Thursday, August 3rd, 2023

Queerguru’s TOP PICKS OF MUST SEE MOVIES @ GAZE Int. LGBTQ+ Film Fest in Dublin, Ireland


Queerguru never needs much of an excuse to cross the Irish Channel and visit Dublin one of its very favorite (queer) citIes.  GAZE  its international annual LGBTQ+ Film Festival takes place every summer Bank Holiday Weekend (i.e. official public days off) since it was founded over 30 years ago.  Not only has it become Ireland’s largest LGBT film event, but it is also the country’s biggest LGBT gathering aside from Dublin Pride. 

Included in their eclectic program are also films by gay artists which don’t contain gay themes and films that have inspired or are inspired by gay artists.  Plus there is always an amazing selection of short films from Irish filmmakers




BARRIO BOY: Writer/director and Emmy Award winner Dennis Shinners adopted his own short film (2014) of the same name into this his debut feature film It’s the story of a Latino barber in a macho world who faces a tough road ahead when an attraction develops for a handsome stranger during a hot and sweaty summer in Brooklyn.



IT’S ONLY LIFE AFTER ALLAlexandria Bombach’s documentary, about the Indigo Girls has screened at SXSW, and Sundance, and is both blessed and cursed by an abundance of archival footage of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers performing and being interviewed over the years. The two have been writing and performing intelligent and out music for decades, managing to remain relatable to a spectrum of fans from radical lesbians to mainstream audiences.



KOKOMO CITY . This trail-blazing documentary is the debut of  Miami filmmaker D. Smith who directed, produced, and edited it  The celebration at the very recent screening at OUTshine in Miami suddenly turned into honoring the life of 35-year-old Koko Da Doll. They had been tragically murdered in Atlanta becoming the latest victim of violence against Black transgender women. 

Their journey on how the film came to be made starts when out of pure frustration after D Smith suddenly got blackballed from the music industry when they started to transition. They went from being in great demand producing songs for Lil WayneKeri HilsonBilly Porter and André 3000. to being unemployed, broke, and homeless.  In fact, Smith was still homeless when she began working on the project, with a camera being purchased by a host where she was once staying, and a laptop by a producer.

After being ousted for being transgender, Smith had the idea for a documentary film revolving around sex work, after wondering what would happen if she had to turn to it to sustain herself, and those who had no other options. So Kokomo City explores the lives of four transgender sex workers in New York and Georgia who were found by simply searching the internet. 



MUTT this compelling drama depicts a 24-hour period in the life of Fernanda / Feña (Lío Mehiel), a recently transitioned trans man that awaits for his father to come from Chile into town (NYC), enjoys the company of a younger sister who ran away from school bringing her own concerns and has encounters with ex-boyfriend John (Cole Doman), who is back in the city to take her off his mother. Vuk Lungulov – Klotz its director, says the film is about “in-betweenness” and foresight the film authentically reflects the experience of being caught between two worlds whether that´s race, gender, nationality or sexuality.



Of An Age. This emotionally resonant coming -of age from Macedonian-Australian filmmaker  Goran Stolevski reminded me of the powerful impact that Francis Lee created in 2017 with his debut God’s Own Country.  Both of these films will undoubtedly become queer classics. Stolevski builds tensions so well in this heart-string-pulling tale where plot twists are not always easy to predict, it’s only right we give no spoilers here.  He was blessed with a pair of extremely talented lead actors who had a magical chemistry between them, but most of all he gave us one of the most eloquent and imaginative coming-out tales we have seen for a very long time



Queer people from all over the world have made Berlin what it is today. Many leave their home because they want to, others because they have to, and this film follows a few of them. In recent decades, a multitude of identities have made themselves heard. Today, gay and lesbian are only two terms among many. QUEER EXILE BERLIN is the third part of an excellent queer Berlin documentary trilogy following OUT IN EAST BERLIN (2013) and MY WONDERFUL WEST BERLIN (2017).



THREE NGHTS A WEEK  this  French feature film dealing with the world of drag queens is an ambivalent, pleasantly teasing docudrama and romantic comedy centered around Baptiste (Pablo Pauly) the 29-year-old supervisor at a FNAC store in Paris and aspiring art photographer who becomes fascinated with the world of drag queens in the course of doing a photo story about them. Baptiste is in a relationship with Samia (Hafsia Hedrsi of The Secret of the Grain), who tends to HIV-positive street people. And then he meets “Cookie Kunty”/Quentin (Romain Eck), a young drag queen in Paris, and “something” happens.



Who I Am Not is a fascinating documentary chronicling the lives of two engaging, very different, black intersex people; South African ex-beauty queen Sharon-Rose, and unemployed fellow South African, Dimakatso, both of whom live in Johannesburg. Intersex people are often ignored in the current debates on gender identity. The movement towards more and more people identifying as non-binary will help their cause. The vast majority of what we do every day as humans are not governed by our gender, and that needs to be remembered. A great piece of work.



Totally unmissable is the living legend, queer icon, and performance art maestro David Hoyle is bringing his critically-acclaimed live show The Ten Commandments to Dublin for a premiere and one-night-only performance at Project Arts Centre for GAZE Film Festival. Survivor of a shame-inducing religious upbringing, David revisits his Biblical initiation with his very own version of The Ten Commandments designed to spark a revolution in human consciousness. This is a live experience that will wash all of your sins away and then some. Dark comedy meets righteous anger meets queer revolution as only David Hoyle themselves can conjure…



Hoyle is a special guest at this year’s GAZE Film Festival and on Sunday evening you can catch him in conversation at Light House Cinema with film director Jen Heyes and Festival Director Greg Thorpe following a one-off screening of Hedda (After Ibsen), a cinematic and musical reimagining of the Henrik Ibsen classic Hedda Gabler in true Hoyleian avant-garde fashion. David also appears in Afterparty, part of the Mighty Real shorts selection on Saturday evening.



GAZE  Film Fest begins on 8/2 and will end on 8/7 To see the whole program and book tickets, https://www.gaze.ie/


for full reviews of over 1500 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  21:46

Genres:  coming of age, coming out, documentary

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