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By The Gay UK, Sep 29 2014 02:35PM

The BFI’s LONDON FILM FESTIVAL is the UK’s leading film event and now in its 58th year is one of the world’s oldest film festivals.

by Roger Walker-Dack | 29th September 2014

It is also one of the very best with a programme of some 245 feature and documentary films from some of the industry’s best established filmmakers and cutting edge new talent getting their first big showcase. The 12 day Festival scattered all over London literally covers every film genre and has something for everyone from the avid cinephile to the most casual cinemagoer.

Its programme of LGBT films is, as always, particularly exciting and we have chosen just 8 of our favourites that we are happy to recommend to you.

1) LOVE IS STRANGE. This is your chance to preview IRA SACH’S wonderful new romance that US Critics have unanimously claimed is ‘the love story of the year’. With remarkable performances from John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a devoted mature gay couple, the film serves as a graceful tribute to the beauty of commitment in the face of adversity

Look out for our full 5 Star review when it opens in UK Cinemas in December.

2) THE WAY HE LOOKS: Brazilian filmmaker Daniel Ribeiro’s touching coming-of-age story about a blind gay teenager is a sheer joy. It has already won the coveted Teddy Award for Best LGBT Film at the Berlinale, and only this week it has been announced that its been selected as Brazil’s Official Entry for a Best Foreign Picture Oscar Nomination.

Due for release in Cinemas in October when we will publish our 5 Star Review and an exclusive interview with the Director.

3) FREE FALL One of the very sexiest coming-out stories from Germany which features a couple of hot trainee policemen is already out on DVD but we think this is another 5 Star movie that would look even better seen on the big screen.

4) MOMMY has made our list of must-see-movies because it’s the work of multi-award winning gay wunderkind XAVIER DOLAN. At the ripe old age of 25, this 5th film of his is the second time he explores a mother-son relationship. Like all his previous work, this one is unmissable, an opinion shared by the Canadian Film Academy who have made it their Official submission for a Best Foreign Picture Nomination.

5) JAMIE MARKS IS DEAD is the sweet indie sophomore film from young American filmmaker Carter Smith. This supernatural thriller is by no means perfect but we added to our recommendations, as there is something totally beguiling about it that has kept it in our minds since it premiered at Sundance in January.

6) APPROPIATE BEHAVIOUR: Written, directed and starred in by the multi-talented Iranian/American powerhouse DESIREE AKHAVEN is a very sharp comedy about a Iranian/American bi-sexual woman struggling to rebuild her life after breaking up with her girlfriend Maxine whilst trying to conform to the wishes of her traditonal parents who she is not out too. Based on Ms Akhaven’s own life.

7) HOCKNEY : The celebrated gay British artist DAVID HOCKNEY OM CH RA gave filmmaker Randall Wright un-paralleled access to his personal archives for this new stunning new documentary for the BBC.

8) MY OLD LADY: We couldn’t help ourselves and slip in this new film written and directed by ISRAEL HOROVITZ simply because it stars gay icon and acting super-great DAME MAGGIE SMITH. Her co-stars in this charming new wee film set in Paris are Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas but we only have eyes for Dame Maggie

The BFI London Film Festival runs from 8-19 October 2014.

Full details and tickets

By The Gay UK, Sep 28 2014 03:57PM

The incomparable and hysterically funny Dina Martina has described herself as a tragic singer, horrible dancer and surreal raconteur. Trust me she is all of those and more, but ever since she first exposed her bizarre performances to a startled world back in Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art in 1989 she has accumulated legions of devoted fans who have dubbed her “magically warped”, “hilariously unfortunate” and “utter genius”. She is in her own words totally ‘off the charts’.

by Roger Walker-Dack | 28th September 2014

Absolutely packed with ludicrous song, horrifying stories and overburdened costumes, Dina Martina’s shows are impossible to adequately describe, other than that they’ve become synonymous with jaw-dropping pathos and mind-blowing comedy. On her first trip to London ‘Time Out’ hailed her as ‘divinely funny’ and audiences have demanded she come back to the UK every year since. This unique and unpredictable performer is very much an acquired taste, but it’s one that we at The Gay UK love to indulge in, so we were thrilled (and a tad apprehensive) when the great lady agreed to take tea with us as the summer drew to a close.

Thank you for taking Tea with me this afternoon Miss Martina, could you describe exactly where we are and what you are wearing for our readers?

Thank you. We're in my suite at the Hampton Inn La Guardia and because this is a print interview, I am wearing jeans and a camisole. The camisole is from Victoria's Big & Tall Secret.

How did you spend your summer this year?

I spent my summer performing in Ptown (Provincetown, Massachusetts), which is so full of tradition and heritages. It's the first place the Pilgrims stopped in the U.S., but they moved on to Plymouth 'cause nobody goes there so parking's real easy. Ptown is also the nest egg of American Theatre, so it's crawling with celebrities. On any given day, you could be eating sandwiches with Joan Collins or disco dancing with Fatty Arbuckle and the Pointer Sisters.

You are back in Provincetown for your 10th season, what keeps bringing you back?

First off, two words: saltwater taffy and award-winning fudge! Second off, it's such a charming little finger of land, it'll steal your heart and your soul. A lot of the locals say Ptown's best kept secret is the great white sharks, but I think it's the ticks. Oh, and the biting flies are always a perineum favorite.

You are quite unlike any other entertainer we have ever seen, how would you describe your own performances?

My mother told me if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all – so I don't. But what I will say is that if you come to my show, you may or may not see the following: white carriages under the stars, live violin dubstep routines, shivering girls in short skirts and high heels, one of those old, beat-up school buses with chickens on it, and an elevator that only goes down.

Many poor scribes (like me) fail to do you justice, what is your favorite review?

I can't pinpoint a specific review, but there are press quotes that stand out: "As graceful as a Coke machine moving about on a hand truck", "She looks like Liza Minnelli and Liz Taylor hit with a brick" and "Dina comes from an alternate reality where female superstars resemble walrus prostitutes".

After the Show the other night many of the ladies and young men were talking about your unique fashion sense, do you have any tips that you could pass on?

For myself, I enjoy a snug fit to better showcase my ballpark figure. I find that if it fits like sausage casing, you feel more alive. Vive la tourniquet!

When you go home at night is there anyone else there to keep you company besides Phoebe your daughter?

One night, a few years back, there was a woman who was standing in the corner of my bedroom, but she left through the window when I turned my lamp on. Other than that, I'm just in love with Show Business. Of course, there was a time when I enjoyed gentlemen callers, but that time is done and we all die alone.

Why is it that of all the awards you have won, your movies that are part of your show have never ever been nominated for an Oscar?

I'm guessing it's just a clerical error, but I can't say for sure. Thank you for mentioning it, though.

As you write all your own songs (or ‘alter’ others) do you have a new album out?

Yes, I have a new just-released, soon-to-be-finished album titled Dina Martina: Haunted by Maritime Tragedies. I'm so proud of "Maritime Trads" because it's got a real pan-Asian vibe; more so than my 3 previous albums (Dina Martina: Street of Dreams/Blunt Force Trauma, Dina Martina: Anthem of a Fur Trader's Wife, and the Christian rock album, Dina Martina Deuterockin' Me).

You’ve appeared at Soho Theatre in London 3 times now, if your British fans nominated you to be the next Queen, would you stay and accept?

Those are some mighty sensible shoes to fill. I think I'd rather start small, like Court Jester, and work my way up. There's less dissention in the ranks when you're promoted from within.

Will you come back across the Pond and see us again soon?

Nothing would pleasure me more.

N.B. those Press Quotes are 100% real…..

By The Gay UK, Sep 27 2014 04:00PM

It's hard to decide exactly what period this new cinematic masterpiece from Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski is set in with its austere dramatic settings that look like they have remained unchanged for centuries. This unforgiving bleak countryside that seems to have escaped any attempt at modernisation is in fact 1962 but you have this sinking feeling that this part of rural post-war Poland is probably still exactly the same today.

by Roger Walker-Dack | 27th September 2014


By The Gay UK, Sep 21 2014 11:58AM

Elizabeth Bishop was something of a self-absorbed cold fish. When she finished her tenure as US Poet Laureate in 1950, she was 40 years old, alone in N.Y., and suffering with 'writers block'. At the suggestion of her friend and fellow poet Robert Lowell she decides to go to South America for a long vacation.

by Roger Walker-Dack | 21st September 2014


By The Gay UK, Sep 18 2014 08:23AM

Diego a successful Fashion Photographer in Caracas has commitment phobia but the very night he is about to tell Fabrizio his Doctor boyfriend that he will move in with him after all, is the same night that Fabrizio is the victim of a vicious fatal gay bashing. It is also the same night that Armando, his estranged teenage son, turns up from Spain to stay with him for a few months whilst his mother goes to London to study for a Masters degree.

By Roger Walker-Dack | 18th September 2014


By The Gay UK, Sep 17 2014 04:32PM

Like nearly every other gay man, Jason’s best friend is his mother.

By Roger Walker-Dack | 17th September 2014


But it's quite understandable in his case as when she remarried he gained hottie Josh Brolin as a step-brother. Now he and his mother have made music together, but then that was bound to happen one day as his Ma is the singing superstar/diva Barbra Striesand. Jason Gould, actor, director, producer, writer and singer and son of Elliot Gould has recorded the Irving Berlin standard How Deep Is The Ocean as a Duet with Babs for her new album ‘Partners’ …. And its actually very good. Take a listen …

P.S. Could this be a new trend … and maybe Cher and Chaz Bono are next?

By The Gay UK, Sep 16 2014 04:30PM

Paul used to be a drunk. He also used to be Roy's boyfriend. Two years later and both men have moved on with their separate lives. Paul goes to AA Meetings regularly and is now sober, thanks to Zack his Sponsor, and he lives at home with his very supportive parents in the their rather lush waterfront home in Florida.

by Roger Walker-Dack | 16th September 2014

★★★ ½

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