21st London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival on tour

Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Wed 20-Tue 26 Jun; GFT, Glasgow, Mon 2-Tue 31 Jul

Toot toot! The gay-interest film train is chugging into town on 20 Jun and its cargo is more homocentric films than you can shake an alternative cinema stick at. The 21st London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival tours a selection of feature-length escapades through life, love and death off the beaten heterosexual track, culled from the full programme that showed in London Mar-Apr.

If we have to continue this railway imagery, this year’s train originates in South East Asia, with a substantial number of the films of Asian bent. The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (a Philippino coming-of-age story) and 4:30 (the story of a young boy’s isolation, obsession and eventual friendship with an older man by Singaporean director Royston Tan, pictured) will be familiar to attendees of the Glasgow Film Festival but are well worth another outing. Eternal Summer focuses on the changing relationship between two boys as they go from child to adulthood and a girl threatens to divide them. Rounding out the Asian theme is Red Doors, a very capable comedy of family errors, focusing on a Chinese American family with communication issues.

Filling the documentary quotient is Beyond Hatred, dealing with the aftermath of François Chenu’s homophobia-motivated murder in France in 2002. Similarly non-fiction, and covering the T of LGBT is Octopusalarm, a series of interviews about life between the genders with Alex Jürgen. Based on a true story but bending it into a mystery thriller, Canadian film Amnesia: The James Brighton Enigma tells the story of an amnesiac man who can only remember he is gay … then the police come calling. On a lighter note, love triangle romcom Puccini for Beginners and lesbian conception comedy Tick Tock Lullaby are contenders for breakout hits, the former being an articulate date movie from The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love director Maria Maggenti, and the latter starring British comedy lovely Raquel Cassidy (Festival, Teachers). Add to the mix the German coming-of-lesbian-age drama Sonja and the train is as packed as the Edinburgh-Glasgow commuter line. All aboard!

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