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ICMF-FF5: LGBTQ Slate

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beavis
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ICMF-FF5: LGBTQ Slate

#1

Post by beavis »

Welcome to the 2021 ICM Forum Film Festival!


From Monday the 15th of November until Monday the 13th of December this thread is going to be dedicated to discussing this year’s special selection of four outstanding LGBTQ films.

The entire program is listed in this ICM-checklist:
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icmf ... am/beavis/
The Main festival hub is this thread:
viewtopic.php?p=740700#p740700

Please rate the films you've seen on a scale from 1-10 to help contribute to this year's Audience Award.

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Queer cinema around the globe continues to blossom, as more and more governments and production companies are recognizing that queer audiences are clamouring to see themselves represented on screen, and queer stories are no longer seen as big risks for actors, directors, or studios. This year's slate features four films from Europe and Latin America: Argentina, France, Ireland, and Mexico.

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End of the Century [Fin de siglo] (2019) is an Argentinian tale of two men who meet in Barcelona for a night of passion, only to discover that they may have met in the city before, twenty years earlier (i.e. around the end of the last century). Featuring two actors who play both their younger and older selves (without aging/de-aging gimmicks or makeup), the lines between the real and the imagined, and the past and the present, start to blur. Featuring two strong performances from Argentinian Juan Barberini (as Ocho) and Spaniard Ramón Pujol (as Javi), this mellow romantic drama from director Lucio Castro has a dreamlike quality to it, and may just get you to ask the question "What if...?"

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Sorry Angel [Plaire, aimer et courir vite] (2018) is a French drama set in the mid-90s, focused on a May-December romance (really, more of a May-August one) between the younger Arthur (played by former teen star Vincent Lacoste) and older Jacques (Stranger by the Lake's breakout star Pierre Deladonchamps). The action bounces back and forth between Paris and Rennes (in Brittany, northwest France), as the two men figure out their feelings for each other, along with Arthur's maybe-girlfriend, Pierre's delightful young son, and Pierre's sickly friend and neighbour. Christophe Honoré's film was the only film, along with the main slate's Centerpiece, that was seen by all 7 programmers, so whatever you think of this film, you'll find yourself in good company. Tissues not included.

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Dating Amber (2020) is an Irish dramedy centered on two queer teenagers trying to survive life in their small town in the mid-90s (imagine them meeting up with Arthur and Pierre on a roadtrip to France). Their solution? Pretend to be dating each other, to mask the fact that Eddie (Handsome Devil's Fionn O'Shea) is gay and the titular Amber (newcomer Lola Petticrew) is a lesbian. The pair get up to a few hi-jinks, including a trip into the big city of Dublin, develop a strong bond, and save up their money to get out of Ireland and move to London, where they imagine life will be better and they won't have to hide in the closet anymore. David Freyne's film is ostensibly about Eddie, following his character throughout, but Amber shines just as brightly in this and is not to be trifled with. The lightest of the four films in this slate, we hope you have fun with it, even if you need the subtitles to understand the Irish accents.

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This Is Not Berlin [Esto no es Berlín] (2019) is a Mexican coming-of-age drama set in 1980s Mexico City (thus completing our unintentional retrospective of queers in the past). Carlos (Xaviani Ponce de León) and Gera (José Antonio Toledano) are two upper class teens who are drawn into the punk crowd by Gera's older sister, where they learn about class struggles, sexual liberation, politics, and their own burgeoning sexualities. With full frontal nudity and some loud music, this film can be abrasive at times, but at its core it's a tender drama about two best friends who grow up and discover they may be simultaneously falling in love and growing apart. Hari Sama's film also allows its characters to explore their sexuality on their own terms, instead of having a label imposed upon them from the start, something that may resonate with modern audiences even though the film's setting is from 35 years ago. Plus, if you like Mexican punk music, you'll probably enjoy the soundtrack as well.

Finally, as a kind of appetizer we are offering a short for each of the non-main sections this year!

Magic realism and fantasy have featured a lot in LGBTQ cinema in recent years. They are of course perfectly suitable to address the psychological complexities of transformation, while also offering endless creative possibilities. But when it comes to coming-of-age and bullying (themes also not uncommon in LGBTQ cinema) they also offer up escape and a way of finding your own place in the world. This short little gem showcases all of this.

https://mubi.com/films/my-brother-is-a-mermaid
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Fergenaprido
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#2

Post by Fergenaprido »

Just watched My Brother Is a Mermaid; a touching little short you selected there Beavis. Thanks!

Won't say much about the four features until others get a chance to see them and post here, except to say that I've seen and enjoyed all four of them. :wub:

As for the shorts, thanks for putting them in a list. I've actually already seen two of them, Leading Lady Parts and Brotherhood, and both are great selections. :thumbsup: I'll try and catch them all before the festival is over.
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beavis
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#3

Post by beavis »

Fergenaprido wrote: November 24th, 2021, 2:42 am Just watched My Brother Is a Mermaid; a touching little short you selected there Beavis. Thanks!

Won't say much about the four features until others get a chance to see them and post here, except to say that I've seen and enjoyed all four of them. :wub:

As for the shorts, thanks for putting them in a list. I've actually already seen two of them, Leading Lady Parts and Brotherhood, and both are great selections. :thumbsup: I'll try and catch them all before the festival is over.
:cheers: :banana: :cheers:
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#4

Post by maxwelldeux »

Dating Amber (2020) - 9/10

Oh. My. God. This was amazing. Not that I'm deep into the year yet, but this is my favorite narrative film of 2020 so far. Set in 1995, two years after homosexuality became legal, Eddie and Amber are two gay teens living in rural Ireland who decide to "date" in order to cover for each other in front of their classmates until they graduate. A dual coming of age story, it's not only a heartfelt look at dealing with your sexuality in high school in a homophobic society, but an uproariously funny teen comedy.
Me word-vomiting with possible spoilers
OK. I grew up in the 90s. In 1995, I was 13 years old and in 7th grade, so I was starting to have those feelings. I get the fashion. I get the awkwardness of not fitting in. I even understand the unaccepting homophobic society, having grown up in catholic school. I connected with this film in a lot of ways.

I honestly did not expect this to be so funny. It's an LGBTQ+ teen film billed as a drama/comedy. I've seen enough of these sorts of films to know that, at best, there's probably three "jokes" and it'll still make you feel depressed. But holy hell was I wrong. From the moment Eddie first appears on screen, riding his bike through a live-fire military exercise while wearing headphones and completely oblivious to the fact he's in SERIOUS danger of being shot, this film packs some comedy chops. Hilarious dark humor, often subtle and in the background - like the scene in the theater where we have Eddie/Amber awkwardly having their first date while multiple dudes are getting handjobs from their girlfriends in the background. The humor kept up surprisingly well throughout - huge props for that, as I've seen humor fall off in the second half of too many comedy/drama films.
This part I REALLY know is a spoiler
One scene near the end really got to me. When Eddie's mom comes to his room as he's leaving for military whatever, she asks him "Is there anything you want to tell me?" I've been on the receiving end of that question in high school. Multiple times. In fact, multiple family members have each asked me that question multiple times. (As my wife [paraphrasing] said tonight, "you're not gay, you're just stupid" - my harem of female friends had members who liked me, much to my ignorance.)

Though I have a different perspective on that, I did share some of those feelings. Like, "I get why you're asking me that" and "*deer in headlights* this is the most awkward moment of my entire life" and "I have no idea how to respond to you" and "what are the words that will get me out of this conversation the quickest" etc. It was a good familial acknowledgement

Don't get me wrong - there's an really solid emotional arc in there. But I would call this more of a "good well-written comedy" than a "comedy/drama". But yeah. Fantastic film. Loved it. Was too happy to cry, but I felt the end. Laughed more than I have in a while.
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#5

Post by Teproc »

Plaire, aimer et courir vite - 8/10

Saw this one back when it came out a few years ago, thankfully I wrote a short review at the time:

In some ways a counterpart to last year's 120 battements par minute/BPM, as it's a gay romance (more or less) in 90s France (Act Up is even mentioned at one point), though it feels very different from Campillo's film. I would guess it takes place a few years later, for one thing, as AIDS is a presence but it feels like the main character (Pierre Deladonchamps, from L'inconnu du lac among other things) is someone who has survived longer than most of his social circle, and the whole point of his relationship with Vincent Lacoste's character is that he's a younger guy: there's a scene that plays with that teacher/student relationship really well, but it's more than that, because AIDS is always a presence in the background for him (Deladonchamps) in a way that it obviously isn't for Lacoste.

But that makes it all sound dreary, which this film is anything but. It's actually very funny, largely thanks to Vincent Lacoste, who is playing a variation on his usual character (not that non-French viewers would be particularly familiar with it I don't think), but one that's specific enough not to feel lazy while still retaining that effortless charm. Deladonchamps is quite good as well, as is Denis Podalydès in a supporting role.

It probably won't get honors in Cannes because, in the end, it's just another gay romance and it doesn't have anything that makes it particularly stands out... I expect it'll be one of my favorites of the bunch by the time I've seen them all, in about a year or so. (note: it ended up being my second favorite behind the actual Palme winner, Shoplifters)
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#6

Post by beavis »

another one of which I've only seen one...

Plaire, aimer et courir vite (2018) - 7,5
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#7

Post by blocho »

Dating Amber (2020)
A tremendously enjoyable coming-of-age movie that was both very funny (the sex ed video was a highlight) and also succeeded dramatically. The two leads were excellent.

8/10
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