Friday, April 17, 2009

24 Torino GLBT Film Festival

This is the only fest in the world that changes the acronym and puts the G before the L and well, they can do it as most of the films in the fest are -as always- gay and not lesbian (he, he). Anyway the fest will take place from April 23 to 30 in Turin, Italy and if you do not recall from last year, let me tell you that this is one of the most interesting and well organized genre fest in the world, as includes so many artistic activities besides films that is simply amazing and many genre fests allover the world should emulate the artistic organization of this fest.

This year the fest will screen many films and here is a sample with the feature films in competition.

Daybreak, Adolfo B. Alix Jr., Philipines, 2008
A married man is having an affair with another man. After some time apart, the two men spend a night together in a family vacation home in Taal Batangas. Together in such close quarters, the two are left with nothing to do but to confront the realities of their relationship.

Elève libre (Private Lessons), Joachim Lafosse, Belgium, 2008
Jonas, a teenager who is doing badly at school, meets Pierre, a man in his thirties, who is moved by his situation and takes him under his wing. On the strength of this special bond, Jonas drops out of school. Incapable of setting limits on their relationship, the cost of continuing his education keeps rising for Jonas. Can you learn when you are breaking the rules?

A Festa da Menina Morta (The Dead Girl's Feast), Matheus Nachtergaele, Brazil, 2008
The good people of a small upper Amazon riverside community live in the presence of a Saint. Pilgrims are soon to arrive from far and wide to worship and be blessed by him at the shrine of the Dead Girl on the occasion of her 20th annual feast day. They will also eat and drink and enjoy live entertainment by the Space Triplets. The Dead Girl’s brother has serious misgivings about how much his sister’s memory is being exploited; and just below the surface of the Saint’s reputation lies a deeply conflicted soul.

Gu Huo (Fire in Silence), Shen Weiwei, China, 2008
Zhang Jiawei and Chen Zhihao are a gay couple, whose love lost its glamour after three years. At this time, the single stud He Ye smashed into the life of the two. He Ye, a possessive man, took interest in men after toying with relationships with many women. He saw the conquering of men more of a challenge than making women fall for him. To possess Chen Zhihao, He Ye seduced Zhang Jiawei, which led to the love problems of the couple. Zhang Jiawei, a naïve young boy, could not handle the seduction of the sophisticated He Ye and began to question the love between Chen Zhihao and himself.

Leonera (Lion’s Den), Pablo Trapero, Argentina, South Korea and Brazil, 2008

Luan qing chun (Beautiful Crazy), Lee Chi Y., Taiwan, 2008
Before they could figure out what was happening, Xiao-Bu finds herself in a cat fight with Angel over a cigarette, Ah-Mi sleeps with Xiao-Bu's boxer boyfriend, and Angel kisses Xiao-Bu. What could be worse? Imagine living with an alcoholic father who choose nothing in life but to stare out of a window. Picture the embarrassment if bird droppings stained your clothes just as you were asking someone out on a date. All three girls fall in love, feel hurt, forget and have experiences that are as random as 17 year-old Xiao-Bu's coin toss which decides her future relationship with Angel. In the same place but different time, Angel's hair catches on fire when she leans forward to examine a coin. Everything happens by chance, beyond reason.

El Patio de mi Cárcel (My Prison Yard), Belén Macias, Spain, 2008

Rabioso Sol, Rabioso Cielo (Raging Sun, Raging Sky), Julián Hernández, Mexico, 2008
Julián Hernández portrays love as an epic act of martyrdom in which redemption and fulfilment can only be found in the afterlife. The film tells the story of two men, Kieri and Ryo, and their unquestioning love for each other. The absoluteness of this love gives meaning to their lives. But their mutual devotion is not to last: Ryo is abducted and, as a result, Kieri must now embark upon a mysterious journey. Unbeknown to him, it is “Corazón del cielo”, or heaven’s heart herself that leads and protects the lovers on their quest and spurs on Kieri’s longing. Escape, searching and waiting are the stages of Ryo’s lonely journey which ends in his death, while Kieri, desperate to find his beloved, agrees to sacrifice his body to bring about Ryo’s resurrection.

This year the fest will have special awards for Monika Treut, Ventura Pons and John Greyson and some of their movies will be screened, to mention one Ghosted by Monika Treut.

Also will have a tribute to Shu Lea Cheang and will screen the following movie that seems strange and interesting.

Fresh Kill, Shu Lea Cheang, USA, 1994
Shareen and Claire live with their 5-year-old daughter Honey in a garage on Staten Island. Shareen reclaims garbage and Claire works as a waitress at Naga Saki, a sushi bar in Manhattan. A ghost ship carrying nuclear waste roams the seas in search of a port; domestic pets start to glow and then die; humans start to speak in strange languages. The crisis is compounded by the involvement of a multinational, and particularly when Honey mysteriously disappears after a bout of fish poisoning from a radioactive fish brought home from the sushi bar. Claire’s mother, a black TV reporter, Shareen’s father, a native American unaware of the women’s relationship, the Asian cook who works at the sushi bar and his Latino companion complete the constellation of characters who, with a dose of irony, bring out audiences’ unconscious ethnocentric normative expectations. Radical environmentalism, postcolonial feminism, and cyborg intelligence combine to create many levels of interpretation in this hypertextual work. Cinema, video, TV and new technologies construct and deconstruct a scenario in which Asia comes to New York City in a way that appeals to rich yuppies, while rampant capitalism exports devastation even to the far away Orchid Island off the coast of Taiwan. The film’s title is taken from the name of Fresh Kills, a garbage dump on Staten Island, a borough of New York City.

Another movie worth to mention is the following
Falusi Románc: Meleg Szerelem (A Village Romance: Lesbian Love), Kriszta Bódis, Hungary, 2007
A dead-end village, one time home of a lesbian community that decided to leave the city. By today, little of the community remains. One of them, Mari, lives in poverty but in a very expensive house. She falls in love with M., the poor Roma woman and mother of three next door, who lives miserably with her drunken, abusive husband. Although heterosexual, M. returns Mari’s love, fueling the contempt of the village, which already hates her badly enough for being a Roma. “I have never been loved for who I am” she says. Now she waits for her husband to leave her, so that she and her children can move in with her lover.

To check all the films in the fest please go here.

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