keeping it reel

music + movies + fashion

Queer Picks From The Sydney Flicks

with one comment

Twentysomething Quebecois director Xavier Dolan, who will have two pieces showing at the 2010 Sydney Film Festival.It’s that time again, ladies and gentlemen – Sydney’s Film Festival (2-14 June).

This year I’ve changed my tune. I’ve done my research and booked my tickets BEFOREHAND.

The festival is showing a number of queer films, including two from 20something Quebecois director Xavier Dolan (pictured right).

So, here goes.



“Howl” was the zeitgeist-of-a-poem written and performed by queer Beatnik Allen Ginsberg in 1956. The poem prompted an attempt at censorship and subsequent obscenity trial for its references to drugs and homosexuality. The poem and controversy are the subject of this film.

It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and you can read more about it in my previous post.


Beautiful Darling

Beautiful Darling is a documentary about Andy Warhol superstar and Lou Reed’s walk on the wild side, Candy Darling. She was born James Slattery and grew up in suburbia, just as the song says, ‘Candy came from out of the Island.’ Her fame was found in Warhol’s Factory films such as Flesh (1968) and Women in Revolt (1971), but she yearned for the glamour of a Hollywood career.

According to Candy, she first met Andy at the bar where she was a waitress. Andy asked her if she wanted to appear in movies. And so it begins …

Might I say, I’ve been working behind a bar … correction, SLAVING behind a bar for the past 15 years in the hope of a similar opportunity to attain that most valued form of institutionalised narcissism aka FAME. The closest I’ve come is a signwriter asking me out on a date and a guy covered in blue body paint passing himself off as a transvestite alien inviting me to his house party. Bah! I jest. Actually, I confess, the second one is true.

The documentary includes interviews with John Waters, Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn, Paul Morrissey and Fran Lebowitz.

Session times »


Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

Let’s stick with the Warholian theme for the moment.

In 1986, Tamra Davis filmed an interview with Jean-Michel Basquiat, the young New York artist who started out with graffiti and rose to fame, with the mentorship of Andy Warhol. Footage of this interview, as well as interviews with gallery owners andn colleagues, constitutes this filmic portrait of a young man as an artist.

Session times »


Heartbeats or Les Amours Imaginaires

This comes from 21-year-old Quebecois director Xavier Dolan. That’s right, 21.

It’s a case of the classic love triangle. Dreamy hipsters Francis (played by Dolan) and Marie are good friends until that friendship is rocked when they both fall in love with the ambiguous, curley-haired Nicholas. It is a familiar plotline, and reminds me a lot of the lusciously hot The Dreamers (starring Eva Green, Louis Garrel, Michael Pitt and several close-ups of Michael Pitt’s penis).

Session times »

J’ai Tué Ma Mere (I Killed My Mother)

Another from Xavier Dolan, and his directorial debut. Gay men often have a close and intense relationship with their mothers. I know.

Semi-autobiographical, J’ai Tué Ma Mere is about teenager Hubert (played by Dolan), who haughtily reject his divorced mother. The relationship goes from bad to worse, as Hubert struggles through self-identity and adolescence.

An allegedly well-shot film with hints of French New Wave and pop art.

And here’s an interview with Dolan:

Session times »


Morrer Como Um Homen

From Portuguese director João Pedro Rodrigues comes this story of a transvestite desperate to rid herself of her past male identity. In the traditions of Warhol and Almodovar.

Check the Bonnie Tyler soundtrack.

Session times »


Contracorriente (Undertow)

Miguel is a fisherman in a small seaside Peruvian village. He has a wife with a child on the way. There’s just one problem: he’s having an affair with Santiago, a local artist that’s been ostracised by the community because he is gay. Tragedy forces Miguel to make a choice.

Session times »


Broderskab (Brotherhood)

Lars is forced to leave the army after allegedly making drunken passes at other officers. Soon after returning home, he impresses the leader of a local neo-Nazi group at a party. Although Lars disagrees with the group’s racism and homophobia, he’s impressed with its camaraderie. Nazi skinhead Jimmy ain’t so impressed. But not long after Lars moves into the guest house Jimmy’s renovating, things take an unexpected turn and the two are entwined in a rather passionate embrace.

From Danish director Nicolo Donato.

Session times »


Written by Darren Smith

25 May 2010 at 12:21 am

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] I created my own “pathway” of queer flicks fro the Festival, and you can see that list here. I totally recommend seeing Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats) and J’ai tué ma […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: