We never need much of an excuse to visit Dublin, Ireland one of our very favorite cities around the globe, so makes the latest edition of GAZE International LGBT Film Festival a must-do event
Founded in 1992, it has become Ireland’s largest LGBT film event and the country’s biggest LGBT gathering aside from Dublin Pride. This year to tempt us back into seeing films in a cinema, the organizers have put together a packed diverse program that covers most of the LGBTQ+ spectrum to both entertain and educate. (N.B. the films can also be streamed online via IFI@HOME
Here are a few of our MUST SEE FILMS at the FEST:
BEAUTIFUL THING: This cult classic Britsi queer comedy was made for TV in 1966 but was so well received it was released in cinemas. Written by Jonathan Harvey and based on his own stage play it’s a delicious coming out story about a couple of working-class London boys that was (and still is) such a joy to watch
BEYTO: Talented swimmer, motivated apprentice, cool buddy: Beyto is in the midst of life. But when the only son of a Turkish migrant family falls in love with his coach Mike, an ideal world falls to pieces. His parents only see one way out: They lure him to their home village and plan his wedding with Seher, his childhood friend. Suddenly, Beyto finds himself in a disruptive love triangle. This multicultural story about love and emancipation by Gitta Gsell is a rare LGBTQ film from Switzerland
DRAMARAMA : Queer writer/director Jonathan Wysocki’s debut feature film is based on his own high school days where a bunch of geeky best friends prefer to play dress-up drama than actually deal with the reality of their own lives It all takes place in Escondido California back in 1994 and as the summer has ended it is finally time for this quirky group of tight-knit friends to finally separate as College life now beckons them. Well for most of them anyway.
FIREBIRD is an enormously satisfying and complete film. It tells a full tale of life, and love, and loss from its beginning right up to an end that could never need or want a sequel. PEETER REBANE‘S story of two Soviet military recruits, a pilot officer and a private, falling in love on a military base during the 70s cold war, is based on a true story. Skeptical as we are about stories ‘based on’ truth, people’s ages and weights on dating profiles might make that same claim, there is an undeniably human element to this story that grips the heart and mind with a sense of both individuality and history.
No Straight Lines: VIVIAN KLEIMAN’S intriguing doc looks at the impact of queer comics in the evolution of the LGBTQ community by examining the lives and work of 5 of its most well-known practitioners. They include AILSON BECHDEL whose graphic novel FUN HOME was turned into a Tony Award-Winning Musical, and RUPERT KINNARD who created the first ongoing gay/lesbian-identified African-American comic-strip characters. Although slightly patchy at times, Kleiman’s film does however play tribute to this oft underappreciated art that makes for compelling viewing.
Not for the faint-hearted, RAW! UNCUT! VIDEO! chronicles the rise and fall of homegrown gay porn studio Palm Drive Video, and explores how a devoted couple helped battle a devastating health crisis by promoting kinky sex.
REBEL DYKES: In the opening minutes of this powerful documentary we hear a voice that says ‘ we were young, working-class and poor: we were dykes NOT lesbians.” It is a statement of fact but there is a slight edge to it which we take as a warning not to misinterpret who this group of queer women really were. The film starts in the early 1980’s when a group of women set up a Camp outside the RAF MILITARY BASE ON GREENHAM COMMON in the UK. They were ostensibly there to protest the fact that the Government was allowing the US Military to store nuclear CRUISE MISSILES there.
Even though the documentary ends with a ‘where are they now’ section and most of the women seemed enveloped in some form of respectability, they still come over as good-spirited and still anarchic and funny(!). It’s just that their fierceness has mellowed. Kudos to filmmakers HARRI SHANAHAN, Sian A. Williams, and SIOBHAN FAHEY for making this fascinating record. Our queer history so needs to be told, so we can all remember the journey that others have made on our behalf.
PLUS do not miss QUEER EIRE SHORTS : presenting the best of new Irish LGBTQ+ cinema. Local heroes, irrational fears, complex family dynamics, and the cure for a deadly illness: they promise that most of these are works of fiction in a program curated by Sean McGovern
For the Full Program and info on Tickets etc https://www.gaze.ie/ And to read the full reviews of these films and over 1250 other queer ones http://c3f.ab6.myftpupload.com (and be sure to follow us for the latest rants and raves on queer cinema everywhere)
PS And whilst you are in the City be sure to go see LGBTQ+ Exhibition Space in Outhouse celebrating queer art in Ireland. Now that Outhouse has reopened its doors to the public, the centre plans to regularly feature LGBTQIA+ art on the walls of the centre so that people can enjoy the wealth of artistic talent in the LGBT+ community in Ireland.