Melbourne Queer Film Festival highlights
Ahead of the full program being announced, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) has revealed some of the 150 films from this year’s program.
A hit of last year’s Melbourne International Film Festival Facing Mirrors has been called an Iranian female ‘buddy’ movie. Two women of opposing backgrounds and beliefs find themselves in a desperate car ride through Tehran. Conservative Randa is supporting her family by secretly driving her jailed husband’s taxi while pre-op transsexual Adineh is escaping hers and an arranged marriage.
Upcoming Belgian director David Lambert’s Beyond the Walls screened last year at the Cannes Film Festival. Young pianist Paulo meets double-bass player Ilir and the pair make beautiful music together –in every sense - even after Ilir lands in jail.
Another Belgian, the ever popular Bavo Defurne, after a series of dreamlike, homoerotic shorts has produced his first feature film North Sea Texas. “Showing hope for a life that was not possible for the boys from Brokeback Mountain,” Defurne’s film centres on the love affair between fourteen-year-old Pim and seventeen-year-old Gino.
Set in the late 1990s, Keep the Lights is by contrast a raw-edged chronicle of a casual encounter between two men which grows into a relationship tempered by meth addiction. The four American tales of Fourplay involves a closeted lesbian dealing with an infatuation for her minister’s wife during a weekend of dog sitting; a young couple struggle with opposing desires about conception but arrive at a startling compromise; a young, confused gay Latino man finds a surreal nirvana in a public mall restroom and a cross-dressing sex worker’s challenging assignment with a quadriplegic man.
Starring and scripted by Glee star Christopher Colfer, Struck by Lightning is narrated by the scheming although dead Colfer and recounts how he blackmailed fellow classmates into contributing to his school magazine.
Director Heather Tobin calls her Route of Acceptance a concept film playing with the idea of the possible existence of destiny. Route of Acceptance explores three realities of a young lesbian filmmaker’s life torn between her love for career, family and marriage.
In the comedy Gayby straight Jenn and gay Matt, fulfill a youthful promise to have a baby together the ‘old fashioned’ way while Mrs. Doubtfire meets Tootsie in the Swedish film Cockpit in which an out-of-work pilot desperately disguises himself as a woman in answer to a job advertisement for a female pilot.
Queens! Destiny of Dance is a melodrama set among a group of hijra (male to female transexuals) in Rajasthan where Amma presides over the hijras with Mukta as her favourite, the best dancer and potential next leader until a beautiful young Nandini arrives.
After her controversial debut Rape Me director Virginie Despentes’s Bye Bye Blondie is a tender lesbian love story starring Emmanuelle Beart and Beatrice Dalle as a pair of punk rock loving women trying to rekindle an affair from 25 years ago.
Speaking of 25 years ago, Funkytown is about eight men and women in Montreal’s disco scene in the late 1970s where homophobia was rife on the dark side of the glitter ball and HIV was on the horizon.
The MQFF runs from March 14 to 24. The full program will be announced on February 20 with tickets on sale from February 21.
(Image - Béatrice Dalle and Emmanuelle Béart in Bye Bye Blondie)