Tribeca Film Festival 2021 Review: No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics

Year: 2021 Runtime: 79 minutes Director: Vivien Kleiman By Joan Amenn There is something very poignant behind the generally light, amusing tone of “No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics” (2021). Beyond the funny drawings and zany situations they illustrate is real pain, as the LGBTQ+ artists tell their stories for the camera in this sometimes heartbreaking documentary by Vivien Kleiman. It is also … Continue reading Tribeca Film Festival 2021 Review: No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics

Review: We’re Here -Taking Pride Down The Drag Road

Found this gem almost by accident on HBO and immediately fell head over heels for it. “We’re Here” is about real-life stories with 3 drag queens – Eureka (David Huggard), Shangela (D.J. Pierce) and Bob the Drag Queen (Caldwell Tidicue) who traverse small-town America where they have residents from each town participate in a one night only drag show. Continue reading Review: We’re Here -Taking Pride Down The Drag Road

Pride Month, Restrospective Review: Love, Simon

“Love, Simon” is not only an adorable high school rom-com but also made history as the first major Hollywood studio film about a gay teenage romance. The 2018 film was directed by Greg Berlanti and largely centres around the main character Simon coming out as gay. Many films about the LGBT+ experience are tragic or focus on the discrimination that they face, but this movie is more your typical teen film with angst rather than tragedy.  Continue reading Pride Month, Restrospective Review: Love, Simon

Review: Hannah Gadsby’s “Douglas” Comedy Special

Following her groundbreaking comedy special “Nanette” (2018), Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby became a household name. Praised for her honesty and blend of drama and comedy, Gadsby garnered a lot of attention with “Nanette,” leaving audiences eagerly awaiting her next special. Her second Netflix special, “Douglas” (2020), named for her beloved dog, does not disappoint. Continue reading Review: Hannah Gadsby’s “Douglas” Comedy Special

Pride Month, Retrospective Review: Brokeback Mountain

Sometimes the notion of a “forbidden romance” in films seems tantalizing, but other times… it’s just heartbreaking. It’s really dependent on the forces keeping these two people apart. With “Brokeback Mountain,” (2005) a beautifully heart-wrenching film, it’s tragic. It’s only “forbidden” because the two don’t think they can or sometimes, should, be together. Which is what makes it so inherently effective. No matter how many times I see this movie, it always finds its mark: right through the heart. Continue reading Pride Month, Retrospective Review: Brokeback Mountain

Review: A Secret Love

“Are you still holding out?” a man asks, seated across from his husband. Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel sit opposite the men and laugh in response. Despite being together for over sixty-five years, Pat has some hesitations about getting married. Those hesitations along with the couples’ life story are the subject of “A Secret Love” (2020).  Continue reading Review: A Secret Love

Social Isolation Review: “Bonding”

Sex is a little taboo.  I mean, for some, it is a lot of taboo. Coming to terms with understanding sex and sexuality is tackled in Rightor Doyle’s short-form comedy series “Bonding.”  Pete (Brendan Scannell) reconnects with his hometown friend Tiff (Zoe Levin) after they both move out to NYC.  Pete is gay and coming to terms with what his version of love, relationships, and sex all mean.  But he won’t be able to do any of that if he can’t pay his rent. That is where Tiff comes in. Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “Bonding”

Mini Review: Make Up

“Make Up” is the feature debut for English writer/director Claire Oakley. A horror/drama film about a teenage girl tangling with her own emotions and relationships in a Cornish caravan park as surreal occurrences start to untangle her sense of reality.

The film starts very promisingly, as protagonist Ruth (played by Molly Windsor) arrives at the caravan park in the middle of the night. The film starts building a surreal atmosphere early, as many of the side characters speak in slightly odd, unnatural dialogue in a way that feels intentional. Wide shots and lateral tracks are frequently used to add to this unsettling air as Ruth starts to believe that her boyfriend Tom (Joseph Quinn) is cheating on her. Continue reading Mini Review: Make Up

1917: The Romance That Never Happened

“1917” was one of the biggest hits of this year’s awards season. It has made almost $300 million at the box office and counting. The film won Best Drama at the Golden Globes, Outstanding British Film and Best Film at the BAFTAs and… well let’s just say I’m glad I waited until after the Oscars to write this article. Regardless, this WWI film wowed audiences with its teeth-grinding tension and “HOW DID THEY DO THAT?!” one-shot cinematography.

But you know what would have made it better? If it were gayer.

I’m probably going to have to justify that. Spoilers ahead.

The core relationship of the film is between the two protagonists, Lance Corporals Blake and Schofield. Through their perilous mission across the war-torn fields of France, they display openness and intimacy rare from male leads in action films. The single-take aesthetic heavily emphasises their closeness, almost always placing them together in the frame. Their bantering dialogue makes them feel like they’ve been close friends for years. They need each other, they save each other. Continue reading 1917: The Romance That Never Happened

Review: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Q&A with Céline Sciamma

“It’s done,” Céline Sciamma said through laughter, “I don’t need your approval!” Ten minutes earlier, a lengthy applause break punctuated the film screening and Sciamma was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation. Sitting in a folding director’s chair on-stage in the sold-out Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL, Sciamma shared insights on the filmmaking process during a question and answer session with the audience. The early pre-screening of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2019) was part of a press tour preceding the films wide release in the United States. Continue reading Review: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Q&A with Céline Sciamma