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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 

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 


 

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.

Visible: Out on Television | Official Trailer...

Visible: Out on Television, a five-part documentary series, premieres exclusively on Apple TV+ February 14. Learn more now on the Apple TV app: http://apple.co/Visible_

From Emmy-nominated filmmakers Ryan White and Jessica Hargrave, and executive producers Wanda Sykes and Wilson Cruz, Visible: Out on Television investigates the importance of TV as an intimate medium that has shaped the American conscience, and how the LGBTQ movement has shaped television. Combining archival footage with interviews with key players from the movement and the screen, the docuseries is narrated by Janet Mock, Margaret Cho, Asia Kate Dillon, Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Waithe.

Each hour-long episode will explore themes such as invisibility, homophobia, the evolution of the LGBTQ character, and coming out in the television industry. The docuseries features never-before-seen interviews with Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Anderson Cooper, Billy Porter, Rachel Maddow, Don Lemon, Sara Ramirez, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and dozens more. Visible: Out on Television is directed and executive produced by Ryan White (Ask Dr. Ruth, The Case Against 8, The Keepers). Jessica Hargrave, Wilson Cruz and Wanda Sykes also serve as executive producers.

Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics: Dorian Awards 2020 Winners...

GALECA Dorian Awards LogoFilm of the Year

Hustlers
Little Women
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Pain and Glory
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Director of the Year

Pedro Almodovar, Pain and Glory 
Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Celine Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Film Performance of the Year — Actress

Awkwafina, The Farewell
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Lupita Nyong’o, Us
Alfre Woodard, Clemency
Renee Zellweger, Judy

Film Performance of the Year — Actor

Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Taron Egerton, Rocketman

Supporting Film Performance of the Year — Actress

Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Margot Robbie, Bombshell
Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

Supporting Film Performance of the Year — Actor

Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Al Pacino, The Irishman 
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Song Kang-ho, Parasite

LGBTQ Film of the Year

Booksmart 
End of the Century 
Pain and Glory
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Rocketman

Foreign Language Film of the Year

Atlantics 
Pain and Glory 
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
The Farewell

Screenplay of the Year

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won, Parasite
Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Céline Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Rian Johnson, Knives Out

Documentary of the Year

(theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)

American Factory
Apollo 11
For Sama
Honeyland
One Child Nation

LGBTQ Documentary of the Year

Circus of Books 
Gay Chorus Deep South
The Gospel of Eureka
5B
Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street

Visually Striking Film of the Year

(honoring a production of stunning beauty, from art direction to cinematography)

Midsommar
1917
The Lighthouse
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Unsung Film of the Year

Booksmart
Her Smell
Gloria Bell
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Waves

Campy Film of the Year

Cats
Greta
Knives Out
Ma
Serenity

TV Drama of the Year

Chernobyl
Euphoria
Pose
Succession
Unbelievable

TV Comedy of the Year

Fleabag
The Other Two 
Pen15
Russian Doll
Schitt’s Creek

TV Performance of the Year — Actress

Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Mj Rodriguez, Pose
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Michelle Williams, Fosse Verdon

TV Performance of the Year — Actor

Bill Hader, Barry
Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us
Billy Porter, Pose 
Jeremy Strong, Succession

TV Current Affairs Show of the Year

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee 
The Rachel Maddow Show
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Leaving Neverland  

TV Musical Performance of the Year

Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, "Shallow," The 91st Academy Awards
Lizzo, "Truth Hurts," VMAs 2019
Megan Mullally, "The Man That Got Way," Will & Grace
Annie Murphy, "A Little Bit Alexis," Schitt’s Creek
Michelle Williams, "Who’s Got the Pain?," Fosse/Verdon

LGBTQ TV Show of the Year

Euphoria
The Other Two
Pose
Schitt’s Creek
Tales of the City 

Unsung TV Show of the Year

Gentleman Jack
On Becoming a God in Central Florida
The Other Two
PEN15
Years and Years

Campy TV Show of the Year

American Horror Story 1984
Big Little Lies
RuPaul’s Drag Race
The Politician
Riverdale

We're Wilde About You! Rising Star of the Year

Roman Griffin Davis 
Kaitlyn Dever
Beanie Feldstein
Florence Pugh
Hunter Schafer

Wilde Wit of the Year

(Honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse)

Dan Levy
Billy Porter 
Randy Rainbow
Taika Waititi
Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Wilde Artist of the Decade

(Special accolade)

Lady Gaga
Greta Gerwig
Ryan Murphy
Billy Porter
Phoebe Waller-Bridge

GLAAD Media Awards 2020: Nominations...

Glaad 2020The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York at the Hilton Midtown on Thursday, March 19, 2020 and Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday, April 16, 2020. 

Outstanding Film – Wide Release
Bombshell (Lionsgate)
Booksmart (United Artists Releasing)
Downton Abbey (Focus Features)
Judy (Roadside Attractions)
Rocketman (Paramount Pictures)

Outstanding Film – Limited Release
Adam (Wolfe Releasing)
Brittany Runs a Marathon (Amazon Studios)
End of the Century (The Cinema Guild)
The Heiresses (1844 Entertainment)
Kanarie (Breaking Glass Pictures)
Pain & Glory (Sony Pictures Classics)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (NEON)
Rafiki (Film Movement)
Socrates (Breaking Glass Pictures)
This Is Not Berlin (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Outstanding Documentary
5B (RYOT Films)
Gay Chorus Deep South (MTV)
Leitis in Waiting (PBS)
State of Pride (YouTube)
Wig (HBO)

Outstanding Drama Series
Batwoman (The CW)
Billions (Showtime)
Euphoria (HBO)
Killing Eve (AMC)
The L Word: Generation Q (Showtime)
The Politician (Netflix)
Pose
 (FX)
Shadowhunters (Freeform)
Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)
Supergirl (The CW)

Outstanding Comedy Series
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)
Dear White People (Netflix)
Dickinson (Apple TV+)
One Day at a Time (Netflix)
The Other Two (Comedy Central)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Sex Education (Netflix)
Superstore (NBC)
Vida (Starz)
Work in Progress (Showtime)

Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series w/o a regular LGBTQ character)
“Love” Drunk History (Comedy Central)
“Murdered at a Bad Address” Law & Order: SVU (NBC)|
“Spontaneous Combustion” Easy (Netflix)
“This Extraordinary Being” Watchmen (HBO)
“Two Doors Down” Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings (Netflix)

Outstanding TV Movie
Deadwood: The Movie (HBO)
Let It Snow (Netflix)
Rent: Live (FOX)
Transparent: Musicale Finale (Amazon)
Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story (Lifetime)

Outstanding Limited Series
Mrs. Fletcher (HBO)
The Red Line (CBS)
Tales of the City (Netflix)
When They See Us (Netflix)
Years & Years (HBO) 

Outstanding Kids & Family Programming
Andi Mack (The Disney Channel)
The Bravest Knight (Hulu)
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Disney+)
The Loud House (Nickelodeon)
“Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” Arthur (PBS)
Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling (Netflix)
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix)
Steven Universe: The Movie (Cartoon Network)
“A Tale of Two Nellas” Nella the Princess Knight (Nick Jr.)
Twelve Forever (Netflix) 

Outstanding Reality Program
Are You the One? (MTV)
Bachelor in Paradise (ABC)
I Am Jazz (TLC)
Queer Eye (Netflix)
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)

Outstanding Music Artist
Adam Lambert, Velvet: Side A (More is More/Empire)
Brittany Howard, Jaime (ATO)
Kevin Abstract, ARIZONA BABY (Question Everything/RCA)
Kim Petras, Clarity (Bunhead)
King Princess, Cheap Queen (Zelig/Columbia Records)
Lil Nas X, 7 (Columbia)
Melissa Etheridge, The Medicine Show (ME Records/Concord)
Mika, My Name Is Michael Holbrook (Casablanca/Republic Records)
Tegan and Sara, Hey, I’m Just Like You (Sire)
Young M.A, Herstory in the Making (M.A Music/3D)

Outstanding Comic Book
To see the complete creative team for each nominee, please visit http://glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees
The Avant-Guards, written by Carly Usdin (BOOM! Studios)
Bloom, written by Kevin Panetta (First Second)
Crowded, written by Christopher Sebela (Image Comics)
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, written by Mariko Tamaki (DC Comics)
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, written by Mariko Tamaki (First Second)
Liebestrasse, written by Greg Lockard (ComiXology Originals)
Lumberjanes, written by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh (BOOM! Studios)
Runaways, written by Rainbow Rowell (Marvel Comics)
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, written by Simon Spurrier (Marvel Comics)
The Wicked + Divine, written by Kieron Gillen (Image Comics)

Outstanding Video Game
Apex Legends (Electronic Arts)
Borderlands 3 (2K Games)
The Outer Worlds (Private Division)
Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
The Walking Dead: The Final Season (Skybound Entertainment)

Outstanding Broadway Production
Choir Boy, by Tarell Alvin McCraney
The Inheritance, by Matthew Lopez
Jagged Little Pill, book by Diablo Cody, lyrics by Alanis Morissette, music by Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard
Slave Play, by Jeremy O. Harris
What the Constitution Means to Me, by Heidi Schreck

Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode
“Billy Porter Serves Cataract Realness, Fashion, and Tonys” The View (ABC)
“Ellen Meets Inspiring Mormon Valedictorian” The Ellen Show (Syndicated/Telepictures Productions)
“Jacob Tobia – Promoting a ‘Gender-Chill’ Exploration of Identity with ‘Sissy’” The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
“Jonathan Van Ness: Honey, She’s An Onion With All Sorts of Layers” The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
“Lilly Is Struggling to Date Women” A Little Late with Lilly Singh (NBC)

Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine
“ABC News Pride Day” (WABC-TV/ABC News)
“All Her Sons” CBS Sunday Morning (CBS)
“Am I Next? Gay and Targeted in Chechnya” Nightline (ABC)
“Am I Next? Trans and Targeted” Nightline (ABC)
“Rainbow Railroad” 60 Minutes (CBS)

Outstanding TV Journalism Segment
“Black and Trans in Texas” Vice News Tonight (HBO)
“Don Lemon to Kevin Hart: Walking away right now is your choice” CNN Tonight with Don Lemon (CNN)
“Laverne Cox: We exist, we deserve human rights” Up with David Gura (MSNBC)
“One-on-One with Mayor Pete Buttigieg” The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC)
“Ryan Russell Reveals His Truth” ESPN (ESPN) 

Outstanding Newspaper Article
“L.G.B.T.Q. Community Finds ‘Sense of Home’ in the Bronx” by Rick Rojas (The New York Times)
“Military Reports No Discharges Under Trans Ban — But Advocates Have Doubts” by Chris Johnson (Washington Blade)
“Nearly 4 Million LGBTQ People Live in Rural America, and ‘Everything is not bias and awful’” by Susan Miller (USA Today)
“Texas Leads the Nation in Transgender Murders. After the Latest Attack, the Dallas Trans Community Asks Why” by Lauren McGaughy (The Dallas Morning News)
“Trump Pledged to End the HIV Epidemic. San Francisco Could Get There First” by Maria L. La Ganga (Los Angeles Times)

Outstanding Magazine Article
“2019 Sportsperson of the Year: Megan Rapinoe” by Jenny Vrentas (Sports Illustrated)
“In Her Element: Geena Rocero” by Geena Rocero (Playboy)
“Indya Moore Just Wants to Be Free” by Jada Yuan (ELLE)
“Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s Unlikely, Untested, Unprecedented Presidential Campaign” by Charlotte Alter (TIME)
“The Trans Obituaries Project” by Raquel Willis (OUT)

Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage
Advocate
Billboard
Entertainment Weekly
OUT
Variety
 

Outstanding Digital Journalism Article
“Finding the Truth About Transgender Athletes in Women’s Sports” [series] by Cyd Zeigler, Dawn Ennis (Outsports.com)
“How a New Class of Trans Male Actors Are Changing the Face of Television” by Trish Bendix (TIME.com)
“’This time is real’: Taiwan Counts Down to Asia’s First Same-Sex Weddings” by Beh Lih Yi (Openlynews.com)
“Trump Administration to LGBT Couples: Your ‘Out of Wedlock’ Kids Aren’t Citizens” by Scott Bixby (TheDailyBeast.com)
“When Transgender Travelers Walk Into Scanners, Invasive Searches Sometimes Wait on the Other Side” by Lucas Waldron, Brenda Medina (ProPublica.org) 

Outstanding Digital Journalism – Video or Multimedia
“Between Two Homes: The LGBTQ+ Refugees America Left Behind” by Judah Robinson (NowThis)
“LGBTQ+ Community Debates the Meaning of ‘Queer,’ Military Bans, & More” by Arielle Duhaime-Ross (VICE)
“The Life Threatening Dangers Of Gay Conversion Therapy” by Grace Baldridge (Refinery29)
“Sound On: Community, Representation and Identity” by Terron Moore and Rakhee Jethwa (MTV News)
“Stonewall 50: The Revolution” produced by Sekiya Dorsett, Brooke Sopelsa, Elizabeth Kuhr, Shahrzad Elghanayan, Wesley Oliver, Tim Fitzsimmons (NBC OUT and Nightly Films)

Outstanding Blog
Gays with Kids
JoeMyGod
My Fabulous Disease
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents
TransGriot

Special Recognition
Special (Netflix)
Karen Ocamb, news editor, Los Angeles Blade
Mark Segal, founder and publisher, Philadelphia Gay News 


31ST ANNUAL GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS – SPANISH-LANGUAGE NOMINEES

Outstanding Spanish-Language Scripted Television Series
Amar a Muerte (Univision)
El Corazón Nunca Se Equivoca (Univision)
El Juego de las Llaves (Pantaya)
Élite (Netflix)
Los Espookys (HBO)

Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Journalism – Newsmagazine
Después de Stonewall” (CNN en Español)
“Fallece Mujer Transgénero” Conclusiones (CNN en Español)
“Nosotrxs Somos” (RTVE)
“Orgullo” Despierta América (Univision) 

Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Interview
“Cómo y Cuándo Salir del Clóset” Un Nuevo Día (Telemundo)
“Conoce la Importancia de Apoyar a un Ser Querido Cuando ‘Sale del Clóset’” A Primera Hora (Univision 34)
“Deportada y Asesinada” Al Punto (Univision)
“Pareja Transgénero Quiere Tener Hijos” Un Nuevo Día (Telemundo)
“Tanya Saracho, Una Latina en Hollywood” Ojo Crítico (CNN en Español)

Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Journalism Segment
“Amor Sin Condición” Noticiero Univision 33 (Univision)
“Exigen Justicia Para Franco” Noticias 22 (Mundo Fox)
“Sabor a Comunidad” Noticiero Telemundo 48 (Telemundo)
“Ser Latina y Trans en EE.UU. Implica una Lucha Contra la Discriminación en Varios Frentes” Proyecto Ser Humano (CNN en Español)
“Triunfa el Amor por Ser Padres” Noticiero Telemundo 44 (Telemundo)

Outstanding Spanish-Language Digital Journalism Article
“Fue Negligencia de ICE: las Denuncias de Abusos y Discriminación de Mujeres Transgénero Tras Dos Muertes en un Año” por Patricia Clarembaux (Univision.com)
“Los Multiples Rostros de la Comunidad Transgénero en Estados Unidos” [series] (Al Día News)
“Una Pareja Gay Celebra su Primer Día de Madres, Algo que Pensaron Nunca Sería Posible” por Laura Rodriguez (Hoy)
“Queer en la Caravana: el Peligro de Ser Migrante LGBT Buscando Asilo” por Mabel Jiménez (eltecolote.org)
“Soy Gay y Estoy Orgulloso de Poder Decirlo: Jorge Luis Martínez, patinador mexicano” por Mario Villagrán (GQ Mexico)

Outstanding Spanish-Language Digital Journalism – Video or Multimedia
“América a Fondo: Brigitte Baptiste, el Rostro de la (bio) Diversidad” por David Casasús (EFE)
“Conoce a Jorge Luis Martínez Patinador que se Declaró Abiertamente Gay” (Quién)
“Latinxs Cuentan Qué Es Ser Latinx” (BBC Mundo)
“Santuario, el Inesperado Refugio de Indígenas Trans en Colombia” por Alejandro Millán Valencia (BBC Mundo)

 

The New Mutants | Official Trailer...

20th Century Fox in association with Marvel Entertainment presents “The New Mutants,” an original horror thriller set in an isolated hospital where a group of young mutants is being held for psychiatric monitoring. When strange occurrences begin to take place, both their new mutant abilities and their friendships will be tested as they battle to try and make it out alive.

In Theaters August 28, 2020

Directed by: Josh Boone

Screenplay by: Josh Boone & Knate Lee

Produced by: Simon Kinberg, p.g.a., Karen Rosenfelt, p.g.a., Lauren Shuler Donner

Cast: Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga

Golden Globes 2020: Winners...

Golden Globes Awards LogoThe ceremony will take place in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, on 5 January next year and it will again be hosted by British comic actor Ricky Gervais...

Best motion picture - drama

Best performance by an actress in a motion picture - drama

  • Cynthia Erivo - Harriet
  • Scarlett Johansson - Marriage Story
  • Saoirse Ronan - Little Women
  • Charlize Theron - Bombshell
  • Renee Zellweger - Judy

Best actor in a motion picture - drama

Best motion picture - musical or comedy

Best performance by an actress in a motion picture - musical or comedy

  • Ana De Armas - Knives Out
  • Awkwafina - The Farewell
  • Cate Blanchett - Where'd You Go, Bernadette
  • Beanie Feldstein - Booksmart
  • Emma Thompson - Late Night

Best performance by an actor in a motion picture - musical or comedy

Best motion picture - animated

  • Frozen 2
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  • The Lion King
  • Missing Link
  • Toy Story 4

Best motion picture - foreign language

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role in any motion picture

  • Kathy Bates - Richard Jewell
  • Annette Bening - The Report
  • Laura Dern - Marriage Story
  • Jennifer Lopez - Hustlers
  • Margot Robbie - Bombshell

Best performance by an actor in a supporting role in any motion picture

Best director in a motion picture

Best screenplay - motion picture

Best original score

  • Motherless Brooklyn - Daniel Pemberton
  • Little Women - Alexandre Desplat
  • Joker - Hildur Gudnadottir
  • 1917 - Thomas Newman
  • Marriage Story - Randy Newman

Best original song - motion picture

  • Beautiful Ghosts - Cats
  • I'm Gonna Love Me Again - Rocketman
  • Into the Unknown - Frozen 2
  • Spirit - The Lion King
  • Stand Up - Harriet

Best Television series - drama

  • Big Little Lies
  • The Crown
  • Killing Eve
  • The Morning Show
  • Succession

Best performance by an actress in a drama series

  • Jennifer Aniston - The Morning Show
  • Olivia Colman - The Crown
  • Jodie Comer - Killing Eve
  • Nicole Kidman - Big Little Lies
  • Reese Witherspoon - The Morning Show

Best performance by an actor in a drama series

  • Brian Cox - Succession
  • Kit Harington - Game of Thrones
  • Rami Malek - Mr Robot
  • Tobias Menzies - The Crown
  • Billy Porter - Pose

Best television series - musical or comedy

  • Barry
  • Fleabag
  • The Kominsky Method
  • The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
  • The Politician

Best performance by an actress in a television series - musical or comedy

  • Christina Applegate - Dead to Me
  • Rachel Brosnahan - The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
  • Kirsten Dunst - On Becoming a God in Central Florida
  • Natasha Lyonne - Russian Doll
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Fleabag

Best performance by an actor in a television series - musical or comedy

  • Michael Douglas - The Kominsky Method
  • Bill Hader - Barry
  • Ben Platt - The Politician
  • Paul Rudd - Living With Yourself
  • Ramy Youssef - Ramy

Best television limited series or motion picture made for television

  • Catch-22
  • Chernobyl
  • Fosse/Verdon
  • The Loudest Voice
  • Unbelievable

Best actress in a limited series or TV movie

  • Michelle Williams - Fosse/Verdon
  • Helen Mirren - Catherine the Great
  • Merritt Wever - Unbelievable
  • Kaitlyn Dever - Unbelievable
  • Joey King - The Act

Best performance by an actor in a limited series or a motion picture made for television

  • Chris Abbott - Catch-22
  • Sacha Baron Cohen - The Spy
  • Russell Crowe - The Loudest Voice
  • Jared Harris - Chernobyl
  • Sam Rockwell - Fosse/Verdon

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a series, limited series or a motion picture made for television

  • Meryl Streep - Big Little Lies
  • Helena Bonham Carter - The Crown
  • Emily Watson - Chernobyl
  • Patricia Arquette - The Act
  • Toni Collette - Unbelievable

Best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series, limited series or motion picture made for television

  • lan Arkin - The Kominsky Method
  • Kieran Culkin - Succession
  • Andrew Scott - Fleabag
  • Stellan Skarsgård - Chernobyl
  • Henry Winkler - Barry

The best films of 2019...

In our humble [collective] opinions, these are the best films [although we haven't seen every film made] of 2019...

Top12 2019

#MOREFilms4Freedom

Fims4FreedomBFI and British Council announce new LGBTQ+ short film commissions selected for #MOREFilms4Freedom

Three new short films have been commissioned by BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival, the British Council, and BFI NETWORK as part of the #MOREFilms4Freedom programme. The selected films - all cross-cultural collaborations exploring LGBTQ+ stories - build on the success of the original #FiveFilms4Freedom digital campaign, which originated in 2015 as a partnership between BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival and the British Council.

This year’s pilot #MOREFilms4Freedom programme supports urgent, creative collaborations exploring LGBTQ+ themes. The three selected projects will showcase a breadth of distinctive filmmaking voices and explore diverse themes including sexuality and conflict; intergenerational gay culture; and migration and family ties. They include two documentaries and one fiction project, with collaborations between UK filmmakers and Syrian, Palestinian and South African filmmakers currently based in Lebanon, Israel, and South Africa.

The three selected projects have each been awarded a grant from the British Council of £10,500 to cover all stages of production. Each team has been working with Executive Producer Loran Dunn (former Screen Star of Tomorrow, BFI Vision Awardee, and producer, A Deal With the Universe) whose support has been provided alongside their funding, to mentor both team and project from script through to edit. The projects are due for delivery in February 2020, with the possibility of screening at next year’s BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival in March, as well as appearing alongside the 2020 #FiveFilms4Freedom campaign.

The selected projects and teams are:

The Men Who Speak Gayle (Director Andrew Brukman, writer/storyteller Nathan Kennedy, producers Thembisa Cochrane and Georgie Paget). Young drag performer Nathan is one of the last people to speak Gayle - a secret language the gay community were forced to invent during Apartheid. He finds out about Louis, an original Gayle speaker living in a conservative desert town in South Africa and wants to put on a performance with him. These men, two generations apart and from different cultural and racial backgrounds have never met - and have no idea how the town will react.

Let My Body Speak (Director Madonna Adib, producer Noe Mendelle). Our bodies store memories. The body does not forget. A childhood in Damascus, OCD, the revolution, falling in love with a woman. My body remembers, it keeps the trauma. And after all the losses, I had to start listening to my body.

Nowhere (Writer-director Christopher Manning, producer Garry Paton, co-producers Laura Samara Hawa and Baher Agbariya). A young Palestinian woman crosses the Israeli border illegally to find her long-lost brother, who she hopes will be her ticket to a new life far from the West Bank. When she discovers the truth behind his exiled existence, her dreams of a happy reunion are shattered, and she must face her next steps alone.

The  #FiveFilms4Freedom digital campaign has generated views from nearly 14 million people in 202 countries and principalities since 2015. In previous editions of the campaign, a gap was found in projects and stories originating in countries within the African continent and the Middle East. In response, this year’s #MOREFilms4Freedom is supporting three collaborations between filmmakers in the UK and countries in those regions.

Briony Hanson, Director of Film at the British Council, says:

“One of the unexpected pleasures of our #FiveFilms4Freedom programme so far has been witnessing just how universal LGBTQ+ experience is wherever you are in the world. I am delighted that these first #MOREFilms4Freedom commissions will give voice to more international stories, and that three groups of UK filmmakers will have the chance to create new global connections as a result.”

Tricia Tuttle, BFI Festivals Director, said: 

“#FiveFilms4Freedom has brought moving, provocative, beautiful stories with global LGBTQ+ perspectives to audiences worldwide. With #MOREFilms4Freedom, British Council, BFI Network and BFI Flare London LGBTQ+ Film Festival wanted to offer UK filmmakers the opportunity to collaborate creatively with filmmakers from other parts of the world. It’s an important project which enables talented filmmakers to learn from each other and explore the similarities and differences of LGBTQ+ experiences and stories across cultures”

TENET - Official Trailer...

Armed with only one word -- Tenet -- and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.

Directed by Christopher Nolan

John Waters' Top 10 Films of 2019...

 It's that time of the year when John Waters announces his favourite films of the year. It is - as always - a mixed bag...with the awful The Souvenir and the hyped Once Upon a Time... receiving his undeserved praise.

Here they are:

Gaspar Noé, Climax, 2018, 2K video, color, sound, 96 minutes.Gaspar Noé, Climax, 2018, 2K video, color, sound, 96 minutes. 

1
CLIMAX (Gaspar Noé)

The best movie of the year gives new meaning to the term “bad trip.” Frenzied dance numbers combined with LSD, mental breakdowns, and childhood trauma turn this nutcase drama into The Red Shoes meets Hallucination Generation. Freak out, baby, freak out!

 

Bruno Dumont, Joan of Arc, 2019, 3K video, color, sound, 138 minutes. Jeanne d’Arc (Lise Leplat Prudhomme).Bruno Dumont, Joan of Arc, 2019, 3K video, color, sound, 138 minutes. Jeanne d’Arc (Lise Leplat Prudhomme). 

2
JOAN OF ARC (Bruno Dumont)

There is a God and his name is Bruno Dumont. His piously poisonous sequel to last year’s best film, Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, is artier, holier, and will give you Catholic goose bumps. The ten-year-old star stares nobly and defiantly through the camera lens right into your soul and doesn’t even wait for the church authorities—she burns herself at the stake. 

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood, 2019, 35 mm, color and black-and-white, sound, 161 minutes. Center: Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio). Production still. Photo: Andrew Cooper.Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood, 2019, 35 mm, color and black-and-white, sound, 161 minutes. Center: Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio). Production still. Photo: Andrew Cooper. 


ONCE UPON A TIME . . . IN HOLLYWOOD (Quentin Tarantino)

A real crowd-pleaser that deserves every bit of its critical and financial success for pulling the rug out from under America’s true-crime obsession and daring to give the Manson murders a feel-good happy ending that manages to be both shocking and terribly funny.  

Ali Abbasi, Gräns (Border), 2018, HD video, color, sound, 108 minutes. Vore (Eero Milonoff).Ali Abbasi, Gräns (Border), 2018, HD video, color, sound, 108 minutes. Vore (Eero Milonoff). 

4
BORDER (Ali Abbasi)

If Eraserhead had cousins, this transgressive troll couple would have welcomed them into their jaw-droppingly bizarre world of over-developed noses, maggot-eating diets, and pedophile-hunting duties. You won’t believe this one!

AMAZING GRACE5
AMAZING GRACE (realized and produced by Alan Elliott)

Top-notch doc about the 1972 making of Aretha Franklin’s gospel album made all the more powerful by its drab church setting and the empty seats inside. Aretha never looked so talented or so lost, almost like an alien who is stunned by her own talents.

 

Penny Lane, Hail Satan?, 2019, 4K video, color, sound, 95 minutes.Penny Lane, Hail Satan?, 2019, 4K video, color, sound, 95 minutes. 

Hail Satan6
HAIL SATAN? (Penny Lane)

Not since the Yippies have we seen such a hilarious pack of militant activists as the Satanic Temple. Their real-life pro-separation-of-church-and-state cult leader, Lucien Greaves, makes Anton LaVey look like Pat Boone. Don’t send money to Toys for Tots this Xmas; give it to these heretics.

PAIN AND GLORY7
PAIN AND GLORY (Pedro Almodóvar)

The first Almodóvar movie to shock me—it’s not one bit funny or melodramatic and even the colors are muted, yet it goes beyond the valley of maturity and over the top of riveting self-reflection to gay mental health. You’re not dying, Pedro, independent cinema is.

 

Faith Akin, Der goldene Handschuh (The Golden Glove), 2019, 2K video, color, sound, 110 minutes. Fritz Honka (Jonas Dassler).Faith Akin, Der goldene Handschuh (The Golden Glove), 2019, 2K video, color, sound, 110 minutes. Fritz Honka (Jonas Dassler). 

8
THE GOLDEN GLOVE (Fatih Akin)

Even its own American distributor called this film reprehensible, and I agree, yet it’s so appalling, so grotesque, so well made and bravely acted that dare I suggest you give this serial-killer movie a watch? Shame on you, Fatih Akin, for making it. Shame on me for putting it on this Top Ten list. Shame on you if you like it.

THE SOUVENIR9
THE SOUVENIR (Joanna Hogg)

An ugly-to-look-at but beautifully shot high-class art film based on the director’s disastrous first love affair with a junkie. If Marguerite Duras and Philippe Garrel had sex and Martin Scorsese adopted their cinematic offspring, this might have been what their film baby would look like. 

Todd Phillips, Joker, 2019, 35 mm, color, sound, 122 minutes. Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix).Todd Phillips, Joker, 2019, 35 mm, color, sound, 122 minutes. Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix). 

10
JOKER (Todd Phillips)

Irresponsible? Maybe. Dangerous? We’ll see. The first big-budget Hollywood movie to gleefully inspire anarchy. Bravo, Todd Phillips! Only you could get away with it. 

True History of the Kelly Gang - Official Trailer

Inspired by Peter Carey’s Man Booker prize winning novel of the same name, Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang shatters the mythology of the notorious icon to reveal the essence behind the life of Ned Kelly and force a country to stare back into the ashes of its brutal past.

Spanning the younger years of Ned’s life to the time leading up to his death, the film explores the blurred boundaries between what is bad and what is good, and the motivations for the demise of its hero. Youth and tragedy collide in the Kelly Gang, and at the beating heart of this tale is the fractured and powerful love story between a mother and a son.

Written for the screen by Shaun Grant and directed by the award-winning Justin Kurzel, it stars a spectacular cast of award-winning Australian and international stars, including George MacKay, Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult, Essie Davis, Claudia Karvan, Earl Cave and Charlie Hunnam.

STAR WARS 9: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER Duel Trailer...

The journey nears its end in this latest TV spot for the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga.

The film stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, with Ian McDiarmid and Billy Dee Williams

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