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Iconic gay movies head for Durban

‘Boy Erased’, starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crow and Lucas Hedges.

‘Boy Erased’, starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crow and Lucas Hedges.

Published May 28, 2022

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Durban - The Rhumbelow Theatre is hosting a Gay Film Festival with the screening of six iconic gay movies over the weekend of June 10 to 12.

Theatre manager Roland Stansell said the festival was a “good idea” and aimed to get some fun back into Durban.

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“Besides the fact we have the big cinema screen, there’s very little gay themed activity happening in Durban at the moment, so I thought it a good idea to set it up. We used to have a gay film festival in the old days, but it’s not happening like it used to. I thought it a good idea to have top actors and tops shows.

“And it’s a mix of the serious and fun. While Brokeback Mountain and Boy Erased are more serious, The Birdcage is fun. We want to appeal to broad cross-section, not only the gay community. The films are a broad cross section and diverse in terms of audience and public appeal. De-Lovely and Rocketman are gay themed but both are icons in their own right.

“And it’s always better on the big screen,” he said.

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Here are the movies featured at the festival:

Friday June 10 at 7pm: Boy Erased

Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges), the son of a small-town Baptist pastor, must overcome the fallout after being outed as gay to his parents. His father (Russell Crowe) and mother (Nicole Kidman) struggle to reconcile their love for their son with their beliefs. Fearing a loss of family, friends and community, Jared is pressured into attending a conversion therapy programme. While there, Jared comes into conflict with its leader and begins his journey to finding his own voice and accepting his true self.

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‘Brokeback Mountain’ starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Saturday June 11 at 11am: Brokeback Mountain

When cowboys Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) meet during a month of sheep ranching in Wyoming, they share lust, passion, and genuine affection ‒ though in 1963, they can’t imagine their feelings defining themselves. Their silence lasts for years: Each goes home, Ennis marries his girlfriend Alma (Michelle Williams), Jack longs for Ennis. They agree to meet again. They can't articulate their feelings, and tell their families they have gone "fishing“. Alma discovers the truth (which she keeps to herself); horrified and angry, she silently watches him leave every few months and return with no fish.

Saturday June 11 at 3pm: De-Lovely

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At the staging of a musical production based on his life story, songwriter Cole Porter (Kevin Kline) begins to reflect on his life and career. As he trades notes with the play’s director, Gabe (Jonathan Pryce), Porter recollects his meteoric rise on Broadway during the mid-1920s and his first meeting with wife and muse Linda Thomas (Ashley Judd). He also recalls his many extramarital, homosexual dalliances, and the deep depression and seclusion of his final years.

Saturday June 11 at 7pm: The Birdcage

Armand (Robin Williams) and Albert (Nathan Lane) have a home life many would envy. They share a long-term committed relationship, and have together raised Armand’s son, Val (Dan Futterman), into a caring, responsible, and mature young man. So, when Val announces his engagement to the daughter of an ultra-conservative US Senator (Calista Flockhart), what choice is there but to accept his decision?

Meanwhile, Senator Keeley (Gene Hackman) and his wife (Dianne Wiest) are facing bigger problems. The senator is watching his right-wing constituency evaporate with the scandalous demise of his closest political ally. A visit to the future in-laws could be just the thing to take the public’s focus off the Keeleys’ messy predicament. With the impending visit of his fiancee’s rigid family, Val asks his father to straighten up the apartment just a bit. All it entails is the removal of Armand’s collection, furnishings, clothes, job... and Albert.

Sunday June 12 at 2pm: Rocketman

Rocketman is an epic musical fantasy about the incredible human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years. Young Reginald Dwight (Taron Egerton) changes his name to Elton John and collaborates with singer-songwriter Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell) to become one of the most iconic figures in pop history. Set to his most beloved songs, it's the epic musical story of his fantastical transformation from shy piano prodigy to international superstar.

‘Love, Simon’ starring Nick Robinson.

Sunday June 12 at 6pm: Love, Simon

In this moving coming-of-age story, Simon (Nick Robinson) is a closeted teen who falls for an anonymous online pen pal from his school who is also gay. When a blackmailer obtains his candid e-mails, Simon must reveal his sexuality to his friends and family while attempting to turn his online flirtation into a real-life romance.

Tickets are R100 available from Computicket or call Roland on 082 499 8636 or email [email protected]

Bring food picnics or buy at the venue. Full bar available. No alcohol can be brought on to the premises.

The Independent on Saturday

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