Gay film fest brings issues to fore

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to warmest colour . Blue is the Warmest Colour

The final leg of three edtions of Out in Africa (OIA) for this year is in full swing, having started with short films dealing with “corrective” rape, Xhosa initiation rites and having fun at the hairdresser.

Now in its 20th year, the festival runs until November 27 at Nu Metro Hyde Park and Nu Metro V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Courtesy of Ster-Kinekor OAI this year screens the Cannes Palme D’Or winner, Blue is the Warmest Colour.

The romantic drama caused a bit of a hiccup earlier this month when it wasn’t shortlisted on the Oscars’ Foreign Film Category because it had not screened in France by the cut-off date – it was expected to follow in the footsteps of the previous year’s Palme D’Or winner, Michael Haneke’s Amour, by cleaning up at all the major awards.

If you can’t wait until February to catch the local release, the film will screen downstairs at the V&A Waterfront Ster-Kinekor in Cape Town during the festival.

Guests at this year’s festival in Joburg and Cape Town are Patrick Schuckman, from Germany, with his Lose Your Head, who will present two scriptwriting seminars; Louis(e) de Ville (see review below), the bad girl in the portrait, from Kentucky via Paris, who will also perform live; and locals Benedict Roumega with White Lies which stars Alan Committee; and Afda filmmakers Oko Macanda with Somagwaza, and Duan Myburgh with his award-winning The Brave Unseen.

Other films which screen include Out in the Dark, a multiple award winner about being gay, Palestinian and in love with an Israeli; The Happy Sad which sees two couples explore the alternatives to the usual till-death-do-us-part monogamy roundabout with intriguing consequences; and Freefall, a hard-edged intense study of a man unraveling.

 

• Check www.oia.co.za for the schedule and about buying dvds of previously screened films.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

Louis(e) de ville

Portrait of a Bad Girl

***

A Bad Girl with a good sense of humour.

 

“I came to Paris to be a diplomat, to study at the Sciences Po, but I ended up as a stripper,” Louis(e) de Ville laughs. “There you are, we all have our own way of trying to change the world.”

This is how Louis(e) de Ville: Portrait Of A Bad Girl begins.

A documentary about a woman who identifies as queer (because it means abnormal, she shares), the film features de Ville, who left Kentucky for Paris in 2005, talking directly to the camera about her experiences while that is intercut with footage of her politically-charged performances.

Rooted in burlesque, de Ville’s stage experience has included a foray into performing as a drag king -– hence the Louise(e) title.

Citing Mae West as an influence, de Ville unpacks her ideas about feminism, the economy and Western notions of beauty and even shares her hurt over some members of the lesbian community accusing her of perpetuating patriarchy by using dildos as props.

The documentary is interesting even though it’s created from a subjective perspective. It would have been more engaging if it also had footage or on-camera quotes from those who may not deem her to be perfect. – Helen Herimbi


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