By Mister Curie
I really enjoyed Qfest! I'm sad it is over already. Here are my reviews:
Is It Just Me? (grade: A)
I thought this was a very cute romantic comedy and follows a pretty traditional romantic comedy script. I thought the character development in the movie was superb with the characters initially appearing to be stereotypes, but each develops throughout the movie to destroy those original stereotypes. It was very funny and heartwarming. The director and the main actor for the movie were in attendance and held a Q and A session afterwards, which was fascinating. This movie should be available on Netflix around October of this year.
Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride (grade: A)
I really enjoyed this documentary. It was very interesting to see how pride festivals differ around the world and to see what types of civil rights exist for the LGBT community around the world. I found that the movie enhanced my meaning of Pride by showing areas of the world where Pride is a protest and a march for rights, as opposed to the celebration we usually see in the US. It also highlighted some interesting historical background to Pride and the rainbow flag that I was unaware of. I think what enhanced my experience with this movie was that a major portion of the film focused on Russia, where Pride parades are banned each year. I served a Russian speaking mission and so those portions of the film hit me particularly strongly. I found myself suffering emotional whiplash as the scenery in the film reminded me of my mission and that contrasted with the Russian mobs attacking the LGBT participants.
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (grade: B)
Jane Austen period piece and a lesbian romance. What more is there to say? It was actually fascinating to see LGBT and feminist themes in a very different time period before the word lesbian was even coined. I'll leave the details of this review to Madame Curie.
The Four-Faced Liar (grade: A)
This film focused on sexual fluidity and finding someone who compliments you in every way. The main drawback was that the two men didn't get together and instead the movie focused on the lesbian romance. The most memorable thing about this movie is the music, which I thought was amazing!
Fashion Victim (grade: A)
This movie was hilarious and very well done. The main message seemed to be about accepting our differences and how that makes the world a better place. The main drawback was that it is a non-English film with subtitles, so the many quotable lines will never become mainstream because there is no inflection to imitate when repeating the lines.
Shut Up and Kiss Me (grade: F)
Don't waste your time with this one. I have seen better cinematography from high school filmmakers. The equipment used was sub-par and the sound was terrible. The actors lines were often lost because the equipment would pick up the scrape of the chairs louder than the dialogue. The acting was terrible and the story unremarkable. There was no chemistry between the actors and I couldn't believe the romantic side of the film. The film also devolved into a preachy moral that I disagreed with and did not think was adequately illustrated by the film. The film does have a couple of scenes with full frontal male nudity, if you are into that sort of thing.
Eyes Wide Open (grade: B)
This was a pretty interesting story about another conservative religion, orthodox Judaism. While the specifics are different from Mormonism, the attitudes were largely similar. The more I learn about other religions, the more I see the similarities. The love story was compelling and the music was fantastic. The film did lean toward attempting to be artistic rather than entertaining, so many of the scenes move slowly. The film did provide food for thought regarding the mixed-orientation marriage portrayed in the film.
You Should Meet My Son! (grade: A)
This was a fast-paced comedy that was hilarious. The acting was a bit melodramatic, but it added to the charm of the film. The end of the film did get a bit preachy as regards a self-professed homosexual entering into a mixed-orientation marriage. While I disagreed with the films pretense that such marriages are always loveless, many of its points were well taken, including the propensity of highly religious people to think a mixed-orientation marriage is the only way to please God.
Undertow (grade: A+)
This was my favorite film of the festival and I highly recommend to everyone, but particularly to those who have only accepted their homosexuality after marriage who now find themselves in a mixed-orientation marriage. The film really surprised me with the intensity of the emotions I felt. The film really spoke to me. I cried through nearly half of the film as it dealt with the story of how one man grapples with fully loving his wife and child, but also being gay and falling in love with another man. The cinematography and location were beautiful and the acting fantastic.
Children of God (grade: A)
Beautifully done and powerful, I really enjoyed this movie. The main message seemed to be to portray how religion messes up everything, a feeling I regularly identify with.
Again, I am quite sad that the film festival is now over. I had a great time and really look forward to next years film festival. In the meantime, I only was able to see 10 of the 125 films presented and I know I missed several that I want to see. I'm really hoping that many of them will show up on Netflix over the coming year and provide plenty of entertainment to come.