Over the summer, I wrote a post on Toronto’s Inside Out Film Festival, a celebration that brought out a whole bunch of people to the Lightbox for the latest Queer films. A lot of the films were really touching, and I was fortunate enough to be able to go to a second festival in Ottawa last semester. As 2013 has came to an end, however, many of these movies are now being released online, on demand, and to TV, leading me to believe that a list of most anticipated Queer Movies was in order!
Also, this week GLGBT* has launched its first website – the English version’s now online here! While a lot of our events can be politically minded, movies and films are a way to explore issues in a more artistic, themed, and accessible way. That’s why a lot of clubs and groups will have movie nights that highlight key issues around their cause.
Of course, Queer representation in media is a very touchy subject, with many characters in TV shows being overly stereotyped and played as a diversity card, rather than being a character in and of themselves. Quite often, Queer people on TV are played by people who aren’t Queer in real life (along the lines of Santana and Blaine from Glee, who are both played by straight actors). GLGBT’s sister group, our Glendon Queer Support group, often hosts discussions around issues like this. Queer film festivals are so special specifically because they showcase the talent and acting skills within our community, while often showing greater depth and diversity in characters.
But without further ado, I present my Top Ten Most Anticipated Queer Movies of 2014!
Bridegroom was technically released last year, but it’s message for marriage equality was perfectly timed around the Supreme Court strike-down of DOMA. Bridegroom is on Netflix and iTunes already, and tells a really touching story about a couple torn apart too soon in a documentary style.
AquaPorko is a short film from Australia that examines the intersection of Queer identities and the emerging focus on body politics. This film got a lot of laughs in the cinema, and the director happened to be there to receive the applause.
Holden is another short film that is spectacular to watch for its cinematography. Filmed in Spanish with English subtitles, this movie hasn’t hit online yet, but I’m eagerly waiting its release. Paris is as much as a star in this film as the two Spanish stars.
7) Free Fall
A feature length movie from Germany, this movie left me sitting in the auditorium in Ottawa for a while after it finished. The dilemna presented isn’t one I have experienced – falling in love with a man while in a heterosexual marriage – but I think it’s more common than you would think. The cycle that emerges in the movie is striking, and leaves a sense that one’s life has consequence to the people around them.
Test is a movie that’s been on my to-see list for a while, as it looks at San Francisco’s Queer community at the very start of the AIDS crisis. It’s use of dance is similar to Five Dances, which I find really intriguing, and it’s apparently quite historically considerate.
5) The Mermaids
The Mermaids was my favourite short film at the Inside Out Film Festival, coming all the way from Germany. The movie looks at a young woman who struggles to feel connected and valued as an individual – so she joins a sports team to find herself. This movie transcends Queer issues and looks at what community means to everyone.
4) Sarah Prefers To Run
Sarah Prefers to Run is a Quebecois film that was just released this year, which I also saw in Ottawa. This movie really tenderly looked at the coming of age of a young girl, who moves to Montreal to attend McGill and run. This movie was incredibly relevant to new students, and its connection to Canada (along with one recurring scene with an English journalist at McGill) makes it quite enjoyable to watch.
3) Five Dances
Five Dances has started showing up online in some places, but it’s only going to be available universally in the next few months. This movie is beautifully filmed, with the two main dancers stealing the show the entire way through. While not grappling with major issues, this movie is stunning.
While not technically a film, this new TV show on HBO starts tomorrow night. I’m eagerly waiting to see how it addresses a lot of criticisms aimed at it already, especially around a specific, privileged cast, but the fact that a show about the average life of a group of gay men is appearing on mainstream TV is a milestone. One to watch certainly!
1) The Go Doc Project
The Go Doc Project is a very adult-orientated movie, but shows a side of gay men that I hadn’t previously felt comfortable with. This movie did wonders to help me understand parts of my own identity, and the relationship between the main characters devleops beautifully. The human moments in this movie are very, very real (the trailer is slightly NSFW).
I hope you discover some of these movies over the next few months! Comment with any others you’re looking forward to, or your own recommendations!