In Preview: BFI Flare 2015

by Maryann O'Connor on 11/03/2015

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As usual it’s a glorious action-packed schedule at BFI Flare (19th-29th March, London) helpfully divided into three sections; documentaries sit side by side with a starry James Franco and Zachary Quinto effort, Rocky Horror on at the IMAX and a party celebrating Warrior Women because it’s the 20th anniversary of Xena Warrior Princess’ arrival on to the small screen and into our hearts (Xena gets her own tribute event at NFT3 on 21st March). We also love the ‘Reading Between the Lines’ series, which examines how a selection of queer books were adapted for the screen (including Orlando, The Color Purple and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe).

Amongst the gala offerings lie nestled the twin gems of Do I Sound Gay (Dir. David Thorpe), in which the director researches the evolution of the ‘gay’ voice and masculine stereotypes, and Stories of our Lives (Jim Chuchu) which features a collection of narratives from LGBTI Kenyans, shot in stunning black and White.

Anticipation is also high for these films;

Hearts:

54: The Director’s Cut (Dir. Mark Christopher) – This film, starring the beautiful ex Mr Witherspoon Ryan Phillippe, Mike Myers and Salma Hayek, had a lot of the gay elements removed for the original release but can now be seen in its glorious entirety.

Girltrash: All Night Long (Dir. Alexandra Kondracke) Battle of the Bands. Lesbian rock musical. Written by Angela Robinson, director of D.E.B.S (2004). Need we say more?

Frangipani (Dir: Visakesa Chandrasekharam) – First gay film from Sri Lanka. A light exploration of one man who decides to marry one woman, a woman attracted by his ‘otherness’, until an alluring mechanic becomes a bit of a sticking point.

Match (Dir: Stephen Belber) – Patrick Stewart plays a retired dancer now teacher in NYC who is tempted to reminisce about his life in the 1960s.

Bodies:

Dressed as a Girl (Dir. Colin Rothbart) Behind the scenes of the London East End drag performance phenomenon. Includes fearless discussion of drink, drugs, mental health, plastic surgery and HIV, and fabulous costumes.

The New Girlfriend (Dir. Francois Ozon) Gender-questioning deliciousness. Will be out in the UK later this year but it would be daft to let these screenings pass by unheeded.

Mirco (Dir. Silvia Chiogna) A mix-up early on in the life of filmmaker Chiogna led to her being thought to be a boy called Mirco. In this documentary Chiogna wonders what life would be like if she had been that boy.

Shock Treatment (1981) (Dir. Jim Jarman) Richard O’Brien’s challenging follow up to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Minds:

The Amina Profile (Dir. Sophie Deraspe) Syrian uprising and the impact of the blog, written by Amina Arraf ‘Gay Girl in Damascus’. Told from the perspective of the Canadian-Jewish woman Amina had a long distance relationship with.

We Came to Sweat (Dir. Kate Kunath, Sascha Wortzel)) The 50 year history of the threatened-with-closure Starlite club in Brooklyn, a black owned and operated pre-Stonewall gay and dance club.

Tab Hunter Confidential (Dir. Jeffrey Schwarz) An examination of Tab Hunter’s closeted life in Hollywood in the early 1950s, including testimony from the man himself.

In the Turn (Dir. Erica Tremblay) Ten year old trans girl Crystal discovers junior roller derby, meeting ‘Vagine Regime’ members from across the US who have also rediscovered their confidence through this sport.

Links:

Book tickets

We love Xena Warrior Princess EVENT

BFI Flare on BFI Player

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