This year’s London Film Festival looks to be the gayest one yet. There are about a dozen films with an LGBT theme, and some of them are in your face gay.
Here’s a preview of what to look for, and which films you need to do absolutely anything to get a ticket:
King Cobra is definitely one of the most scandalous films to be shown at the festival probably ever! A young man travels to Los Angeles at the urging of a sleazy gay porn producer (Christian Slater) to be his next star. A parallel story has James Franco as another gay porn producer who is in a relationship with his young male star. There is lots of skin shown in this film which is based on the real life story of former gay porn star Brent Corrigan. And as a bonus James Franco’s character gets fcked and scked. Do anything to get a ticket to this!
A film that is getting a lot of attention from the mainstream press is the excellent Moonlight. It takes place in 19980’s Miami and focuses on one man’s journey through three stages of his life. He’s black and gay, and we witness key moments in his life that made him the man he is. Compelling, with excellent performances all around. Naomie Harris plays his crack-addicted mother. A must see.
What would happen if a famous and well-known footballer was gay? Well, in The Pass, two aspiring Premier League footballers (Russell Tovey and Arinzé Kene) share a passionate night while sharing a hotel room right before a big game. That night profoundly impacts Tovey’s characters’ life. Hard-hitting stuff with great performances. And It’s worth the ticket price alone just to see Tovey lying on a bed, with his wide legs open, wearing tight white underwear. PHWOAR! If you miss this at the festival you can buy the DVD or streamline it on VOD next year as it’s unlikely this film will get a cinema release.
Winner of the Queer Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival, The Lives of Thérése documents Thérése Clerc’s death at the age of 88. She was very memorable in the documentary Les Invisibles who at the age of 40 divorced her husband to embrace a life of activism, which included fighting for homosexual rights.
Lovesong is about a young woman who lives alone with her two-year-old daughter while her husband works away. One day a female childhood friend comes to visit and a romantic spark ignites. With Jena Malone and Riley Keough.
Taekwondo is all testosterone and men who are in a country house near Buenos Aires where one of them brings along a friend who does not tell the rest of the group that he is gay. A are they or aren’t they a couple plot develops, which could possibly tear the close friends apart.
Another Argentinian film is La Noche. A young man moves around Buenos Aires at night, picking up guys, going to clubs, scoring drugs and having lots of sex. I’ve not seen this one yet but by the look of the poster it looks hot!
One of the most popular films at the Flare Film festival earlier this year, Who’s Gonna Love Me Now excellently tells the story of Sar, an Israeli who has been driven away from his family’s traditional values and starts a new life in London where he joins the Gay Men’s Chorus. It’s beautifully told and directed and is a must see film.
Gay director Tom Ford presents his second film (the first was the well-received A Single Man) with Nocturnal Animals. One of the festival’s must-see films, it focuses on Susan (Amy Adams), a glamorous and accomplished Los Angeles gallery director whose current marriage appears to be unravelling, and who fuels her insomnia by reading the manuscript of a disturbing novel – written and sent to her by her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal). Expect lots of lush scenery and fabulous costumes.
The latest from gay director Francois Ozon, Frantz tells the story of a young woman who mourns the tragic death of her fiancé in the aftermath of WW1. She eventually finds solace with a stranger, a man she sees putting flowers on her dead husband’s grave. But who is he really? Typical Ozon melodramatic plot, but will it be another Ozon classic?
Wunderkind and gay director Xavier Dolan (Lawrence Anyways) presents his latest film, It’s Only the End of the World. A terminally ill writer returns home to break the news of his debilitating condition to his estranged family. It’s lots of sadness and sorrow – typical of a Dolan movie. With Marion Cottilard.
Stars so far confirmed to walk on the red carpet include: Oyelowo, Pike, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson (A Monster Calls), Casey Affleck, Nyong’o, Renner, Kidman, Patel, Ford and Taylor-Johnson, and Cotillard. Too bad Franco is not showing up.
There is so so so much more going on at the festival. Grab a program if you see one around town, or go to the website mentioned way below.
The 60th BFI London Film Festival will screen a total of 193 fiction and 52 documentary features, including 18 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, 39 European Premieres. There will also be screenings of 144 short films, including documentary, live action and animated works.
Taking place over 12 days, the Festival’s screenings are at venues across the capital, from the West End cinemas – Vue West End and the iconic Odeon Leicester Square; central London venues – BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX, Picturehouse Central, the ICA, Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Haymarket, Prince Charles Cinema and Ciné Lumière; and local cinemas – the Ritzy in Brixton, Hackney Picturehouse and Curzon Chelsea. Festival visitors will be able to enjoy a brand new cinema experience with Competition and Strand Galas presented at the new Embankment Garden Cinema, in the beautiful Victoria Embankment Gardens.
Festival Information & Ticket Booking:
Telephone Bookings: 020 7928 3232 between 10:00 – 20:30
In person: BFI Southbank Office: 11:00 – 20:30
THE 60TH BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AMERICAN EXPRESS®
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.