Sunday, October 1st, 2023

Queerguru’s PICK OF MUST SEE QUEER FILMS at BFI London Film Festival



If you are a regular reader of QUEERGURU then you will know that our team of reviewers covers most of the major queer Film Fests around the Globe …..the most recent being Out on Film in Atlanta and  Chicago’s Reeling Film Fest. Next up will be Seattle Queer Film Fest, NewFest in NY, Damn Those Heels in Salt Lake City, and BFI London Film Festival. 

The latter is technically not a gay film fest but they always include some very significant new queer movies …….. it’s just that the organizers like to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to locate them.  They divide their program into sections such as LIFE, DEBATE, TREASURES, DARE etc ……God forbid they should make it viewer friendly with an LGBTQ section.  Having  got that off our  collective chests, here are


ALL OF US STRANGERS is the latest film from the award-winning Brit filmmaker Andrew Haigh The film is set in  contemporary London when one night in his near-empty tower block, Adam (Andrew Scott) has a chance encounter with a mysterious neighbor Harry (Paul Mescal), which punctures the rhythm of his everyday life. As a relationship develops between them, Adam is preoccupied with memories of the past and finds himself drawn back to the suburban town where he grew up, and the childhood home where his parents (Claire Foy and Jamie Bell), appear to be living, just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before. 



CHASING CHASING AMY is an interesting documentary that takes a deep dive into the complex legacy of Kevin Smith’s 1997 indie film Chasing Amy, its effect on queer people, and its life-saving impact on director Sav Rodgers.

The original film is a romantic comedy starring Ben AffleckJoey Lauren Adams and Jason Lee. The film is about a male comic artist (Affleck) who falls in love with a lesbian/sexually fluid woman (Adams), to the displeasure of his best friend (Lee). The film was originally inspired by a brief scene in the cult 90s lesbian film Go Fish. In Guinevere Turner’s Go Fish, one of the lesbian characters imagines her friends passing judgment on her for selling out by sleeping with a man.  Rodgers’ film is a love letter to film-making, his wife, and to Chasing Amy. His charismatic energy is infectious. Keep an eye on him.   This film has been in our TopPIcks in all the US Film Fests it has played this year.




HIGH AND LOW: JOHN GALLIANO Brit designer Galliano may be known as the bad boy of fashion for his unforgivable outbreak of anti-semitic remarks, but he is still one of the most talented geniuses that we ever had the pleasure of meeting.  Kevin McDonald’s documentary  should be viewed to recognize  and acknowledge his major contribution to fashion




HOUSEKEEPING FOR BEGINNERS Macedonian filmmaker Goran Stolevski, whose previous film ‘Of An Age ‘ is a firm favorite of ours, gives us this wonderful melodrama that sees Dita (Anamaria Marinca), a reluctant and harried ‘mum in law’, suddenly forced to bring up her girlfriend’s two unmanageable daughters: cheeky upstart Mia and troubled Vanesa, a teenager going on 40!).  A battle of wills ensues as the three continue at loggerheads with this unlikely family fighting to stay together through force of circumstance rather than compatibility and desire. 





I AM SIRAT.  In India, Sirat juggles her loyalty to herself and to her mother by living double lives. At home, she presents as male and her mother refers to her by the boy name she gave her at birth. When Sirat leaves for work, she transforms into her true self, donning make-up and a sari (sometimes changing quickly in the cab) and enjoys a full day as a woman at the Ministry of Defense.  She can bear the emotional and physical strain of juggling two lives, but she expresses patience with her mother, knowing her attitude reflects another era.   Directed by and Grab a tissue for this one



Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary at Sundance examines the life and career of queer poet and activist Nikki Giovanni, who rose to fame in the 1960s through her writings and television appearances. The film travels through time and space to reveal the enduring influence of one of America’s greatest living artists and social commentators.




Maestro is a new movie directed, co-written and starring Bradley Cooper that is based on Bernstein’s relationship with actress and activist Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein (Carey Mulligan) who he married and was the mother of his three children. Throughout his life, Bernstein had affairs with both women and men and even sought advice in April 1943 from Aaron Copland about living as a gay man in the public eye.  He even left his wife for a brief spell and after her death continued dating men until his own death years later.  In this first trailer, just released by Netflix, an excellent Cooper is sure shoo-in for the great man.





Newbie Russian filmmakers Agniia Gladanova & Igor Myakotin debut feature film  QUEENDOM  is the story of Gena, a queer artist from a small town in Russia, who stages radical performances in public that become a new form of art and activism –  but also put her life in danger



PS you may also like to check out this interview the filmmakers gave to Queerguru when  they were at 
the Provincetown Film Festival  click HERE 


Saltburn the highly anticipated sophomore feature film from actor-turned-filmmaker Emerald Fennell is a psychological thriller drama film written, directed, and produced by  Fennell set in the mid-2000s.  It follows a young college student (Barry Keoghan) who becomes infatuated with his aristocratic schoolmate (Jacob Elordi) and his wealthy but eccentric family.  The cast also includes Rosamund PikeRichard E. GrantAlison Oliver and Archie Madekwe .  It also reunites Fennell with  Carey Mulligan who starred in the multi-award-winning Promising Young Women, Fennell’s directing debut.  The buzz right now is comparing Saltburn with Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. but we are reserving our judgment until we get to see the film on the Opening Night of the BFI London Film Festival




SLOW IS the sophomore feature from Lithuanian writer-director Marija Kavtaradze. A relationship drama with a difference, the film follows two people who come together almost coincidentally. Dovydas (Kęstutis Cicėnas) is a sign language interpreter who usually works on music TV shows, signing the lyrics for Deaf viewers. One of his other jobs is interpreting for Elena (Greta Grinevičiūtė), a contemporary dancer teaching a group of young Deaf students. After the first lesson, the pair quickly develop a bond. Then Dovydas discloses something: he is asexual, meaning he isn’t sexually attracted to anyone. But he still wants something with Elena – a relationship even. And as they navigate the strangeness of their situation, a beautiful emotional connection is formed.




THE LOST BOYS is the debut feature-length film by Zeno Grato a Belgian film director and screenwriter, and it rightly picked up an award when it premiered at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival in 2023.   It’s set in a juvenile reform center, a place governed by the prohibition of physical contact, where Joe and William fall in love. To love each other, they will have to break the law.




THE QUEEN OF MY DREAMS is from queer Canadian actress Fawzi Mizra and is her debut feature as a writer /director. This comedy-drama film stars Amrit Kaur as Azra, a Pakistani Canadian teen who has had a strained relationship with her parents since coming out as a lesbian, and who undergoes an emotional journey after the sudden unexpected death of her father Hassan (Hamza Haq). However with a jump back to 1969 in the first act, the writer/director works to show Azra and her mother Mariam aren’t that different after all.



UNICORNS is a love story, but it’s about two people who are not just sexually drawn to one another but inspire each other to take risks and become the people they’ve always wanted to be. Luke (Eastenders Ben Hardy), a single father and mechanic who stumbles into a secret club under a restaurant one night, where he meets Aysha (Jason Patel). He’s immediately drawn to her and doesn’t notice her Adam’s Apple until after they kiss. The tough, macho Luke, whose dad makes homophobic jokes to Luke’s son while they watch football, can’t handle the emotions, pulling away from Aysha. But she senses something here, and the two begin a relationship, with Luke driving her to performances around London.





BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL begins on 10/4 and will end on 10/55 To see the whole program and book tickets https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/







for full reviews of over 1800 queer films check out www.queerguru.com and whilst you are there be sure to subscribe to get all the latest raves and rants on queer cinema …best of all its FREE 




Posted by queerguru  at  17:23

Genres:  comedy, coming of age, coming out, documentary, drama, dramedy, genderqueer, trans

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