Here's what I plan on seeing (or what I hope to see). Text quoted from the BFI's own listings. BABY LOVE (France) Two men, one wants a baby, the other doesn't, a delicious comedy of contemporary manners. BURN THE BRIDGES (Mexico) Siblings Helena and Sebastián live in a crumbling colonial villa with their dying mother, a former pop star, in central Mexico. Their symbiotic relationship is ruptured when Sebastián meets troubled Juan, a tough new student from the coast who awakens a sense of danger, desire, and possibility in him. ANDER (Spain) Aging Basque countryman Ander virulently resists his growing attraction for José, his trusted employee and friend. BANDAGED (Germany) Lucille lives with her domineering father and grandmother in a creepy mansion out in the middle of nowhere. Old-style horror blends with forbidden love as Lucille falls madly in love with the nurse tasked to care for her. DEVOTEE (France) Hervé is a 43-year-old man born without arms or legs, whose body marks him as an outsider to the men he desires. He meets an attractive man online who is a devotee (devoteeism or acrotomophilia) - sexually attracted to people with amputations. It could be the perfect match but is the true connection Hervé seeks possible with a person whom he knows only sees him as a fetish? FAIRYTALE OF KATHMANDU (Ireland) Filmmaker Neasa Ní Chianáin takes up the invitation of out gay, Irish poet Cathal O Searcaigh to visit him on his annual trip from the west of Ireland to Kathmandu. What begins as a privileged portrait of a respected neighbour and friend takes on a different resonance when Neasa begins to suspect that the poet's charitable gifts to young students are not wholly altruistic. After more than fifteen years the poet is now a well-known figure and has a large circle including a married adopted godson. None of the boys are under the legal age of consent but using money to seduce inexperienced native youths raises deep questions about the nature of consent, inter-generational sex and cross-cultural understanding. GREEK PETE (UK) Over six months Andrew Haigh worked with a group of London rent boys to create a semi-improvised drama based on their lives. Speaking their own words they are presented as they want to be seen. Sometimes explicit, sometimes awkward this is a million miles from an idealised version of prostitution. TRANSVESTITES ALSO CRY (France) This powerful debut film, shot over three years, follows the day to day lives of two unforgettable transgendered emigrants from Ecuador, Romina and Mujerón, now living and working as prostitutes in Paris, having escaped the prejudice and economic hardship they suffered at home. DREAM BOY (US) In the isolated surroundings of rural Louisiana, Nathan is the new kid in town. Shy and introspective, Nathan keeps to himself, but it is not long before he notices Roy, the boy next door. Offering to help Roy with his homework, Nathan becomes increasingly fascinated with his confident neighbour, and the two soon begin a tentative love affair. FUCKING DIFFERENT TEL AVIV (Israel) Fifteen filmmakers from Tel Aviv were each approached to make a short film, with one criteria in mind - that the gay men must produce a film about lesbians and vice-versa. HALF-LIFE (US) Set in a near-future Northern Californian suburb threatened by looming global catastrophe, the magically atmospheric Half-Life centres on the disillusioned and decaying Wu family. Abandoned by their father, eighteen-year-old Pam and her little brother Timothy live with their self-absorbed mother and her young meteorologist boyfriend. Working nights as an airport janitor, the depressed Pam crushes on her best friend Scott, a gay Korean adoptee who desperately wants his religious parents to acknowledge his sexuality. Sensitive and innocent Timothy withdraws into a supernatural world of monstrous jellyfish and space travel to escape his loneliness. THE LOST COAST (US) Set over the course of one long Halloween night, The Lost Coast follows Mark, Jasper and Lily, three friends from high school now in their early twenties. NOAH'S ARC: JUMPING THE BROOM (US) It's laugh-out-loud funny and sexy, stylish and has a great soundtrack. Read the ka-os blog review. OMG/HAHAHA (US) A gay teen movie about the MySpace generation OMG/HaHaHa is an engaging tale of several young people in Memphis, Tennessee cleverly framed by a video blog kept by one of the central characters. PEDRO (US) A biopic celebrating a remarkable individual. Pedro Zamora was in MTV's Real World show in 1994 as an HIV positive person. He had been born in Cuba and then moved to Miami in the Marielitas exodus in 1980. Diagnosed with HIV as early as seventeen he became a peer educator speaking in schools about prevention. He died aged just 22 before the Real World’s final transmission but he had been able to carry out his dream of getting his message across to as many people as possible. STILL BLACK (US) With issues of race so often neglected in films about transgendered people and, as one of the participants in this documentary says, media representation of black men being generally limited to superstar sportsmen, criminals and Barack Obama, Still Black is a timely and vital piece of filmmaking. Viewers are offered a multi-faceted image of race, sexuality and trans identities through intimate portraits of six black transgendered men living in the USA, telling stories of their lives as artists, students, husbands, fathers, lawyers and teachers. STRAIGHTLACED - HOW GENDER'S GOT US ALL TIED UP (US) Debra Chasnoff has spoken exclusively to teenage high school students about their feelings on gender stereotypes and the roles adolescents are expected to play in their formative years. Aimed primarliy at younger audiences, the film is an engaging and thought-provoking experience, in which over 50 teenagers of various sexualities and ethnic backgrounds voice their opinions and share their fears. From discussions about the clothes they wear, to issues of bullying and violence, the film aims to create a much-needed dialogue amongst youth audiences, asking its viewers to question the stifling restraints of the binary gender system. In highlighting the sexual pressures that young people face everyday, Chasnoff has created a work of huge importance, that is both challenging and accessible. TRU LOVED (US) From the director of Coffee Date comes a smart comedy featuring the trials of Tru. She’s the daughter of two moms and as a new girl at school has problems fitting in. Her sweet boyfriend Lodell may be on the football team but he's a closet. When she tries to set up a Gay Straight Alliance things start to get tricky, not least for closeted teachers and students, but love and adolescent determination win the day. SHORTS LOT'S WIFE (Turkey) A reworking of the biblical story of Lot's wife, set in the outskirts of Istanbul, where three uncles intend to break up a happy home. JAMES (NORTHERN IRELAND) The answers James seeks will never be found at home. Will he find them at school? NEUROTICA (US) If you could hear the internal voices in a gay bar - it's not pretty. EVEN IN MY DREAMS (US) An elderly man develops an obsession with a Tom of Finland doll. THE FUGATIVES (Brazil) When Pedro discovers his mother has stolen his money, he runs away with his boyfriend. SIDNEY TURTLEBAUM (UK) Derek Jacobi plays Sidney Turtlebaum, a fascinating character whose hobby is attending funerals. HIRSUTE (CANADA) A scientist is visited by a hairless and arrogant version of himself from the future. THE YOUNG AND THE EVIL (US) A troubled teenager sets out to seduce an HIV positive counsellor into giving him the virus. THE WATCH (ARGENTINA) Time stands still when two football players meet at a bus stop. BRAMADERO (MEXICO) On the outskirts of Mexico City a building site is the location for a leisurely and highly charged romantic encounter. NO STRINGS ATTACHED (GERMANY) Documentary showing a demon cruiser in action. THE WINDOW (US) Three men discover the pleasures of voyeurism. Don't miss the last scene. ALLAN GINSBERG GIVES GREAT HEAD (SINGAPORE) Banned in Singapore, a young man muses on his hero Allen Ginsberg. THE POSTCARD (KOREA) Sending anonymous declarations of love on a postcard seemed like a good idea to hook the postman. THREE SUMMERS (Denmark) Three summer holidays reveal three stages in a relationship for Jorgen and Thomas. WRESTLING (ICELAND) A pair of wrestlers grapple with desire and each other. AWAKENING (DENMARK) While on a weekend break with his girlfriend and her family, Carsten has an unexpected sexual encounter that forces him to re-evaluate his life. MR A (US) When a curious teenage boy finds his teacher's profile on a gay dating website, he makes an unexpected move that has some serious consequences. PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT (UK) After a brief tryst with the handsome Daz in an underground archway, closeted teenager Saleem questions whether the two should meet again. BETWEEN COLOR AND RAZORS (BRAZIL) When Antony meets bus conductor Esperança on his daily commute, their lives transform in unexpected ways. THE LAST WISH (ARGENTINA) A prisoner's last wish confounds his executioners.
Words by Zee Jai on Tuesday, February 24, 2009