The 24th Edition of the SEATTLE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL kicked off on October 10th at Three Dollar Bill Cinema BUT panic not as the next coming 5 days they have an excellent program of some impeccablae and diverse LGBTQ movies . The QUEERGURU team have seen most of them, and so here are the ones that we think you will be sooooo annoyed t you missed them
CIRCUS OF BOOKS : Documentation Rachel Mason turned her cameras on to her own charming butter-wouldnt-melt-in-their- mouths middle-class parents now in their 70’s who ran one of the most successful Gay Adult Book Stores in West Hollywood. They even made Jeff Stryker a Star, even though nobody in their family or neighbourhood had any idea about this very successful business of theirs.
FIREFLIES : an Iranian gay man’s search for freedom After escaping from Iran where he was persecuted for being gay, Ramin (ARASH MARANDI) mistakenly takes the wrong freighter out of the port and ends up stranded in Vera Cruz Mexico. It is hardly the vibrant city that it once was and is now decaying and demoralised like so many of people who seem to be stranded there just him
This sophomore feature film by Iranian filmmaker BANI KHOSHNOUDI who lives in Mexico is a powerful tale about the difficulties of being true to oneself in what is frankly a very hostile environment. With a pitch perfect performance from Marandi as Ramin, we really feel the desperation faced by so many reluctant LGBT displaced around the globe .
Gay Chorus : Deep South and their message of hope. It seems like perfect timing for this new film, the debut feature from director DAVID CHARLES RODRIGUES, a Brazilian American equal-rights advocate. After a new wave of homophobia bordering on violence which the present Administration seem content to sanction, the SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS became determined to counter-balance this with a message of hope and love.
They planned a Tour in five of the deepest South Bible Belt states which have the harshest laws against homosexuals and are home to the most bigotry as well. Music has always been a great means for helping change minds and bringing a sense of calm to even conservative Christians whose historically-held views on our community have been agitated by the present unhealthy political climate.
Whether the Tour achieved all that it wanted is open to discussion. What they were extremely successful in was demonstrating that when it comes to interacting with deeply conservative people, that you have far more possibilities in changing hearts and minds by sheer visibility. The complete lack of even a hint of angry confrontation clearly showed that was a positive way open to our community in the ongoing struggle for acceptance.
]JOSE : a heart wrenching coming-of-age tale from Guatemala LI CHENG’S new drama Jose is preceded by a huge reputation after it beat out the multi Oscar nominated THE FAVOURITE to win the QUEER LION AT VENICE’S PRESTIGIOUS FILM FESTIVAL last year. It is (to our knowledge) the first LGBT movie ever to be made in Guatemala and is a tender coming-of-age story that makes a deep reaching impression that is so difficult to forget. However It is the subtle and touching chemistry between the two protagonists that makes this movie so electrifying. They are two men who are simply content in the joy of finding each other and having a moment of unadulterated happiness away from their tough impoverished lives, even though it may never last forever.
SONG LANG : the compelling story of an unlikely love. LEON LE’S heart-string-pulling story of a love that goes unconsummated is probably the the first LGBTQ movie from Vietnam that we have ever seen. If this is to be the standard bearer of a new source of queer cinema then we cannot wait to see what could follow that would match this.
Set in Saigon in the late 1980’s it’s the tale of a thuggish debt collector Dung ‘Thunderbolt’ (LIEN BINH PHAT) who without the hint of any emotion does the bidding of his shark-loan boss (KIM PHUONG). Dung is a real loner, the strong silent type, who’s whole life seems to revolve around beating up the hapless poor people who cannot afford the extortionate interest payments they were forced to agree to originally.
SELL BY : or how to keep a relationship together. Money, or rather the inequality of it between two partners in a relationship can so often be a dealbreaker. Especially in a relationship where the passion has waned and where minor differences now seem like major obstacles, which when left untendered start to create insurmountable problems .
This feature film writing/directing debut from out gay actor MIKE DOYLE is an intriguing contemporary take on the pitfalls of a securing a romantic urban relationship where financial success is still considered a major factor. The fact that the two main protagonists are gay is really not that an issue. as the ‘closet’ that Adam has to come out if is one of self-acceptance. With the talented ensemble cast giving pitch perfect performances under Doyle’s gentle guiding hand, this makes for a thoroughly entertaining romantic comedy
THE BLONDE ONE : a sensual romance from gay Argentinian auteur Marco Berger. When Juan’s brother moves out of his apartment in a Buenos Aires suburb he must find a roommate to replace him. He settles for Gabriel …… who he dubs the Blonde One ….. who is a colleague at the Woodworking shop where they are both employed. The two men couldn’t be more different as Juan is quite a party animal always filling the apartment with his drinking buddies and a whole stream of girls who end up in his bed. Gabo (as he is called) is quiet and subdued and seemingly friendless and the only highlight is life is going to his family home where his parents are bringing up his young daughter
Berger with a string of very successful movIes to his name again shows his remarkable talent for sheer homoeroticism but also the skillful way he allows this sensual and touching relationship to unfold at such a gentle place. Thanks also to his two lead actors compelling and very touching performances we get totally immersed in their relationship even though there is always the uncertainty it will not survive when its discovered by the outside.
10th – 20th October 2019 SEATTLE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL
You can find the details of all these films and the rest of the program at https://threedollarbillcinema.org/seaqueerfilmfest.
For full reviews of these movies and over 1000 more LGBTQ films check out https://www.queerguru.com