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22nd London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

The programme for the 22nd London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival has been announced. There's slim pickings, in comparison to last year, but here's what I'll be going to see...

Trans Entities: The Nasty Love of Papi' and Wil

The sizzling sex and deep love of polyamorous partners Papi' and Wil lay at the center of this erotic and thought-provoking docu-porn by Trannyfags director, Morty Diamond. Identifying as 'trans entities', a term they have coined to describe their non-surgical fluid gender identities, Wil and Papi' frankly discuss the centrality of polyamory and role playing to their gender, sexuality, and relationship dynamic. Diamond punctuates brief interviews on various topics such as masculinity, body image, scene negotiation, and their exploration of race play with intense, undirected BDSM sex scenes, including play with a third partner and a hot heart-pounding interrogation scene. Throughout this uninhibited film, it is Wil and Papi's loving bond and commitment to pushing the limits of gender and their relationship that keeps us tuned in and turned on. We should all be as lucky to have a nasty love like this one.

Right By Me


Nat the official school gayboy is in love with his best friend Tat. Tat, a swot, is in love with school basketball hunk Ek, and Ek is supposedly in love with his 'It' girlfriend Da. Unfortunately Nat's love is unconsummated and Da finds herself without Ek as he struggles to come to terms with growing desires for men. Meanwhile, Ek and Tat form a bond that carefully steers towards a relationship despite the complications of homophobic school bullies and disgruntled uncomprehending parents. The stories are influenced by Alex Sanchez's Rainbow Boys about young gay love in high school. The three guys are caught in a world of first love that feels authentic and doesn't strain to be too heavy handed. The strength of this film also lies in the director's choice not to be too specific about cultural setting, as he takes us on a very enjoyable journey with three cute leads.

Bangkok Love Story

A powerful love story between a young male assassin Mhek (Cloud) and the target he has been contracted to kill, a police informer called It (Stone). The film starts out as a high octane shoot-em-up gangster thriller but becomes a subtler story of obsessive love between its two handsome leading men. For a culture conditioned to see gay life in terms of ladyboys this is a first. The mob bosses who ordered the killing now want both of them killed. It realises he no longer loves his girlfriend and finds himself desperately trying to find Mhek again when they part. A complex tale of revenge, despair and passion, unfolds against a background of their irresistible love. A lesson in the power of enduring love amid the brutality of existence.

Boystown

How could you resist a handsome well-dressed well-built man? Many little old ladies attempt to do just that in this dark comedy about gentrification and Bear man love. The problem is that once Victor has been spurned he returns to the ladies' apartments and murders them. The plot thickens when very lovable couple Rey and Leo unexpectedly inherit an apartment from one of the murdered women, and Leo becomes a prime suspect. There are some great one-liners and, although broad in portrayal, some enjoyable performances by Concha Velasco as Rey's Mother and Rosa Maria Sarda as the veteran detective. Eventually Victor is trapped by his own conceitedness and everybody lives happily ever after. Especially Luis, Rosa's son, who gently and convincingly comes out throughout the film. This is a gem of a movie held together by the pleasurable relationship between chubbies Rey and Leo.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Slept Here

A white FTM poet and a Black gay physicist question the limits of their intimate friendship during a weekend trip.

All My Churen: The World of Kalup Linzy

Raunchy, side-splitting melodramas populated with squabbling Black families, frustrated artists, and naïve damsels in distress seeking love, fame, and understanding.

The DL Chronicles - Episodes Boo and Mark

Sexy homothug fantasy Boo finds out something that really rocks his world, while Mark is forced to play it straight for the benefit of a visiting cousin.

Solos

Censored in its native Singapore for its sexual content, Solos is a dark and erotically tense film about emotional isolation and the often selfish nature of love. A teacher and his precocious male student are involved in an illicit relationship that has gone stagnant. The aging teacher emotionally withdraws from the boy, while the restless boy flaunts his sexual liaisons to injure his lover. Meanwhile, the boy's lonely mother, recovering from an eye surgery, mourns her son's departure and fears he will never return to her. Directors Lume and Zihan bravely defy traditional story structure, replacing dialogue with highly stylized visual imagery, choreography, and sound design to advance the stark yet stirring drama. Minimal and at times utterly absurd, Solos effectively uses an experimental formal language to create a deeper understanding of human emotion.

7 Years
Kenyan law punishes homosexuality with imprisonment, with wide ranging consequences for LGBT communities. Made before recent atrocities this film brings to light gay life in a country seldom represented at our Festival.

(Pictures and synopsis lifted directly from the BFI site.)

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