang...with her [infuriatingly] static camera, she focuses on her [yes, this is autobiographical] mother's immersion into a Buddhist cult. The 'gay' father barely gets a look-in, apart from the mother refusing to divorce him [all that family shame] and declaring him to be [frustratingly for her] impotent for years! Erectile dysfunction is no laughing matter...but [especially with the little blue pill in existence], this should have been the joke of all jokes...there's nothing wrong with his willy, it's you! And, yet one more wasted opportunity...his homosexuality: Nature or [spousal] nurture? Discuss!

Add to all these wasted opportunities, moments of directorial madness, Lisa Zi Xiang takes her [now long lost] audience out of the [presumed] reality and into the theatre...of the absurd. You couldn't make this stuff up...and, she didn't...this is her autobiographical, theatrical whimsy...and, the biggest wasted opportunity of all...is that of her mothers' - she had the biggest secret, she held the story in the palm of her hand...and, sadly, her daughter let it slip through her [inexperienced] directorial fingers!

But, hey, what do we know? Winner of the prestigious Teddy Award'...and, regaled - by some - as an outright masterpiece!

The Prince Memories Of A Teenager


Short films...

At the Brink of Dawn


Day 7...

Moffie

Moffie
by Oliver Hermanus

When a filmmaker hits the nail on the head, capturing an experience, a memory, something that will resonate deep within...that is a filmmaker who demands and deserves attention.

This goes out to all the 600,000+ boys and men who were conscripted during the South African Border War which lasted for 23 years, 6 months, 3 weeks and 2 days.

This goes out to all the men who remember their first instances of same-sex attraction...Oliver Hermanus captures that moment with harrowing perfection and precision.

Way before the nude-infested internet, a naked man rarely [mostly never] appeared on screen. Swimming pool changing rooms were the place where young [gay] boys could - furtively - glimpse at a mature naked man. It was thrilling, dangerous, heart-thumping...and, breath-taking. Being 'caught' was unimaginable...because, we really did not know what we were really doing...but, we knew it was [somehow] wrong. It was an amalgamation between looking, wishing, hoping and desiring. It was curiosity and innocence all rolled into one...it's all here, in Moffie.

And...this goes out to all those boys and men who ended up in Ward 22. A 'hospital' where gay and conscientious objectors were 'treated' by Aubrey Levin...a man most foul.

Here's to the survivors of that war and of Ward 22...and, here's to the dead on both sides. It's time for your stories to be told...Christiaan Olwagen's [exceptional] Canary brought South Africa's contemporary history to a new audience. Oliver Hermanus continues the story...two very different films, different voices...both, mighty fine films of the same inexhaustible story.

Easily, one of the best films to come out of 2019.

And, finally...here's to all those who opposed Apartheid. Let your voices and stories continue to ring out!

Ellie & Abbie T11 Incomplete


Short films...

Unite to Fight


Day 8...

Two Of Us

Two of Us
by Filippo Meneghetti

Perfectly laid plans crushed by reluctance, secrets and circumstances [and people] beyond your control...this is Filippo Meneghetti's [mighty] debut feature.

This is poised and elegant film-making. A film that will rip at your heartstrings and make you consider the bigger picture...if this was you, what would you want? When decisions are taken away from you...what else have you got left?

Life is all about choices...you pick and choose, rightly or wrongly, rejoice or regret...and, with age, there is the opportunity to take stock, to reflect, to smile, to grimace...perhaps, even, to make amends.

Two of Us delivers many a potent message...

Don't dilly-dally, grab the bull by the horns...before it's too late. Because, you never know when it's too late!

Be prepared for the unthinkable...because, sad but true, the unthinkable invariably [and eventually] happens.

Respect your mother, her life, her wishes, her past, her secrets, her wishes.

And, finally, respect those who love those you love.

This is a monumentally mature piece of work...graced by two precise and comparative performances. Opposites attract and the hand fits perfectly inside the glove...this is love...in all of its joy and terror.

This is immaculate and heartbreaking film-making...merci pour cela.

Queering The Script Changing The Game Flawless Lingua Franca Steelers 


Day 9...

Monsoon

Monsoon
by Hong Khaou

Story-telling takes on many forms, Hong Khaou has his own style and voice...infused with delicacy and, surprisingly, [considering the many themes explored] serenity. Quite easily, Monsoon could have slipped into a melodramatic deluge of emotion...thankfully, it doesn't. Instead, we are given room to think, moments just to watch a process of exploration and self-realisation. This is a carefully constructed mood, a thoughtful sense of being. The three tenses are given a voice...past, present, future...as are the conditionals...what could/should/would have been/be...as for the future...well, that all depends on the here and now...those 'ifs' - this all sounds terribly complex and that is the innate beauty of this film, Hong Khaou manages to demystify the complexity...via a gentle and poised performance by Henry Golding...

Monsoon may [or may not] sweep you away emotionally...but, it will linger...asking - politely - where are you? Where is your place? Where will you end up? Not many filmmakers are bold enough to ask such questions...Hong Khaou does, politely.

A lovely, careful film.

Rescue The FireRescue the Fire
by Jasco Viefhues

Review coming soon... 

 

 

Keyboard Fantasies

Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story
by Posy Dixon

Review coming soon...  

 

Disclosure La Leyenda Negra  


Short films...

Depth of Perception


Day 10...

Dont Look Down

Don't Look Down
by Olivier Ducastel & Jacques Martineau

Odd...strangely compelling...but, definitely odd...in an absurdist sort of way.

Olivier Ducastel & Jacques Martineau seem to be channeling Jean-Paul Satre, there's a whiff of his 'No Exit' surrounding Haut perchés - so, you wouldn't be wrong in thinking that an existential vibe permeates throughout this peculiar offering. Not everyone's cup of tea and - quite possible - not everyone's cup of coffee either...it is a challenging bit of work that would have benefited more from the few [rather bizarre] scenes of levity...the 'flossing' scene is an instant, weirdly and insanely out-of-place [in a good way] classic. The film just needed a bit more of that insanity.

Saying that...this is an insane film...and, considering there is only one set [an apartment with a rather lovely Parisian rooftop view], the cinematography is slick and colourful. The performances...each character has their moment...and, can't be faulted. It's an interesting, technically accomplished film...it [too] has its moments, it just needed more of them and, perhaps, a few less words.

Anne Anne+
by Valerie Bisscheroux

Review coming soon... 



The LawyerThe Lawyer
by Romas Zabarauskas

As they say, practice should always allow room for improvement [if it doesn't, it's time to give up]...this is Romas Zabarauskas' third feature...and, as a filmmaker, he has improved...exponentially. But, as they say, there's always room for more improvement...when an auteur finds their cinematic voice, it's time to dispense with those [film-school-ish] gimmicks...let that voice be heard without the bells and whistles.

The Lawyer will resonate and ruffle [quite a few feathers]...Mr Zabarauskas is - hallelujah - not afraid to give the 'snowflake mentality' a bit of a slap across their collective chops...whether it be trans issues, identity, gay4pay, bisexuality, migration...basically, all those hot topics à la mode - he presents quite a feast of controversy...all served [deliciously] without [even a hint of] indignant melodrama. Well done!

Nothing is quite what it seems...nor, is anyone quite who they seem. On the surface, there are clear [and cloudy] motives...but, are they so cut-and-dry? Who - really - is pulling whose strings? This really is a rather splendid game of understated cat-and-mouse...obviously, the lawyer is perceived to be the puppet master. But, his 'refugee' puppet is poised and prepared to cut those strings at the best [most beneficial] time. This is intrigue and intriguing to watch...but, when beauty-and-brains are involved [Dogac Yildiz's character has each in abundance], it becomes a powder-keg waiting to explode. The ending does suggest that Mr Zabarauskas has not finished with this story...will there be a sequel?

If there is...keep the intrigue, keep the magnificent use of music, keep the cinematographer, keep the actors. Get rid of the filters, that black-and-white [nonsensical and eye-jarring] gimmick and all those superfluous storylines and scenes...make it more about the puppet and the master, who is who...and then, Mr Zabarauskas, you will have a mighty fine conclusion to your already tantalising story.  

Pride & Protest

Pride & Protest
by Blaise Singh

Review coming soon... 

 

 

Suk Suk A Night At Switch N Play


Day 11...

Sixth Happiness Summerland


Short films...

Wonders of the Universe

Keep on Living

Go Through It


 

FIVE FILMS FOR FREEDOM 2020...

Five Films for Freedom brings distinctive voices from around the globe to screens wherever you are. The line-up of films, which showcases work by emerging filmmakers from across the globe, has been selected from BFI Flare's programme.

Self-expression, homophobia in rural communities, coming out as a teenager, and finding love later in life - this year’s short films look at an intersection of LGBTIQ+ perspectives to explore love and acceptance.

Join us on Twitter #FiveFilmsForFreedom.

Watch the films:

134 (Ireland)

Directed by Sarah-Jane Drummey.

Jack prepares to take the stage at an Irish dancing competition as family members come to terms with their feelings around their child’s gender identity.

After That Party (Brazil)

Directed by Caio Scot.

“Why would he hide something like this from me?”

Leo struggles to approach his father after discovering a secret...

Pxssy Palace (UK)

Directed by Laura Kirwan-Ashman.

“It is more than clubbing. It’s that sense of community where people actually care about each other.”

Writer-director Laura Kirwan-Ashman welcomes you into the world of Pxssy Palace, a London-based QTIPOC (queer trans intersex people of colour) collective and club night.

Something in the Closet (UK)

Directed by Nosa Eke.

“Maddie what about you, which boy do you like?”

A teenage girl is conflicted by her feelings for her best friend. The more she pushes them away, the more her bedroom closet looms over her thoughts.

When Pride Came to Town (Norway)

Directed by Julia Dahr and Julie Lunde Lillesæter

“Growing up gay in a small town wasn’t easy”

Bjørn-Tore left his rural hometown to escape the everyday homophobia he experienced growing up. Decades later he returns for Norway’s first-ever rural Pride celebration. Thrilled to see his neighbours hoisting a pride flag, he hopes that the turn out for Pride is higher than the numbers of anti-pride demonstrators from the local church group.

More about Five Films

A coordinated effort from the British Council’s global network of over 100 countries Five Films encourages people to watch the films in solidarity with LGBTIQ+ communities in places where freedom and equal rights are limited. We ask audiences to share the films using the hashtag #FiveFilmsForFreedom in recognition of the fact that love is a human right.

Since the project began, 14 million people have viewed the films in over 200 countries and principalities, including in all parts of the world where homosexuality is punishable by the death penalty.

We’re so sad that BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival has been cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation, but the digital-only plan to share five of those films through Five Films for Freedom is very much still going ahead. All five films are available to watch now through the British Council’s Arts YouTube channel from 18 – 29 March 2020, free of charge, anywhere in the world.

Working in partnership - and solidarity - with BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival.

Teddy Awards 2020...the Winners...

Teddy Award 2020Best FEATURE Film

Nominees:
– Shirley, dir. Josephine Decker
– Futur Drei, dir. Faraz Shariat
– The Twentieth Century, dir. Matthew Rankin

No Hard FeelingsWinner:
Futur Drei, dir. Faraz Shariat
 
You can read more about the movie on the TEDDY blog and below you can watch an interview with Fariaz Shariat. 

Best DOCUMENTARY

Nominees:
– Petite fille, dir. Sébastien Lifshitz
– Si c’était de l’amour, dir. Patric Chiha
– La casa dell’amore, dir. Luca Ferri

If It Were LoveWinner:
Si c’était de l’amour, dir. Patric Chiha

You can read more about the movie on the TEDDY blog and below you can watch an interview with Patric Chiha. 

Best SHORT Film

Nominees:
– Extractions, dir. Thirza Cuthand
– Untitled Sequence of Gaps, dir. Vika Kirchenbauer
– Genius Loci, dir. Adrien Merigeau
– Playback. Ensayo de una despedida, dir. Agustina Comedi

Playback EnsayoWinner:
Playback. Ensayo de una despedida, dir. Agustina Comedi

You can read more about the movie on the TEDDY blog and below you can watch an  interview with Agustina Comedi. 

 

Days LiangJury Award...
Winner:
Rizi, dir. Tsai Ming-Liang

You can read more about the movie on our blog

 

No Hard FeelingsReaders’ Award...
Winner:
Futur Drei, dir. Faraz Shariat 

 

 

Welcome To ChechnyaACTIVIST Award...
Winner:
Welcome to Chechnya, dir. David France

You can read more about the movie on the TEDDY blog and below you can watch an interview with David France.

 

Pinocchio | Trailer...

A faithful adaptation of the well-known story of Pinocchio, to which Matteo Garrone has added a unique visionary dimension. Pinocchio’s world is simultaneously real and fantastic – this is an Italy redolent of the earth, the sea and the farmyard.

Halston First Look with Ewan McGregor

A new limited series about the legendary American designer Halston, born Roy Halston Frowick, is officially in the works. Simply Halston will chronicle the rise and fall of the designer who helped define the 1970s and 1980s fashion scene, and in many ways became a celebrity himself. Ewan McGregor will play the designer, in addition to being executive producer on the project.

 

BFI FLARE 2020: SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS...

Flare20BFI FLARE: LONDON LGBTIQ+ FILM FESTIVAL

BFI Flare: Opening Night Gala – World Premiere CICADA

18th March 2020 at BFI Southbank

BFI Flare: Centrepiece Screening – UK Premiere DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN

26th March 2020 at BFI Southbank

BFI Flare: Closing Night Gala – UK Premiere SUMMERLAND

28th March 2020 at BFI Southbank

London, Friday 14th February 2020 – The BFI is delighted to announce the Special Presentations of the 34th edition of BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival (18th – 29th March at BFI Southbank), supported by The Pureland Foundation. Two are first features: Matt Fifer and Kieran Mulcare’s Opening Night Gala CICADA and Jessica Swale’s Closing Night Gala SUMMERLAND; and the Centrepiece Screening of DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN is directed by documentary filmmaker Sam Feder (Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger).

CicadaThe World Premiere of Matt Fifer and Kieran Mulcare’s CICADA opens the Festival on Wednesday 18th March. When Ben (Matt Fifer) and Sam (Sheldon D. Brown) randomly meet whilst browsing discount books at a street stall, they form an instant connection. But as they slowly let their guards down and reveal intimate details about their lives, both begin to recognise the need to confront past traumas if they are to truly let the other person in. 

DisclosureThe Centrepiece Screening of Sam Feder’s DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN will take place on Thursday 26th March. DISCLOSURE is an unprecedented, eye-opening look at transgender representation in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender. Leading trans thinkers and creatives, including Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Mj Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton and Chaz Bono share their reactions and resistance to some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments, tracing a history that is at once dehumanising, yet also evolving, complex, and sometimes humorous.

SummerlandThe Festival will close on Saturday 28th March with Olivier Award-winning playwright and theatre director Jessica Swale’s feature debut, SUMMERLAND, starring Gemma Arterton and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.  In Kent, England 1940, fiercely independent writer Alice (Gemma Arterton) secludes herself in study: occupied by her work but also profoundly lonely, haunted by a love affair from her past. When spirited young Frank (Lucas Bond), an evacuee from the London Blitz, is dumped into her irritable care, his innocence and wonder awaken Alice’s deeply buried emotions.  Bravely embracing life’s miraculous unpredictability, Alice learns that wounds may be healed, and that hope and second chances do exist.

Michael Blyth, BFI Flare’s Senior Programmer said: With Matt Fifer and Kieran Mulcare’s CICADA and Jessica Swale’s SUMMERLAND, we are thrilled to be showcasing the works of three extraordinary new directorial voices for our Opening and Closing Night films. Alongside the Centrepiece screening of alumni filmmaker Sam Feder’s fascinating documentary DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN, this trio of Special Presentations beautifully reflect the richness and diversity of contemporary queer cinema.

The Festival is thrilled and very grateful that the Pureland Foundation returns as the Main Supporter of BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival. This year marks the third year of their critical and generous support.  This partnership is established in a shared commitment to empowerment and social wellbeing, which the Foundation so resolutely represents.

CICADA was developed with the support of Tribeca Film Institute’s TFI Network. Not only did Matt Fifer write the film based on his own experiences, he also stars and co-directs with Kieran Mulcare. CICADA is produced by Jeremy Truong and Ramfis Myrthil. The Film Collaborative is handling international sales.

Executive produced by Laverne Cox and produced by Sam Feder and Amy Scholder, Sam Feder’s DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN reframes familiar scenes and iconic characters in a new light, provoking a startling revolution in how we see and understand trans people. International sales are being handled by The Film Collaborative.

Written and directed by Jessica Swale, SUMMERLAND is an intensely emotional journey of womanhood and self-discovery, love and friendship.  Produced by Guy Heeley and Adrian Sturges, the film stars Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lucas Bond, Dixie Egerickx and Sian Phillips, and is distributed by Lionsgate UK.

The full programme for BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival will be revealed on Tuesday 18th February.

Oscar 2020 Nominations & Winners...

Oscars2020

Winners for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced Sunday, February 9. The ceremony will air on ABC without a host.

Best Picture
“Ford v Ferrari” (Disney/Fox)
“The Irishman” (Netflix)
“Jojo Rabbit” (Fox Searchlight)
“Joker” (Warner Bros.)
“Little Women” (Sony)
“Marriage Story” (Netflix)
“1917” (Universal)
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony)
“Parasite” (Neon)

Best Director
Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”)
Todd Phillips (“Joker”)
Sam Mendes (“1917”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”)

Best Actor
Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”)
Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”)
Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”)
Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”)

Best Actress
Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”)
Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)
Renee Zellweger (“Judy”)

Supporting Actor
Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”)
Al Pacino (“The Irishman”)
Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”)
Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Supporting Actress
Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Florence Pugh (“Little Women”)
Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”)

Adapted Screenplay
Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Steve Zaillian (“The Irishman”)
Anthony McCarten (“The Two Popes”)
Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”)
Todd Phillips and Scott Silver (“Joker”)

Best Original Screenplay
Rian Johnson (“Knives Out”)
Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”)
Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns (“1917”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won (“Parasite”)

Animated Feature
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“I Lost My Body”
“Klaus”
“Missing Link”
“Toy Story 4”

International Feature Film
“Corpus Christi”
“Honeyland”
“Les Miserables”
“Pain and Glory”
“Parasite”

Best Documentary
“American Factory”
“The Cave”
“Edge of Democracy”
“For Sama”
“Honeyland”

Best Cinematography
“The Irishman”
“Joker”
“The Lighthouse”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Best Costume Design
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Joker”
“Little Women”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Film Editing
“Ford vs. Ferrari”
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Joker”
“Parasite”

Makeup and Hairstyling
“Bombshell”
“Joker”
“Judy”
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
“1917”

Original Score
“Joker”
“Little Women”
“Marriage Story”
“1917”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Original Song
I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “Toy Story 4”
“I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
“I’m Standing With You,” “Breakthrough”
“Into the Unknown,” “Frozen 2”
“Stand Up,” “Harriet”

Production Design
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Parasite”

Sound Editing
“Ford v Ferrari”
“Joker”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’

Sound Mixing
“Ad Astra”
“Ford vs. Ferrari”
“Joker”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Visual Effects
“Avengers: Endgame”
“The Irishman”
“The Lion King”
“1917”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Documentary (Short Subject)
“In the Absence”
“Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone If You’re a Girl”
“Life Overtakes Me”
“St. Louis Superman”
“Walk Run Cha-Cha”

Short Film (Animated)
“Daughter”
“Hair Love”
“Kitbull”
“Memorable”
“Sister”

Short Film (Live Action)
“Brotherhood”
“Nefta Football Club”
“The Neighbor’s Window”
“Saria”
“A Sister”

Glasgow Film Festival 2020...

Glasgow20 Banner

...by David Anderson Cutler

FrightFest-2020Glasgow Film Festival: Wednesday, 26 February 2020 until Sunday, 08 March 2020

FrightFest Glasgow: Thursday, 05 March 2020 until Saturday, 07 March 2020


It's that time of the year...when we brace ourselves and head North...to the warmth of the Glasgow Film Festival. As per usual, there is a staggering array of films with LGBT themes, characters and issues. Some will surprise, some will shock, some will make you howl with laughter...and, some will make you weep like there's no tomorrow.

So...we've lined up 40+ films to watch over the next 12 days...when it's this cold outside, there's no better place than to be all warm and comfy inside a cinema, glued to the screen! Let the show begin...


26 February / Day 1...

Proxima@GFF20Glasgow Film Festival 2020Proxima
by Alice Winocour

Juggling parenthood, an impending divorce and a career...not just any old career...but, that of an astronaut...it's a tough job with tough decisions...and they all centre around her daughter. The big question is: Will she or won't she go...to the final frontier...and, perhaps, beyond to Mars!?!

This is a journey of [often raw] emotion rather than an intergalactic jaunt. It will disappoint those expecting to see the first [human] foot on Mars...but, it will resonate with women who have had to choose between career and child[ren]. The thing that makes this film tick is...this not about money and success. This is about living life and mortal risk. Some will argue that she is being selfish rather than selfless...towards her child. Others will applaud her achievement and bravery. But...what is achievement and bravery in the mind of a child? She just wants her mum...and, her mum just wants to leave the planet!

Two-thirds of the film is a fascinating exploration into a departing mother's psyche...alas, in the final third, it succumbs to unnecessary sentimentality that rattles at the core of plausibility. Quarantine does not have a revolving door!

Still...Eva Green delivers a cut-throat performance, slicing down a sexist Matt Dillon. She has that steely determination, an obvious requirement to make it to the final frontier...all that was missing was a razor sharp conclusion...one that highlights the sacrifices some people make to get where they want to be. Proxima swerves towards the having and the eating of the cake...with only a hint of ruthlessness...that ruthlessness should have been a great big in-your-face cherry on top!


27 February / Day 2...

Invisible LifeInvisible Life
by Karim Aïnouz

Sometimes...when you walk into a cinema, pick a film at random...you are transposed into other lives, other stories...and, it can be magical. Invisible Life is magical...and, heart-warming...and, heart-breaking. This is story-telling at its absolute finest.

Two sisters separated...by a mistake. A mistake that any young woman can fall prey to...rose-tinted love! When that tint starts to wear off...reality hits. It's the 1950s, Brazil...with an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy, Guida returns [from Greece], hoping [needing] to be welcomed back into the family sanctuary...but, no. Because of her father's shame, she is thrown to the wind and her memory dissolved. Only her sister keeps her memory alive...and she has no idea that she returned...or, even, where she is.

What follows is an imagined, two--way communication between the sisters...one with words, the other with music. Both are desperate, both are beautiful. Karim Aïnouz captures that proximity of being so-near-but-so-faraway with skin-tingling precision...at one point, you can actually hear the audience holding their breaths...waiting to release those collective gasps...with a 'finally' - this is the power of a director who knows how and when to manipulate an audience. It is truly thrilling...even down to Eurídice's husband, is he a good man or a bad man? Their wedding night will have you on the edge of your seat...it's an incredible balance between farce, fear and the feral!

This is the good, the bad, the ugly...and, the beauty of humanity...all rolled into 139 deeply immersive minutes. It's a joy. It's a heartbreak. It's story-telling the way it ought be. And...the piano playing is out of this world.

VivariumGlasgow Film Festival 2020 - Vivarium PremiereVivarium
by Lorcan Finnegan

Mind-blowing...and, a little perplexing...because, Vivarium gets to its destination [rather early on] and never leaves...oooh there has got to be some kind of deep and meaningful [totally hidden] message...and all will be revealed in the final scene...surely?

After a promising start and a scene-stealing performance by Jonathan Aris...it all becomes a little repetitive. They are given a baby, who they are supposed to raise...to be released! Well, the baby grows at an alarming rate, screams the house down when he doesn't get what he wants, pretends to be a dog...and, remains nameless and unloved.

Jesse Eisenberg smokes and digs a hole. Imogen Poots moans and utters "I am not your mother" [often]...and, the kid keeps on growing. How will it end?

The moral of the story...absolutely no idea...other than, if you are ever given a baby to raise...let all those paternal and maternal instincts kick in [without reserve]...name it, love it, protect it, dote on it. With this self-absorbed couple, not one of those human instincts did kick in...they deserved everything they got. Oooh...was that the moral of the story?!?

You will either love it or loathe it.

RialtoRialto
by Peter Mackie Burns

A no-frills [or thrills], premature mid-life crisis...played out with neither respite nor humour...nor, [a much-needed] backstory. Other than a hint of that old cliché...distant, domineering father and a repressed, overly protective mother...resulting in...you can guess the rest.

Colm is 46, in a sexless marriage [perhaps, not loveless], with a daughter, an absolutely horrible 19 year old son, a recently deceased [and despised] father, a needy mother, looming [obligatory] redundancy, a few suicidal tendencies and a drink problem. Happy days! Wait...there's more, he's also [strangely] besotted with a gay4pay [yawn] 19 year old rentboy. Their [sexual] encounters and his infatuation form the crux of the story. It really is a case of...what you see is what you get. There is no [much-needed] scratching below the surface. Is this [just] his mad half hour? Or, has he done this before? Or, will he do it again? Or, will he simply regress back into his sexless marriage?

Story-telling is reliant on why things happen, why people do the things they do...Rialto doesn't explain the whys! And when Colm says the [horrendous] things he says to his [horrible] son...well, there's no coming back from that intractable and unretractable place! And that is exactly where the film should have started...everything before, the run-up, could have taken 15 minutes to tell...followed by this knockout punch and the subsequent fallout and the decimation of a family. It wouldn't be pretty...but, there's nothing pretty about this Rialto...it's just too damn pragmatic...rather than being an emotional rollercoaster. Think about it...Colm cheats on his wife with a prostitute [aka survival sex worker]...a boy the same age as his son! This is an emotional minefield littered with IEDs. Yet, the only explosion comes from him! Question: Could you feel any compassion for a man like this? Let's face it...Colm is a working class man in absolute turmoil...he is neither a disgraced politician nor a much-loved celebrity! Was that a bit below-the-belt? The similarities are too striking not to be mentioned!

Peter Mackie Burns has delivered Mark O'Halloran's [rather unadventurous] script as given...adequately, without any bells or whistles. Perhaps, a few bells and whistles would have been welcomed additions...because, this - indeed - is dour, dour stuff.

The True History Of The Kelly Gang

Glasgow Film Festival 2020 - The True History of the Kelly GangTrue History of the Kelly Gang
by Justin Kurzel

Take an historical figure...who has [inexplicably] become an Australian folk hero...turn him and his story upside down...and, shake them all about. Add a twist of fiction to the fact...what do you get? A true history...the revisionists will be either squealing or applauding...depending on their respective raisons d'être - fictionalising fact...or, factualising fiction. No matter, this 'true' history is the visual equivalent of a page-turner.

George MacKay's mulleted 'Ned' is [quite startlingly] all muscle and sinew..with - not only - an eye for the lassies...but, for the laddies too! He leads a motley crew of dress-wearing renegades into all sorts of criminal antics...oh you just can hear the 'Ned Kelly' purists howling [at the screen] in abject horror! Let them howl!

There are villains aplenty...Nicholas Hoult's Constable Fitzpartick is a brothel-appreciating, naked revelation! Essie Davis gives Ned's mother more spit and spite than a venom spouting snake. And, Charlie Hunnam gets his kit off too! And then, there's Ned...beardless and slightly psychotic, tender at times and always determined...Mr MacKay gives him everything...it really is an eye-popping performance.

This is unapologetic grand guignol...a mad, bad and thoroughly entertaining ode to the now mythical Ned Kelly. Take it for what it is and leave your 'history' on the doormat. Absolutely loved it.


28 February / Day 3...

Jesus Shows You The Way To The Highway

Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway
by Miguel Llansó

Sometimes...words are simply not enough! But, hey, who needs words when there is complete and utter madness!

Yes...for this imaginatively titled little film is - quite possibly, without a word of a lie - the goofiest film ever made. It's not for everyone...but, what film is? It really is a case of whether you can enjoy watching actors [with varying degrees of talent] cavort and frolic all over the screen...or, for some, this amount of mayhem is just a little too much to stomach.

There is very little rhyme of reason to JSYtWttH, most of it looks as if it was made up on the spot...yet, there is a semblance of a story - making sense of it is a different kettle of fish. But, hey, not everything needs to make sense. Miguel Llansó has thrown everything - including the kitchen sink, drainer and plug - at this. The cornucopia of characters include a bisexual Batfro...in a cheap, ill-fitting Batman costume with the copyright infringed logo scrubbed out [hysterical].  There are pizzas and Stalin, a drag queen and Robert Redford, kung fu fighters and many, many more.

This is DIY film-making at its very best [or worst]...stitched together from crowdfunding and good will. It truly is a global film with a multitude of nationalities and nations taking part...and, for that fact alone, it should be applauded.

They must have had a ball making it...and, for a few enlightened souls, it is an absolute hoot to watch.

 Roys WorldRoy's World: Barry Gifford's Chicago
 by Rob Christopher

Cool sweet jazz...accompanies wave upon wave of nostalgia.

Just like everyone else, Barry Gifford has a story...but, unlike everyone else, he decided to share his story - via his fictional creation, Roy - with the rest of the world. And now, Rob Christopher attempts to untangle the invisible links between author and character. It's an interesting idea...however, Mr Gifford is alive and well...and, still writing. Why not just ask the man outright...what is real and what's not? That would certainly defeat the point of this film...so, what is the point?

Perhaps, there isn't one. Perhaps, it doesn't need one. 

The beauty of reading is how everyone imagines the same words differently. Many are either delighted or horrified when they see their favorite book brought to cinematic life. The main thrust of criticism is...I would have done it this way...or, I would have done it that way - that's not criticism, it's [just] different imaginations [clashing]. This is Rob Christopher's imagination...he gives Roy's words a voice [he hears], Roy's world a picture [he sees]...it really is a thoughtful and admirable piece of work.

For aficionados of Barry Clifford, for a lost Chicago...and, all of a certain age...this will - most definitely - please.

Simple Women

Glasgow Film Festival 2020: Simple WomenSimple Women
by Chiara Malta

Who said: You should never meet your heroes? Well...if experience is anything to go by, they certainly banged that nail squarely on its head! As does Chiara Malta.

Now...let's address the [beguiling] 'celebrity hall pass' phenomenon [y'know when you are allowed to have sex with a celebrity without any consequences whatsoever]...by way of mere [and simple] extrapolation...how many male football fans would [if they could] have sex with their male footballing heroes? Hall pass! Hall pass! I am not gay! T'is - indeed - an intriguing phenomenon.

Simple Women approaches it...but, doesn't quite nail it down. So...any evidence of a lesbian subtext becomes a little blurry...although it is there, in the background. Instead...Chiara Malta focuses on the dissolution of hero worship...Federica is making a film with her childhood hero, [the real] Elina Löwensohn - who turns out to be a complete pain in the proverbial! Let's hope she was acting...because, the passive aggression is startling.

Everything starts to blur...between truth and fact, what is real and what is not, who is who...it's an intriguing meltdown to witness. It is a fascinating premise to ponder - especially with Elina playing an Elina. A truly ambitious feature debut...that, perhaps, needed the same amount of thought that went into the initial idea...for the rather sudden and unexpected ending.

Glasgow Film Festival 2020

Martin Eden
by Pietro Marcello

Nothing is quite as it seems in Pietro Marcello's anachronistic re-telling of Jack London's semi-autobiographical tale.

Set in Naples and delivered with the same kind of flare and style...that the Italian neorealists brought to the screen way back in the 1940s, Martin Eden is tribute and testament to the Italian film industry, both past and present. The temptation to wax lyrical about the cinematic language used to convey the politics and philosophy of the story has been a little too over-powering for quite a few reviewers...does anyone really want an overly verbose analysis? No, not really. All that anyone really wants to know is...is it any good? Yes, it absolutely is.

Luca Marinelli [as Martin Eden] is all brawn and sensitivity, he wears many shoes and dons many a hat as he makes his way down the path to [his] enlightenment. It really is an extraordinary performance about a man who achieves everything he set out to achieve...namely, respect.

This is Jack London's 'American Dream' put into a different context...with the same result. It's no great secret, knowledge is power...and, we all know what power can do when placed in the wrong hands. Pietro Marcello succeeds where many reviewers failed, he has brought Martin Eden to life without burdening him with many of Jack London's gnawing hypocrisies.

Glasgow Film Festival 2020

Glasgow Film Festival 2020 - Director of Our LadiesOur Ladies
by Michael Caton-Jones

Such good Catholic girls...Pope Francis will absolutely love this! Aye right!

This is teenage sexuality...with nothing held back. These girls know exactly what [and who] they want and nothing, not even a strict religious education/upbringing, will impede their ferocious desire to drop their knickers whenever they want! Sex is - strictly - on their terms...and, although their dialogue is like an exercise in aural pornography, ranging from the crude to the crudest, it's all very refreshing...especially in these #metoo times...well, these ladies will not be taken advantage of...and, those who try, Hell mend them! Oh, and it has to be said...it is bloody funny...at times. Older generations - most certainly - will recoil at some of the frankness.

Glasgow Film Festival 2020: Our LadiesIs is just played for laughs...or, is there a more serious intent? As a statement on the redundancy of catholic teachings - namely, all sexual acts outside of marriage are intrinsically evil - Our Ladies pulls no punches whatsoever, screaming: We're not evil, we're just horny. This is an outright and welcome assault on an institution that not only doesn't know its arse from its elbow...but, has buried its pompous, pious head in the sand for far too long. Celibate men, supposedly virginal, dictating doctrine to women...everyone. Basically, unsubtly, Our Ladies...tell them where to stick it.

And, just to turn that screw, even tighter, something to rustle their cassocks...there's a bit of bisexuality...and, lesbianism! And, this is where the films really shines...a girl at odds with what's she's been taught and told, taking the boldest of steps...to enter the [at first] most daunting of safe spaces...a gay bar. Remember your first time?

This is a film about femininity, friendship and feeling. You will laugh. You will cringe...most definitely, you will cry. Hey, there are no miracles...life is yours, grab it, enjoy it, love it, be it ...and, don't let any man say otherwise.


29 February / Day 4...

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Glasgow Film Festival 2020, Director of GutterbeeGutterbee
by Ulrich Thomsen

Who would imagine that the humble [and delicious] sausage had so much history!?! Well, Urich Thomsen certainly knows so...and, thankfully, he decided to share his acquired knowledge with the rest of us.

It's always a pleasure to sit down and have a wee chat with the director of a film you admire...Gutterbee is a beautifully-shot, often bizarre, totally madcap, [sharp] poke-in-the-ribs at everything we should [all] fight, fear and despise: Racism, homophobia, evangelism, cultural myopia, ethnic cleansing...the list goes on.

Now this all sounds like it's going to be a bit of an arduous trek [for a comedy]. It's not. What makes it even funnier [and more terrifying] than it is...is the fact that Mr Thomsen readily admits that he neither wrote [nor invented] the craziness...it was all there [for the entire world to see] on the internet. He just pieced it together, placed it in America and wrapped a story around it. And...what a story it is...from the opening monologue [full of eyebrow-raising ambiguity] to the closing [sensational] line...and, in between...it's not just sausages, lederhosen and hate...but, love. There is the love that dare not speak its name and a love that is wrought out of wood...oh, and, there's a racist cock too!

It's mad. It's scathing. It's scorching and searing...and then...just when you least expect it, delivers an emotional suckerpunch that will leave you...numb. Absolutely. It's an image that will linger.

Most certainly, Gutterbee will offend many, not only [non-liberal] Americans, but liberal ones too...perhaps, even a few Bavarians. But...it's the people who can't laugh at themselves, who take themselves far too seriously, who ram their outlandish and out-dated beliefs into the faces of other people...these are the people who deserve to be offended. Mr Thomsen has simply shown how ridiculous and dangerous these people are...and, he has done so with unbridled artistry, a wicked sense-of-humour...and, an underlying hint of menace.

Gutterbee should have a place in LGBT film festivals...it is a film that will both challenge and entertain. And, as the director said himself...homophobia has to be avenged. Well, his idea of revenge is not only jaw-dropping...but, utterly eye-watering. His message is loud and clear: Don't get on the wrong-side of Mr Thomsen...he might make a film about you!

Sizzling stuff.

Glasgow Film Festival 2020The Death of Dick Long
by Daniel Scheinert
 

From the man who brought us the bamboozling Swiss Army Man...we expected the unexpected! And, the unexpected was duly served.

Where to start with this one...without giving anything away. It's actually impossible. Three [redneck] friends have a night of drug and drink fueled debauchery...one dies. We're not quite sure the cause of his death...but, the other two dump his body outside a hospital and use the next 50 or so minutes to cover his death up...throw in a couple of bumbling, bungling policewomen...and yes, it does sound all rather Fargo-esque. Then, bang, crash, wallop...the cause of death is revealed...and, the film - quite literally - collapses into a quagmire of distaste.

As you would imagine, with a name like Dick Long...there are many 'dick' jokes...but, please, do not be misled into thinking that this is a comedy - although [strangely] billed as one! This is dark. This really does enter into the realm of the unimaginable...but, if you can get your head around this...this actually happened, it really is one of those WTF revelations!

Daniel Scheinert manages to do the nigh on impossible...helped by an incredible soundtrack, especially using The Avett Brothers' The Weight of Lies - he generates an uncomfortable [and self-questioning] emotion, compassion even. It really is an absolute mindf**k of a film.

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Glasgow Film Festival 2020Love Sarah
by Eliza Schroeder

An innocuous little ditty...with lots and lots of cakes.

After a very powerful start, Love Sarah doesn't really do anything. It kind of ambles along, hinting that there is a bigger story...lurking just around the corner...sadly, it turns out to be a complete dead-end. Talk about anti-climactic!

It's hard to pigeon-hole this film: Is it a rom-com? There is a bit of 'rom'...but, very little in the way of 'com' - Celia Imrie is a little under-used and given very little to work with...she's a comedic gem, use her and her strengths! There are a couple of eccentrics, de rigueur in Notting Hill...but, no-one who rocks the boat...and, this boat needed a bit of rocking.

It's a sweet, safe little film that really will appeal to grannies everywhere. 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Escape from Pretoria
by Francis Annan

Y'know...when a story is this good, it doesn't need directorial bells and whistles. Francis Annan tells it how it is...with an incredible amount of heart-pumping tension...truly, an admirable achievement for this sophomore director.

Who would have thought that a piece of wood [coupled with an exceptional mind] could be the answer to all your prayers!?! This is not one of those quick, jump-over-the-wall sort of escapes. This was a methodical, meticulous, laborious and monotonous sort of escape...with a vital added ingredient, ingenuity. Tim Jenkin [played by Daniel Radcliffe] carved a series of keys out of wood...that took him to the front door of the prison...it's the stuff of which folk heroes are made from...and, Tim Jenkin is a South African folk hero...he stood proudly and resolutely against apartheid...and  received a 12 year sentence for his stance. 

This is exactly why cinema is necessary...to get these stories out there. Mr Annan, now you have told this story...how about part 2: Their escape from South Africa?


1 March / Day 5...

Glasgow Film Festival 2020The Capote Tapes
by Ebs Burnough

Mr Capote in all of his disingenuous glory.

This here film certainly does him little in the way of favours...but, it may fuel fresh interest in this little man of big words. It's part character assassination, part hidden/lost manuscript mystery...definitely entertaining and somewhat controversial...if some of the claims are to be believed!

From the peak of his fame to the hard-drinking, pill-popping, disco-dancing pitiable diva he became...Truman took no prisoners, regarded [rather cruelly] as a figure of/for fun, had and lost many a noteworthy friend...all in the name the literature that made and [eventually] slayed him. Pieced together from recently found audio tapes, this is a montage of archival footage with 'fresh' voices and opinions...not quite the definitive portrait...and, definitely not a tabloid kiss-and-tell...Ebs Burnough's curation displays a balance of the good and bad...but, undeniably, the unwavering affection he has for his subject is what makes this film tick so splendidly.

Glasgow Film Festival 2020The Painted Bird
by Václav
Marhoul

The absolute depths to where humanity can sink. This is unmitigated horror.

Václav Marhoul shows, he doesn't tell. Dialogue is kept to the minimum...simply because, words are not enough. The cruelty is explicit. This amount of cruelty is unbearable. You cannot 'enjoy' this film, it would be paradoxical to say so...but, the visual beauty is staggering. And...without a shadow of doubt, this is a master-at-work, producing a masterwork that took years to film.

A boy's journey through [what would seem 1 shy of Dante's 9 circles of] Hell, divided into 8 chapters, each as traumatic as the one before and the one after. And...not one person asks this boy's name throughout the 169 minute runtime...not even the priest. The scale of abuse this boy receives is indescribable...physical, racial, psychological and sexual [heterosexual as well as homosexual]. Julian Sands' character buys the boy...for work and for 'play', mercifully, this abuse is off-screen...but, the boy's derelict face...says it all.

The Painted Bird is a nothing but a scorching and damning indictment on the world as it is today...with modern-day slavery, ecclesiastical paedophilia, this rise of nationalism and the far right, fundamentalist terror, mass migration and fear...it's all in this film and it's all too prevalent now. Really, the question is...what has history taught us? Absolutely nothing.

Once seen...never forgotten. 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Invisible
by Ignas Jonynas

Abject misery...the premise alone raises hackles. A failed, middle-aged dancer pretends to be blind...in order to succeed...in a dance competition. Yuck! Throw in a recently released murderer with an axe to grind...and the stage is set for an unpleasant, yet intriguing, tale of love, ambition and revenge. 

Ignas Jonynas doesn't take his audience for granted. It's a bit of a guessing game...you know that these two men are going to come together, it's just a question of how-and-when. It feels like an eternity...but, it is a revelation...whether it's worth the wait depends on your propensity to sit through all the unpleasantness and that includes the dancing! This is angry choreography...obviously reflecting the frustration that this failed dancers feels...let us just say, it is - most definitely - an acquired taste...as is the film. But...it does have an ending that is the equivalent to an earth-shattering mic drop! It will leave you speechless.

Glasgow Film Festival 2020The Twentieth Century
by Matthew Rankin

A wild imagination...matched with revisionist history...you are either going to love it...or, hate it! Oooh...to Hell with the whole revisionist thing...this is pure and unadulterated fiction...stuffed with a smidgen of fact. And...what a tasty and original little morsel it turned out to be!

This is Matthew Rankin's first feature...he certainly pulled out all the stops...and, unashamedly, plasters his influences and influencers all over the place. From Monty Python to Guy Maddin, with a nod to Baby Jane, homage to Fritz Lang, even John Waters gets a look in, The Twentieth Century is a cinematic smörgåsbord that will tickle the cheeks and tweak the buns of the open-minded...especially shoe fetishists! Those not so open-minded will probably recoil in abject horror, screaming...how dare he besmirch our [if you are Canadian] most revered Prime Minister...a shoe sniffer indeed! Whether William Lyon Mackenzie King was a shoe-sniffer or not, he did have a few inappropriate [for his office] idiosyncrasies...Mr Rankin has merely amplified these idiosyncrasies above and beyond the facts...and, this is cinematic chutzpah...love it, loathe it...one thing is for sure...you can't ignore it! 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Glasgow Film Festival 2020, Director of One Taxi RideOne Taxi Ride
by C.K. Mak

This is intense...maybe, too intense. This is [his] catharsis...maybe, too much so...for a paying audience.

The big question is: Why would you want to bare your soul on camera? Sometimes...no, scrub that...most of the time our private lives should remain private. However...what this film does show is...if you are a victim of sexual assault [or any form of assault or abuse], report it to the police, tell family and friends, get professional help. Erick did none of these things and the trauma has slowly eaten away at him...causing relationships to fail and creating [unnecessary] strains in [and on] his family.

An unignorable controversy exists [within the film and the situation]. There is a time and a place for everything...especially when it involves disturbing revelations about sexual violence...when a young child is present...is a clear indicator that this is neither the time nor the place to let it all out. Sorry...but it had to be said.

The last 10 minutes is absolute [raw] emotion and shows the shocking range and scale of these crimes. Catharsis it may be...but, it has obviously helped Erick and - hopefully - will help many, many others...to find their voices and [eventually] heal.

It really is a difficult film to watch...but, it does a deliver a vitally important message, most loud and most clear...if this is happening or has happened to you: Tell someone!     


2 March / Day 6...
Moffie

Moffie
by Oliver Hermanus

When a filmmaker hits the nail on the head, capturing an experience, a memory, something that will resonate deep within...that is a filmmaker who demands and deserves attention.

This goes out to all the 600,000+ boys and men who were conscripted during the South African Border War which lasted for 23 years, 6 months, 3 weeks and 2 days.

This goes out to all the men who remember their first instances of same-sex attraction...Oliver Hermanus captures that moment with harrowing perfection and precision.

Way before the nude-infested internet, a naked man rarely [mostly never] appeared on screen. Swimming pool changing rooms were the place where young [gay] boys could - furtively - glimpse at a mature naked man. It was thrilling, dangerous, heart-thumping...and, breath-taking. Being 'caught' was unimaginable...because, we really did not know what we were really doing...but, we knew it was [somehow] wrong. It was an amalgamation between looking, wishing, hoping and desiring. It was curiosity and innocence all rolled into one...it's all here, in Moffie.

And...this goes out to all those boys and men who ended up in Ward 22. A 'hospital' where gay and conscientious objectors were 'treated' by Aubrey Levin...a man most foul.

Here's to the survivors of that war and of Ward 22...and, here's to the dead on both sides. It's time for your stories to be told...Christiaan Olwagen's [exceptional] Canary brought South Africa's contemporary history to a new audience. Oliver Hermanus continues the story...two very different films, different voices...both, mighty fine films of the same inexhaustible story.

Easily, one of the best films to come out of 2019.

And, finally...here's to all those who opposed Apartheid. Let your voices and stories continue to ring out!

BacurauBacurua
by Juliano Dornelles & Kleber Mendonça Filho

When you cheer at someone's head being blown off...you just know that these directors have hit the nail squarely on that head!

Take one tiny pueblo in the middle of nowhere, populate it with some 'savoury' characters...throw in a flying saucer, some mind-altering drugs and a few murderous guns...Bacurau is a place you wouldn't want to visit...but, will definitely want to experience...from afar, from the comfort of your living room!

From where it starts to where it ends up is akin to popping a pill [or two] downed with a bottle of Mezcal...this is definitely a trip into foreign and strange territories. The cruelty is unnerving, the corruption is soul-destroying and the twists and turns are a hallucinogenic rollercoaster return to normality.

As a statement on poverty, Bacurau is relentless. This is a community that is - quite literally - preyed upon...by absolutely everyone, in ways you couldn't imagine. Yes, it's political. No, it's not a head-spinning whine against capitalism. This is a thrilling, often hysterical, shot-gun approach to social commentary. This is what happens when everything goes barking mad and the underdogs [collectively] raise their hackles. Seriously...this is sensational film-making. 


3 March / Day 7...

Glasgow Film Festival 2020A White, White Day
by Hlynur Palmason

Here's a director who demands - perhaps - a little too much from his audience. Despite garnering a multitude of awards, A White, White Day suffers from being overly punctuated with the director's self-indulgence. A mean and efficient editor could have shaved, easily - at least - 20 minutes off the runtime, removing all the film-school twaddle...the result would have been a more compact and involving film.

The opening scene follows a car [for too long]...until it crashes. Then, for what seems like an absolute eternity, static shots [and horrible jump cuts] of a house/barn in all seasons, in all weather conditions...accompanied by - what sounded like - an out-of-tune, screeching violin. It was enough to consider a quick cinematic exit. But, hey, this film has won countless awards...give it time!

Time is something that Hlynur Palmason plays with, nothing is rushed. Because, presumably...grieving is a slow and painful process. And, that grief compounded with a newly discovered betrayal...it's is a powder-keg ready to explode. After a while, it does...with varying degrees of plausibility and leaves quite a few loose-ends...that never manage to find their much-needed conclusive knots. The ending is a challenge...perhaps, an unnecessary one.

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Gay Chorus Deep South
by David Charles

This is not going to go down well...this much-praised/much-loved/do-not-dare-criticise documentary is an affront. Tim Seelig makes his case early on...why is the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus singing religious music? To win the hearts and change the minds of those hardcore, those unturnable worms, the [un]Christian[-like] fundamentalists. What planet are you on!?! Planet catharsis, it would seem. For Mr Seelig is an expunged Baptist.

Good intentions are not always interpreted in the same way as the 'good intenders' intended them to be! Watching this film is a mixed bag of emotions...there's a strange arrogance to it all, accompanied by great big dollops of disillusionment...and, the [obvious] playing-to-the-camera is an absurdity we can all do without. One disgruntled Southern [gay] chap made no bones about his 'issues' with the Chorus coming [uninvited] to the South...his case is - most definitely - food for [considerable and considered] thought.

On the other hand, as many have said, this is up-lifting, heart-warming stuff. Praise be! But...dancing to 'their' tune did not warm the cockles of this old, cold, cynical heart.


4 March / Day 8...

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Les Misérables
by Ladj Ly

There's blame on both sides...but, Ladj Ly doesn't see it that way...the Victor Hugo quote at the end of the film, clearly places the blame on one side and one side only. Nonsense.

Society is infinitely complex...it's a mixture between the haves and the have-nots, between women and men, races, religions and ages. Everyone has to take some responsibility...or, the ugliness of the 'Nanny State' rears its gruesome face. Let's face it...nowadays, the police are more like social workers than a law-enforcing organisation.

Deprivation breeds contempt [for the law] and is a conduit for crime. This is where Les Misérables is set...in a no-go ghetto of Paris...little has changed since the time of Victor Hugo...sure the buildings have, the people have...but, the disparity and malcontent remains the same. The police [here] are the enemy...because, they enforce the rule of this land. Of course, there's corruption, because power corrupts...but, it's on both sides!

In truth, this part of the arrondissement is nothing more than an open prison...once you are in, it's practically impossible to escape. And, if it wasn't for that ridiculous quote at the end, Ladj Ly manages a fine balance of neutrality throughout...basically, the 'goods' and the 'bads' on both sides are put in the spotlight...with immigration [and all that goes with it] taking centre stage. This is containment with a semblance of [outside] control...the reality is, the residents have their own hierarchy, their own power structures and, to the outside world, it is a truly terrifying look at lawlessness.

Les Misérables is a remarkable, tense film...marred by an incredulous opinion. 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Disco
by Jorunn Myklebust Syversen

Bible-bashing and disco...what an odd combination. An even 'odder' film.

Sadly, it just doesn't work. Too preachy...as in, way-over-the-top preachy. If it's not one religious nut babbling on about the bible, it's a group of christian rockers [indeed they do exist] delivering their godly message through an ear-offending selection of [Eurovision rejected] songs. This is cult mentality...the converted controlling the converted. Now...when we [the audience] are told that God's plan for the beautiful young Mirjam is...to be the greatest disco dancer there ever was...eyes start to roll. Equating skimpy outfits and licentious disco-dancing with God's plan is...[unintentionally] hilarious. Even funnier, when she buggers up a dance routine...she's thought to be possessed by a demon - presumably a disco-hating one! Sadly, though, Disco is a serious film...with too many contrivances.

Watching this is akin to offering yourself up for a radical religious conversion...with make-up, sequins and bizarre music...why, oh why, is it called disco?!? The music is not disco...and, the dancing is just plain awful. Seemingly, Norway takes these 'disco dancing' competitions very seriously indeed! Perhaps, they do elsewhere...who knows, who cares?!? Disco is a film that - probably - won't travel very far.

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Glasgow Film Festival 2020, premiere of James Vs His Future SelfJames Vs His Future Self
by Jeremy LaLonde

Good ole rom-com delivered with a scientific twist. It's deliciously awkward...with the added addition of unique [and identifiable] genitalia!

Clever...is the word. Delicacy, is the touch. This is film-making with a contagious enthusiasm. Shamelessly commercial...and, quite rightly, nominated for a few Canadian Screen Awards...screenplay, supporting role, song and score...all mightily well-deserved.

There is a little story behind this review...one that all filmmakers should take note of. When we cover a film festival, we prepare an A-list of the films we have to see [no matter what]...and, a B-list to fill in the gaps [there is alot of hanging around at festivals... and, Glasgow do - thankfully - have a few surprises up their sleeves, no exception in this year of 2020]. Remember...we do have that LGBT agenda to fill. Woefully, James [shame on us] was on neither of these lists. That is...until...via email, Jonas Chernick [screenwriter, star & producer] reached out and, quite literally, sold his film to us...now, that's what we call promoting...and, thank goodness, he did. Because...

James will entertain, shamelessly.

The writing is en pointe. Plot-holes appear and are filled-in, with due diligence...which is no mean feat...especially, with this kind of budget. Look...Hollywood [sci-fi] blockbusters have plot-holes galore...yet, their writers take their audience[s] for granted...because, they can...because, they have an A-list star...[sometimes] talking gibberish [to the gullible]...over production values that mask all the [obvious] faults.  James does not do that...James has a wonderful sincerity about it. Messieurs LaLonde & Chernick took time over their script, adding and subtracting along the way...and, after a wee chat with Jonas [Chernick] himself...revealed...nothing but enthusiasm...and...pause...

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Now, you may wonder...why are we enthusing so much about this film? Because...hey...it's not an overtly LGBT film...but, it does have a wee lesbian [and terribly sweet] story-line [tick that agenda box]...that is beautifully highlighted in one single [almost throwaway] line [added in post-production]!

Asked whether this was [just] a box-ticking exercise for LGBT inclusivity...he [Jonas] - simply - said: No...it was just natural. How refreshing is that!

James is the reason why we go to film festivals - no, not all films in festivals are [as many may think] inaccessible arthouse...some [films] surprise, some delight, many entertain...Glasgow Film Festival really does deliver on all those fronts...it really is a[n] unique wee festival.

Let us re-iterate: James will entertain, shamelessly...with the added bonus of...the [fantastic] Frances Conroy being given great lines...and, delivering them masterfully. Finally, thanks to Jonas...without his intervention, we may have never had the absolute pleasure...of/in [weird grammar/weird science] seeing his film. And...credit, when [and where] credit is due...Jonas, you do do 'awkward' to perfection.

Let us re-iterate [again]: James will entertain, shamelessly. 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
by Ric Burns

Who knew the sacrifices Oliver Sacks made for his profession? This is a monumentally moving portrait of a polite, gentle giant.

This is his own obituary, these are his last months...Ric Burns was given an honor and has delivered a dignified film of a dignified man...who spent much of his life...misunderstanding and, being misunderstood. Dr Sacks died - aged 82 - on 30 August 2015, he knew he was dying...with his final wish being...to share his story. The question is: Is his story worth sharing?

His life has become [even] more remarkable with the generosity of his startling truth. Depression, obsession, addiction and celibacy...all featured prominently in his life. Yet...his propensity for empathy, to care, to understand the misunderstood...like, the man who mistook his wife for a hat...was unconditional and unwavering.

Ask yourself this question: Would you be prepared to give up love and sex for your profession? Dr Sacks did, for over 30 years, he abstained. He was - for most of his life - a non-practicing gay man...because, he did not want his sexuality to be misconstrued malignantly and used [by idiots] to attack him and his career...those in the [catholic] clergy should take note...and, Dr Sacks did not swear an oath!

Acceptance was always an issue...being jewish, being gay, being clever...being himself, singled him out. Even the medical profession doubted and decried him. But...bit-by-bit, he won them over...and, more importantly, he won himself over...finding love [and sex] when he was in his 70s. How lovely.

Hopefully, he died a happier man. He left behind a formidable legacy and achieved his final wish...it' has been an absolute [and emotional] pleasure...hearing your story. Thank you.   


5 March / Day 9...

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Glasgow Film Festival 2020Days of the Bagnold Summer
by Simon Bird

A moody, metal-head teen and his mum...sounds dour...but, it is as sweet as sweet can be. 

 

 

 

 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Patrick
by Tim Mielants

Never separate a man from his hammer!

This is one special film...challenging, in so many unimaginable ways...but, still...so very special. It doesn't take too long before the nudity [practically everyone is naked] becomes superfluous...but, never unnoticeable, swinging penises do tend to grab your attention!

Stripped bare, Patrick is an uncomplicated man of few words. His world his wobbled by a missing hammer, the death of his father...and, a murder. Doesn't sound too much like a comedy, does it? But, it is...dark as it is. Tim Mielants straddles the obvious absurdity with unbridled ease...and, skill. Watching two out-of-shape, slightly-over-the-hill, naked men fighting in an unstable caravan has got to be a scene seen to be believed. This is just one of the film's many pièces de résistance. An other is, the funeral tableau...in the forest, with naked mourners...the beauty is - quite simply - breath-taking.

The surprises are as frequent as the swinging penises and wobbling boobs. There's a surprising gay love-story, a salacious illicit affair, turf wars and subterfuge...there's even some beautiful, bespoke furniture. There is so much content and detail...but, that bloody missing hammer is never far from centre stage. For sure, there will be many a metaphorical interpretation...the hammer symbolises Patrick's latent grief...bollocks. And...there are a lot of bollocks in this film...because, this film has balls...great big magnificent, magical, mouth-watering cojones! 

This is Tim Mielants' debut feature...what a voice, what next will he pull from his conjurer's hat? The only problem is...we will all have to wait. Hopefully, that 'wait' won't be too long. 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Driveways
by Andrew Ahn

Friendships...they comes in all shapes, sizes and age. Prepare yourselves...for gentility and beauty. This is a delight.

 

 

 

 

  


6 March / Day 10...

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Bombay Rose
by Gitanjali Rao

A ridiculous imagination - seriously, it's breath-taking..and, so so heart-breaking [at the same time]. And...uplifting. Wow!

 

 

 

 

 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Radioactive
by Marjane Satrapi

So much...but, why focus on the negatives! 

 

 

 

 

 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Glasgow Film Festival 2020The Garden Left Behind
by Flavio Alves

An inspirational way to make a film. A joy to find out how they did it! 

 

 

 

 


7 March / Day 11...

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Deerskin
by Quentin Dupieux

What a peculiar film.

 

 

 

 

 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Two of Us
by Filippo Meneghetti

Perfectly laid plans crushed by reluctance, secrets and circumstances [and people] beyond your control...this is Filippo Meneghetti's [mighty] debut feature.

This is poised and elegant film-making. A film that will rip at your heartstrings and make you consider the bigger picture...if this was you, what would you want? When decisions are taken away from you...what else have you got left?

Life is all about choices...you pick and choose, rightly or wrongly, rejoice or regret...and, with age, there is the opportunity to take stock, to reflect, to smile, to grimace...perhaps, even, to make amends.

Two of Us delivers many a potent message...

Don't dilly-dally, grab the bull by the horns...before it's too late. Because, you never know when it's too late!

Be prepared for the unthinkable...because, sad but true, the unthinkable invariably [and eventually] happens.

Respect your mother, her life, her wishes, her past, her secrets, her wishes.

And, finally, respect those who love those you love.

This is a monumentally mature piece of work...graced by two precise and comparative performances. Opposites attract and the hand fits perfectly inside the glove...this is love...in all of its joy and terror.

This is immaculate and heartbreaking film-making...merci pour cela.

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Saint Maud
by Rose Glass

A religious nutcase loses the plot!

 

 

 

 

 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Make Up
by Claire Oakley

 

 

 

 

   


8 March / Day 12...

Glasgow Film Festival 2020The Other Lamb
by Malgorzata Szumowska

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020Billie
by James Erskine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glasgow Film Festival 2020How to Build a Girl
by Coky Giedroyc

 

 

 

 

 


 

THE ROADS NOT TAKEN | Official Trailer...

Sally Potter’s THE ROADS NOT TAKEN follows a day in the life of Leo (Javier Bardem) and his daughter, Molly (Elle Fanning) as she grapples with the challenges of her father’s chaotic mind. As they weave their way through New York City, Leo’s journey takes on a hallucinatory quality as he floats through alternate lives he could have lived, leading Molly to wrestle with her own path as she considers her future. Also starring Salma Hayek and Laura Linney.

BAFTA 2020 Nominations & Winners...

Bafta 2020

BAFTA has announced the nominations for the 2020 EE British Academy Film Awards.

London, 7 January 2020: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced the nominations for the EE British Academy Film Awards in 2020.

The EE British Academy Film Awards, which recognise the very best in film of the past year, take place on Sunday 2 February at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The ceremony will be hosted by Graham Norton and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD in the UK and in all major territories around the world.

A total of 39 feature films received nominations today. Highlights include:

  • 11 nominations for Joker
  • 10 nominations for The Irishman and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
  • Nine nominations for 1917
  • Six nominations for Jojo Rabbit
  • Five nominations for Little Women, Marriage Story and The Two Popes
  • Four nominations for For Sama, Parasite and Rocketman
  • Three nominations for Bombshell, Judy, Le Mans ’66 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  • Two nominations for Bait
  • One nomination for each of the following feature films: American Factory, Apollo 11, Avengers: Endgame, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Booksmart, Diego Maradona, The Farewell, Frozen 2, The Great Hack, Klaus, Knives Out, The Lighthouse, The Lion King, Maiden, Only You, Pain and Glory, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Retablo, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Sorry We Missed You, Toy Story 4 and Wild Rose
  • The following British short films were nominated: Azaar, Goldfish, Kamali, Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl), The Trap, Grandad Was a Romantic, In Her Boots and The Magic Boat

The nominations were announced by Ella Balinska and Asa Butterfield at BAFTA Piccadilly in London.


BEST FILM

  • 1917 Pippa Harris, Callum McDougall, Sam Mendes, Jayne-Ann Tenggren
  • THE IRISHMAN Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff
  • JOKER Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips, Emma Tillinger Koskoff
  • ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh, Quentin Tarantino
  • PARASITE Bong Joon-ho, Kwak Sin-ae

 

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

  • 1917 Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Callum McDougall, Jayne-Ann Tenggren, Krysty Wilson-Cairns
  • BAIT Mark Jenkin, Kate Byers, Linn Waite
  • FOR SAMA Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts
  • ROCKETMAN Dexter Fletcher, Adam Bohling, David Furnish, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn, Lee Hall
  • SORRY WE MISSED YOU Ken Loach, Rebecca O’Brien, Paul Laverty
  • THE TWO POPES Fernando Meirelles, Jonathan Eirich, Dan Lin, Tracey Seaward, Anthony McCarten

 

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

  • BAIT Mark Jenkin (Writer/Director), Kate Byers, Linn Waite (Producers)
  • FOR SAMA Waad al-Kateab (Director/Producer), Edward Watts (Director)
  • MAIDEN Alex Holmes (Director)
  • ONLY YOU Harry Wootliff (Writer/Director)
  • RETABLO Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio (Writer/Director)

 

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

  • THE FAREWELL Lulu Wang, Daniele Melia
  • FOR SAMA Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts
  • PAIN AND GLORY Pedro Almodóvar, Agustín Almodóvar
  • PARASITE Bong Joon-ho
  • PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE Céline Sciamma, Bénédicte Couvreur

 

DOCUMENTARY

  • AMERICAN FACTORY Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert
  • APOLLO 11 Todd Douglas Miller
  • DIEGO MARADONA Asif Kapadia
  • FOR SAMA Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts
  • THE GREAT HACK Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim

 

ANIMATED FILM

  • FROZEN 2 Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho
  • KLAUS Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh
  • A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: FARMAGEDDON Will Becher, Richard Phelan, Paul Kewley
  • TOY STORY 4 Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen

 

DIRECTOR

  • 1917 Sam Mendes
  • THE IRISHMAN Martin Scorsese
  • JOKER Todd Phillips
  • ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD Quentin Tarantino
  • PARASITE Bong Joon-ho

 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • BOOKSMART Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Katie Silberman
  • KNIVES OUT Rian Johnson
  • MARRIAGE STORY Noah Baumbach
  • ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD Quentin Tarantino
  • PARASITE Han Jin Won, Bong Joon-ho

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • THE IRISHMAN Steven Zaillian
  • JOJO RABBIT Taika Waititi
  • JOKER Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
  • LITTLE WOMEN Greta Gerwig
  • THE TWO POPES Anthony McCarten

 

LEADING ACTRESS

  • JESSIE BUCKLEY Wild Rose
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON Marriage Story
  • SAOIRSE RONAN Little Women
  • CHARLIZE THERON Bombshell
  • RENÉE ZELLWEGER Judy

 

LEADING ACTOR

  • LEONARDO DICAPRIO Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood
  • ADAM DRIVER Marriage Story
  • TARON EGERTON Rocketman
  • JOAQUIN PHOENIX Joker
  • JONATHAN PRYCE The Two Popes

 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • LAURA DERN Marriage Story
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON Jojo Rabbit
  • FLORENCE PUGH Little Women
  • MARGOT ROBBIE Bombshell
  • MARGOT ROBBIE Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

 

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • TOM HANKS A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • ANTHONY HOPKINS The Two Popes
  • AL PACINO The Irishman
  • JOE PESCI The Irishman
  • BRAD PITT Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

 

ORIGINAL SCORE

  • 1917 Thomas Newman
  • JOJO RABBIT Michael Giacchino
  • JOKER Hildur Guđnadóttir
  • LITTLE WOMEN Alexandre Desplat
  • STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER John Williams

 

CASTING

  • JOKER Shayna Markowitz
  • MARRIAGE STORY Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler
  • ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD Victoria Thomas
  • THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD Sarah Crowe
  • THE TWO POPES Nina Gold

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • 1917 Roger Deakins
  • THE IRISHMAN Rodrigo Prieto
  • JOKER Lawrence Sher
  • LE MANS ’66 Phedon Papamichael
  • THE LIGHTHOUSE Jarin Blaschke

 

EDITING

  • THE IRISHMAN Thelma Schoonmaker
  • JOJO RABBIT Tom Eagles
  • JOKER Jeff Groth
  • LE MANS ’66 Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker
  • ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD Fred Raskin

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • 1917 Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales
  • THE IRISHMAN Bob Shaw, Regina Graves
  • JOJO RABBIT Ra Vincent, Nora Sopková
  • JOKER Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran
  • ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh

 

COSTUME DESIGN

  • THE IRISHMAN Christopher Peterson, Sandy Powell
  • JOJO RABBIT Mayes C. Rubeo
  • JUDY Jany Temime
  • LITTLE WOMEN Jacqueline Durran
  • ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD Arianne Phillips

 

MAKE UP & HAIR

  • 1917 Naomi Donne
  • BOMBSHELL Vivian Baker, Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan
  • JOKER Kay Georgiou, Nicki Ledermann
  • JUDY Jeremy Woodhead
  • ROCKETMAN Lizzie Yianni Georgiou

 

SOUND

  • 1917 Scott Millan, Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate, Mark Taylor, Stuart Wilson
  • JOKER Tod Maitland, Alan Robert Murray, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic
  • LE MANS ’66 David Giammarco, Paul Massey, Steven A. Morrow, Donald Sylvester
  • ROCKETMAN Matthew Collinge, John Hayes, Mike Prestwood Smith, Danny Sheehan
  • STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER David Acord, Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Stuart Wilson, Matthew Wood

 

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS

  • 1917 Greg Butler, Guillaume Rocheron, Dominic Tuohy
  • AVENGERS: ENDGAME Dan Deleeuw, Dan Sudick
  • THE IRISHMAN Leandro Estebecorena, Stephane Grabli, Pablo Helman
  • THE LION KING Andrew R. Jones, Robert Legato, Elliot Newman, Adam Valdez
  • STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, Neal Scanlan, Dominic Tuohy

 

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION

  • GRANDAD WAS A ROMANTIC Maryam Mohajer
  • IN HER BOOTS Kathrin Steinbacher
  • THE MAGIC BOAT Naaman Azhari, Lilia Laurel

 

BRITISH SHORT FILM

  • AZAAR Myriam Raja, Nathanael Baring
  • GOLDFISH Hector Dockrill, Harri Kamalanathan, Benedict Turnbull, Laura Dockrill
  • KAMALI Sasha Rainbow, Rosalind Croad
  • LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL) Carol Dysinger, Elena Andreicheva
  • THE TRAP Lena Headey, Anthony Fitzgerald

 

EE RISING STAR AWARD

  • AWKWAFINA
  • KAITLYN DEVER
  • KELVIN HARRISON JR.
  • JACK LOWDEN
  • MICHEAL WARD

MR. JONES: Official Trailer...

Gareth Jones, an ambitious Welsh journalist, travelled to the Soviet Union in 1933 and uncovered the appalling truth behind the Soviet "utopia". His quest quickly turned into a life-or-death journey… helping inspire Orwell’s Animal Farm.

SAG Awards 2020 Winners...

SAG Awards

Here are all the winners:

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture:

“Bombshell” (Lionsgate)
“The Irishman” (Netflix)
“Jojo Rabbit” (Fox)
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony)
“Parasite” (Neon) (WINNER)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role:

Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)
Lupita Nyong’o (“Us”)
Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)
Renée Zellweger (“Judy”) (WINNER)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role:

Christian Bale (“Ford v Ferrari”)
Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”)
Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”)
Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) (WINNER)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:

Mahershala Ali (“True Detective”)
Russell Crowe (“The Loudest Voice”)
Jared Harris (“Chernobyl”)
Jharrel Jerome (“When They See Us”)
Sam Rockwell (“Fosse/Verdon”) (WINNER)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series:

“Big Little Lies” (HBO)
“The Crown” (Netflix) (WINNER)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
“Stranger Things” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series:

Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”)
Steve Carell (“The Morning Show”)
Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”)
Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) (WINNER)
David Harbour (“Stranger Things”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series:

Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”) (WINNER)
Helena Bonham Carter (“The Crown”)
Olivia Colman (“The Crown”)
Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”)
Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:

Patricia Arquette (“The Act”)
Toni Collette (“Unbelievable”)
Joey King (“The Act”)
Emily Watson (“Chernobyl”)
Michelle Williams (“Fosse/Verdon”) (WINNER)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role:

Jamie Foxx (“Just Mercy”)
Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”)
Al Pacino (“The Irishman”)
Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”)
Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) (WINNER)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role:

Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”) (WINNER)
Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Nicole Kidman (“Bombshell”)
Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”)
Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series:

“Barry” (HBO)
“Fleabag” (Amazon)
“The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon) (WINNER)
“Schitt’s Creek” (CBC Television/Pop TV)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series:

Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”)
Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) (WINNER)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series:

Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”)
Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”)
Bill Hader (“Barry”)
Andrew Scott (“Fleabag”)
Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) (WINNER)

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture:

“Avengers: Endgame” (WINNER)
“Ford v Ferrari”
“The Irishman”
“Joker”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series:

“Game of Thrones” (WINNER)
“GLOW”
“Stranger Things”
“The Walking Dead”
“Watchmen”

Life Achievement Award: Robert De Niro.

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