g3, media sponsors of this year's festival, gives you our editor's picks...
Canada 2011. Dir: Thom Fitzgerald. 93min
How refreshing to see older women starring in such a witty, well-written ‘road movie with attitude’! Cloudburst is the unmissable centrepiece screening for the 26th LLGFF in London this year.
Potty-mouth butch Stella and the blind but ditsy Dotty are a lesbian pensioner couple with 31 years together. A granddaughter thinks specialist care is the only way to look after Dotty and places her away from her lover in a nursing home. Ballsy Stella springs her from the place and whisks her off to Canada to get legally married so that they cannot be split up.
Acting skills from Oscar-winning actress Brenda Fricker and Academy and Golden Globe winner Olympia Dukakis, give a sensitive portrayal of the lovers desperate to stay together at all costs. Cloudburst gives much-needed publicity to legal rights and the ageing gay population whilst managing to entertain, inform and enrich all who see it.
Iran/USA: Dir: Maryam Keshavarz. 107min
This little gem won the Audience Award at Sundance film festival in 2011. The story is based on recovering drug addict brother and his unruly sister who live affluent lives in modern-day Tehran.
On returning from rehab, the boy takes an increasing interest in Islam and morality, causing his parents to reflect on their own issues with religion and tradition. The daughter, meanwhile, is dealing with her own budding bisexuality, made more complicated when her brother asks her girlfriend to marry him. A contemporary tale dealing with relevant issues of personal freedom and oppression in the Iranian Islamic Republic.
Sweden 2011. Dir: Alexandra-Therese Keining. 105min.
Kiss Me is love triangle where straight girl meets gay girl at an engagement party. Openly-gay Frida shows her attraction to Mia and finds it reciprocated. Mia’s boyfriend and business partner, Tim, has just proposed, but Mia, faced with sexual stirrings for another woman, finds it hard to resist her new, amorous friend. An emotional tug-of-war ensues in this elegant, emotional drama.
Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth
USA-UK 2011. Dir: Pratibha Parmar. 90min.
(Featuring contributions from Alice Walker, Yoko Ono, Quincy Jones, Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover.)
Gay auteur Parmar’s great new film documentary on Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘The Color Purple’ is a classy and compelling look at the extraordinary life of the artist and activist. In 2010, Walker was awarded the LennonOno Peace Award for her ongoing humanitarian work.
The film follows her early experiences of racist abuse and violence to her subsequent involvement in the civil rights movement, her interracial marriage, the success of groundbreaking novel ‘The Color Purple’ and its transformation into a blockbuster movie.
The director is a prominent filmmaker of black feminist issues and will give a talk and in-depth exposé of the making of this film prior to its showing.
Norway 2011. Dir: Ole Giæver. 73mins.
Given that a silent movie has just won a Bafta, the art of saying very little and communicating much simply through the actor/director dynamic is a skill to be admired in this intense, emotional film.
Lesbian couple Nora and her pregnant girlfriend Solveig take on the physical challenge of a mountain climb together to revisit the site of a previous tragedy: a metaphor for how far they have to go in their relationship to overcome their personal difficulties. The tale shows their tensions and strengths in equal measure as they strive ever upward. Tense and uplifting; a mature offering from this Norweigan director.
What you looking at?
UK 2011. Dir: Aleem Khan Faryal. 9min
A blonde drag queen and a Muslim girl wearing a full-length, black hijab are stuck in a lift together... A great premise for a film short and one that does not disappoint, as the two protagonists find they have much in common. Funny, poignant and off-the-wall, this ‘what-if’ scenario is a baby gem of a movie.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Sex, drugs and rock n roll
MOMMY IS COMING
Germany-USA 2012. Dir: Cheryl Dunye. 67min
Farcical, Freudian and downright filthy goings-on in this S&M romp in queer Berlin. Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman, OWLS) successfully turns her directorial hand to porn and returns to LLGFF with this ga-ga bonk-fest.
JOE AND BELLE
Israel 2011. Dir Veronica Kedar. 80min
Returning to her apartment after a drugs run to Bangkok, dealer Joe finds a suicidal lesbian stranger in her bath. Surprising, ahem, mayhem ensues!!
ROCK 'N' ROLL
HIT SO HARD
USA 2011. Dir P. David Ebersole. 101min
Rockstar and Hole drummer Patty Schemel’s personal footage of rock n’ roll excess. Features interviews with Phranc, Gina Schock (The Go-Gos), Roddy Bottum (Faith No More) and Kate Schellenbach (Luscious Jackson).
LLGFF 23 March-1 April 2012
London SE1 Waterloo