Friday, 20 May 2011

Inside Out: Are You a Loose Cannon?

Inside Out LGBT Film and Video Festival kicked off last night with Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti) a wonderfully comic family drama by Ferzan Ozpetek (Ignorant Fairies; Saturn in Opposition). The film centres around Tommaso, the second son of a prominent pasta-making family in Puglia. Intent on announcing his homosexuality at family business dinner, Tommaso is forced to remain closeted when, at the same dinner, his brother is disowned and his father has a heart attack. Past and present are linked in the characters of Tommasso and his grandmother, La Nonna (played by the extraordinary Ilaria Occhini). Most of the story is set in the present, but through dialogue and short flashback sequences of La Nonna as a bride we come to understand the nature of love and the need to live one's life on one's own terms. For those of you who missed the Toronto premiere of this delightful and incisive film, Mongrel Media will be releasing it theatrically in a few months. Watch for it!

World's Best Docs,
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Saturday May 21 2:45pm

As often happens with short film programmes, there are some you like and some...not so much. In the case of this programme selection, there was only one weak entry among the interesting and diverse pool of documentaries. The title of George and Brad in Bed pretty much sums up the plot, but what makes for interesting viewing is listening to Star Trek's George Takei and his husband Brad Altman talk about how they met, and how they began certain morning rituals. Their bickering-bantering couples' speak is relatable and humourous to partners and singles watching the film.

The engaging Swedish film, A Farmer's Desire (En bondes längtan) about a farmer transitioning from male to female late in life is a curious blend of humour and revelation. Knut's matter of fact delivery and his rawboned presence in a dress defines his own brand of femininity. Knut's rough farmer's hands with nails painted pink, his bumbling inability to locate some panties that he had put out to wear, and his delight in his immeging zaftig figure are scenes that bring us into a world that is seldom explored, that of the rural trans person.

The British, Decoding Alan Turing, is an insightful introduction to the world of mathematics and the influential genius. Alan Turing is credited with speculating and developing theories that have lead to the modern day computer, but he is best known to many of us as the man who cracked the Nazi's infamous, Enigma Code. This fascinating portrait of Turing is drawn from interviews with his co-workers, artists, computer buffs and writers. A gay mathematical prodigy persecuted for his homosexuality as well as his connection to highly secret government documents, Turing will continue to be a subject who's life, work, and evenutal suicide will, as one person states, remain an enigma. After watching this film you will see the Apple computer in a completely different light. No need to be a math wiz to enjoy and appreciate.

The High Level Bridge is a contemplative, symbolic and literal look at the bridge in Saskatchewan where so many lives have been lost to suicide. Views of the bridge and the cold waters below are photographed in an innocuous, but ominous gray tone that blends well with the director's narration about the history of the structure as well as the death of people he has known who have jumped from the bridge.

William Yang - The Art of Seduction I didnt' get a chance to screen this short, but am curious to learn more about the life of this Austalian-Chinese photographer of male nudes.

INSIDE OUT Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival (May 19th - 29th)
Tickets can be purchased:
On the phone 416-599-8433 or 1-888-599-8433
In-person (10am – 10 pm) TIFF Bell Lightbox (TBLB) 350 King Street West.
Senior, Student and Youth Discounts Available.

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