Montreal LGBT Festival: 28th Edition & Mini Reviews

 

If you haven’t had the chance or the guts to check out the audacious 28th edition of the Montreal LGBT festival, here’s five of the must-see screenings on how to knock down the stereotypes on the LGBT community. For your viewing and imaginary pleasure.

Amuse-bouches – pre-opening: Educational Sex for All

Trevor is switching places with his teacher Keith, teaching him a lesson on how the system is turning a blind eye on sexual education for gays. Sex is a matter of confidence, and some people will grow up never getting a chance to be helped through adulthood. Disturbingly evocative, Brad McDermott’s “Health class” is asking crucial questions while giving zero fuck to censorship. Enlightening.

Dive into the confusion of genders with “Intrinsic moral evil” by Harm Weistra. Misleading perception. A voice-off following a young guy’s experience and self-discovery through life encounters. A dance with a girl-looking person finally arising as a man, who could have also been from the same gender from the very beginning. A beautiful pas de deux where the theme of identity is being explored through sexual orientation and the research of the self.

“Health Class” and “Intrisic Moral Evil” come as two of the most powerful shorts of this festival’s pre-opening and programming on how to behave as a gay in a not enough open-minded society denying sexual diversity.

That’s not us – William Sullivan: #CommitedRelationshipProblems

 thats_not_us_still_h_15.jpgThat’s not us, William Sullivan – still

That’s not us could be summarized by the hashtag #relationshiproblems. Because that’s where Sullivan give us a beautiful lesson of love.

Fire Island: end of the summer. Three couples get together to spend the week-end in a beach house. A gay, a lesbian and a straight couple. The supposedly last days of not getting worked up end up putting each of the relationship on a cliff edge. Haven’t had sex in months, leaving for two years to study, doesn’t want to be helped on how to ride a bike. Each relationship is unique, yet the problems remain the same. Communication seems to be the key for those six friends trying either to save their relationship’s complicity or lay its foundation. Ringing a bell for any couple.

By bringing up the universal out of the personal, William Sullivan is reinventing the romantic comedy through the everyday problems of gay and lesbian couples.

 

Take up the Torch –Kenneth Woods, Michael Yerxa: Knocking down the male institution

maxresdefault (3).jpgTake up the torch – Kenneth Woods, Michael Yerxa – still YouTube.

“If you’re too good at sports for a girl, you’re a lesbian. And if you’re not good at sports for a guy, you’re automatically gay.” With this assumption, Ashley McGee, specialist in Sport and Recreation of the PrideHouseTO initiative, is pointing out the omnipresent sexism and homophobia in the sport’s world.

Mark Tewksbury, Canadian former competition swimmer and winner of the 1992 Summer Olympics gold medal, was among the first gay athletes to come out in 1998.

The 2014 Sochi games held in Russia was a crucial event for LGBT athletes. Not only was homosexuality seen as a crime, but it was also illegal to even mention or talk about LGBT issues during the event. Not boycotting the games as a gay or lesbian suddenly became a political and provocative move.

By zooming in on the everyday challenge of gay and lesbian athletes in Canada, Mark Kenneth Woods and Michael Yerxa’s documentary breaking a taboo of the sports’ sphere worldwide. A beautiful discovery of concealed heroes wearing the mask of sportsmanship and step by step deserving the exemplary behavior, tolerance and excellent mindset of any real athlete.

 

In the Grayscale – Claudio Marcone: The choice of being gay

In-The-Grayscale.jpg
          In the Grayscale, Claudio Marcone – still

Bruno is an architect, married with a kid. He thought he had it all figure it out. Until meeting Fernando, an openly gay tour guide seeing life in black and white.

Everything’s been put in a box and structured just like his designs since he was a young boy, but distancing himself from his family and falling in love with Fernando is leaving Bruno indecisive. By questioning himself and his sexuality in his mid-thirties, Bruno’s wondering if he’s living the life he wants to live.

“One’s paradigm of beauty can change.” “Just like in architecture.”

How to fulfill one’s expectations and find inspiration when individuals change as fast as the eternal circle of Santiago’s construction and deconstruction? After biking all over the city to catch up with Fernando, Bruno finally and endlessly need to take some time to think. In this radiant movie about the coming out’s difficulty, Claudio Marcone is mostly shedding light on the comprehension of happiness.

 

Kiss me Kill me – Andreas Casper: Not All about Sex

 _Kiss_Me,_Kill_Me__movie_poster (2).jpgKiss me kill me, Casper Andreas – poster

Dusty and Steven are in love. Black out after a party and a fight about Gregory, Steven’s possessive ex. Dusty suddenly finds himself accused of the murder of his own fiancé. Devastated by Steven’s death but eaten away by the guilt while remembering the night pieces by pieces, Dusty falls into his shrink’s clutches, Jeffrey.

“Love, sex, it’s complicated for gays.”

To all appearances, sex and addiction seems to be overly present themes in Casper’s film. Yet the motive of the investigation, which is love, becomes clearer with Dusty’s memory revival. Trying to get Gregory back in his arms, Jeffrey acted out of love when co-organizing Steven’s murder.

The eternal best friend Amanda picking up Jeffrey’s sperm on a shirt thinking it was Dusty’s to realize her dream of having his child comes as the perfect illustration of this vicious circle’s complexity. As dark as Steven’s past could be, his love for Dusty turned out to be unconditional.

“Fucked up he was, but he loved you.”

Playing with prejudices on the LGBT community and using self-mockery as a cinematographic tool, Andreas is offering an original, trashy crazy piece revolving around themes such as passion crime, guilt, jealousy, and most of all, love.

 


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