The August bank holiday weekend can mean only one thing on the gay calendar – Gaze is here again, and I for one am very excited. This year marks their 18th birthday and sees the Festival, in their own words, come of age. 2010 also marks its second year at the Light House Cinema at Smithfield, a match made in gay heaven, and one where it seemed right at home last year. As usual the programme includes a mix of drama, comedy, documentary and more, and there should be something here for everyone, even if you’re not of the LGBT persuasion.
Take a look after the break for some of the movies to look out for this year.
Based on a true story, this film has been garnering a lot of festival buzz simply because of the fascinating story of its real life heroine. The film details the life of Anne, a wealthy woman who lived in Yorkshire around the turn of the 19th century. Anne’s diaries detailed her life intimately, including her secret lesbian relationships. But here’s the amazing part – much of the diaries were written in code for fear they be found. The code was not broken until the 1930′s, and it was not until then that the extent of her relationships were revealed.
“In 19th Century Yorkshire, orphaned Anne Lister (Maxine Peake) lives with an aunt and uncle, who are anxious for her to marry well and blissfully unaware that she is a lesbian. When her lover enters a marriage of convenience to rich old man, a broken-hearted Anne sets out to find true love.”
Go see it if: You like period dramas (with a twist!)
A wonderfully fun documentary focusing on the wonderfully fun, wonderfully flamboyant, and wonderfully gay American figure skater Johnny Weir. Weir has proven consistently controversial in his field for his over the top performances, outrageous costumes, loose lips and completely unapologetic attitude, but his detractors cannot argue with his track record which includes 3 US National Championship titles.
“Part documentary, part therapy session, this film traces his journey from 12 year-old prodigy to three-time US Figure Skating National Champion. Pop Star on Ice is a compelling and hugely entertaining portrait of a talented, rebellious and mischievous ego.”
Go see it if: You like your sports light and your gays ‘Gay!’
Another movie based on a true story, it sees Sigourney Weaver in a Golden Globe nominated turn as a religious mother struggling to come to terms with her sons homosexuality. Originally made for TV it has been doing the festival rounds for a while now, and has been recevied very well winning the Audience Favorite Award at the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
“An inspiring tale of a mother’s love for her son and a strong critique of religion and homophobia, this film will bring tears to even the coldest heart.”
Go see it if: You feel like a tearjerker
A homemade gem, this short documentary focuses on interviews with real life gay youths and their straight best friends. Produced in collaboration with the LGBT youth group BeLong To as part of their Stand Up! campaign, the movie features funny, heartwarming and ultimately very encouraging tales from young gay people in Ireland. To see the kids talk so openly and confidently about what was a taboo subject just a few years ago might just make you feel like there’s hope for us all yet. A must see!
“A series of interviews with young Irish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their straight best friends or family members, this is also a heart-warming look at how far Ireland has come in terms of sexuality and social inclusion.”
Go see it if: You have a gay/straight best friend
Gaze opened last night with a screening of I Killed My Mother. It runs until Monday 2nd August with movies showing this evening, then all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The full (and very fancy) programme can be found online here. More details can be found on gaze.ie.