BFI Flare 2016: Glitter Slush Neon Cake

B F I  F L A R E
L o n d o n  L G B T  F i l m  F e s t i v a l  2 0 1 6

Remember when the festival started (that hotel room in Romania seems so long ago now...) I was lamenting the lack of diversity in the shorts programme? Recap: Sex, Love and Others Stories managed to string together a whole series of shorts about white gay men. And although I didn't manage to catch Deeper Understanding, another strand of shorts, that also appeared to be devoted entirely to white gay men. Both programmes of shorts seem to have been selected by the festival's Michael Blyth.

The Ballad of Ella Plummhoff
Fortunately, Blyth isn't responsible for every shorts programme, and so Glitter Slush Neon Cake - three films selected by Jay Bernard - isn't all about white gay men.

First up is Die ballad von Ella Plummhoff (English: The Ballad of Ella Plummhoff), a lesbian coming of age story: "Ella has done badly at school so must spend the rest of the summer having remedial classes with a tiny, smart-ass lesbian several years her junior and who dresses like a Victorian maid. Yay!" Director Barbara Kronenberg's film is hilarious, touching, and an absolute joy. This little gem is one I'd welcome revisiting.

Floozy Suzy
Hilarious also applies to Otavio Chamorro's Vagabunda de meia tigela (English: Floozy Suzy), a completely loca Brazilian short that shouldn't work, but so does. Flamboyant fag Jonas John has his sights set on the resident jock, but he must do battle (literally) with the most popular girl in high school. The answer? A love potion from the school's legendary and long lost book of magic. Loud, proud and laugh out loud funny, Floozy Suzy doesn't let up for a minute.

Lucid Noon, Sunset Blush
Alli Logout's Lucid Noon, Sunset Blush sounds good on paper: "17-year-old Micha has just moved into The Palace – a basement full of queer femme sex workers, lovers and misfits. They are beautiful, carefree and as young as the night." F**king awesome, right? Well, sort of. Logout's cast enthusiastically talk over one another throughout the film, leaving us wishing for a little more focus, a bit more direction. Ten minutes in, and there was a palpable sense of frustration in the theatre. But I loved these people, I loved following them through the streets of LA and back home to The Palace. And what you're left with afterwards is a strong sense of having been there, of having being amongst these most fringe of misfits. That's a privilege.

Every year, KAOS reports from the annual BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival. This year, I'll be reviewing twelve films (including a few programmes of shorts). Next time: Beautiful Something.


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