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04/19/2007


Movies: Two Provocative Queer Films Hit Toronto Int'l Film Fest

  Strangerby-sundapple
Stranger by the Lake stirs and disturbs

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

The French famously call an orgasm "la petit mort" or, the little death. In two new French-language films playing at the Toronto International Film Festival (in full swing through next weekend) this euphemism forgets to be euphemistic. If you like your sex all mixed up with danger -- you know, the way straight people did during the mainstream erotic thriller years (the Glenn Close thru Sharon Stone continuum) -- consider these films 'must sees' when they hit your city. IF they hit your city. It's tough out there for art films, especially gay ones, as recently discussed in a fascinating piece at IndieWire mapping out the problems.

Prolific twenty-four year old writer/director/actor Xavier Dolan has been a sensation on the festival circuit and in Canada since his award-winning debut I Killed My Mother in 2009. Despite the accolades Dolan has yet to win the Stateside following he deserves, even among LGBT audiences. This is largely because his films are in French and they have had a weirdly hard time making their way onto US screens. I Killed My Mother was famously delayed and delayed and delayed again. Before I received a screener a couple of years ago I was convinced that it was an imaginary movie, dreamt up by journalists to make the rest of us feel jealous that we aren't fabulous enough to party in Cannes with them each May. Dolan's subsequent features, the stylish unrequited love triangle Heartbeats (also known as Imaginary Lovers) and the recently released three hour trans drama Laurence Anyways only increased his wunderkind reputation. His latest TOM AT THE FARM may well be his most accessible but reviewing it presents a challenge because the less you know about it going in the better.

Let's keep it very simple AFTER THE JUMP...

Tom-sad

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Nine Films Compete for Venice Film Festival's Queer Lion Award: VIDEO

Tom-a-la-Ferme-de-Xavier-Dolan-Photo-c-Clara-Palardy

For the last six years, the Venice International Film Festival has awarded the Queer Lion to the year's 'best movie with LGBT themes & queer culture.'  This year, nine of the festival's films--and two which are in the official competition--will vie for the award, reports The Hollywood Reporter:

Xavier Dolan’s Tom at the Farm and Via Castellana Bandiera from Emma Dante will be among the nine films selected to compete for the seventh Queer Lion award at the upcoming Venice Film Festival.

The Queer Lion is given out each year to a film screening in an official section – in or out of competition, in the Venice Days, Critics’ Week or Horizons sections -– that “accurately portrays lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender characters.”

Tom at the Farm -- a drama about a man (played by Dolan himself) who meets the family of his recently deceased lover, unaware he was gay – and Via Castellana Bandiera – about a lesbian couple in Sicily for a friend’s wedding – are the only two films vying for the award from Venice’s competition lineup.

The Queer Lion will be awarded by a special jury led by Angelo Acerbi, a programmer at the Turin Film Festival, who will be joined by Queer Lion founder Daniel Casagrande and Marco Busato of CinemArte, an Italian arts nonprofit.

This year's Venice Biennale will take place from August 28 through September 7.  Take a look at the trailers for two of the films vying for the Queer Lion--Johanna Jackie Baier's Julia and John Krokidas's Daniel Radcliffe-starring beatnik rom-dram Kill Your Darlings--AFTER THE JUMP...

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Graphic, Violent Music Video Depicting Bullied Student's Crucifixion Stirs Controversy: VIDEO

Indochine

A new music video by gay Quebecois director Xavier Dolan for the popular French rock band Indochine features the crucifixion and graphic shooting of a bullied student at a Catholic school. In the clip, a bullied teenage boy is taunted in the hallways of the school before being pursued, thrown down stairs, kicked and pissed on, then nailed to a cross and shot several times by his classmates while others shoot the scene on their mobile phones.

It is being censored in Canada and France.

2_indochineThe video has been banned during daytime viewing hours in France, The Local reports:

Dolan reacted angrily to the prospect of the video being banned during daytime hours on music channels in France.

“That really bothers me. On these kind of channels you see situations that are racist, violent and degrading – particularly to women. “So it seems absurd to me that this video should be censored," he added.

While French regulators may be shocked by the video, Dolan and Indochine have received significant support from French users of social networks.

Radio and TV host Emilie Mazoyer summed up the view of many Twitter users, saying: "Some people find Indochine's music video 'violent.' Yes, it does turn your stomach for six minutes. But bullied students go through that 300 days a year. Imagine that."

Canada's MusiquePlus will not play the clip.

Watch (warning: graphic), AFTER THE JUMP...

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