London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival on Tour
Allan Radcliffe previews the celluloid treats heading north of the border this fortnight
This year’s LLGFF contains a typically alluring mix of the classic and contemporary, the light-hearted and hard-hitting. Among the comedies, Baby Love, directed by Vincent Gareng, mines the consequences of a gay Parisian doctor’s decision to raise a child, while Heather Tobin’s coming out tale To Each Her Own depicts a young married woman who falls for an out and proud lesbian.
Powerful drama is to the fore in Pedro, a biopic about Pedro Zamora, the HIV-positive gay rights activist who appeared in MTV’s The Real World back in 1994. Andrew Haigh’s Greek Pete is a groundbreaking insight into the world of London rent boys, turning verbatim accounts into a semi-improvised drama. Providing an interesting counterpoint to this new film is Ron Peck’s Nighthawks (pictured), the first British film to deal unapologetically with homosexuality, remastered to mark its 30th anniversary. Meanwhile veteran filmmaker Monica Treut’s Ghosted switches between Hamburg and Taipei in its exploration of eastern and western cultures as a grieving German artist falls for a Taiwanese journalist.
Coming of age and coming out are explored in Czech director Karin Babinská’s debut Dolls, a rich, uplifting study of female friendship and secret love, which depicts three young friends’ final road road trip before going their separate ways at the end of the summer. In a similar vein, Dream Boy charts young gay love in rural Louisiana as shy new kid in town Nathan falls for his neighbour Roy.
Further Gallic treats include Bandaged, which fuses kitsch horror with a tender love between a disfigured young girl and her nurse, in an offbeat homage to that Grand Guignol classic, Eyes Without a Face, while festival regulars Jacques Martineau, Olivier Ducastel return to the LLGFF with their epic drama of sexual politics in France, following three friends from revolutionary 1968 to the present day in Born in ‘68.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh, until Wed 29 Jul; GFT, Glasgow, Sun 30 Aug–Tue 29 Sep. For full details and listings please see www.bfi.org.uk/llgf and www.list.co.uk