Organizers of this year’s Image+Nation, Montreal’s queer film festival, are celebrating their 25th anniversary in the most simple way possible: by rolling another lineup of crazy, transgressive, fun and exhilarating films and videos.
Katharine Setzer, the festival’s director of programming, says Image+Nation’s mandate has remained the same over a quarter century. “We remain a festival dedicated to the mission set forth when we started: to bring LGBT stories to the big screen – from here and around the globe – in the spirit of not only recognizing our past, but coming to understand both our present and our future.”
This year’s event includes shout-outs to bears and their admirers (BearCity 2: The Proposal), lesbians of colour (Pariah), documentary buffs (How to Survive a Plague) and Gore Vidal fans (Myra Breckinridge). Here, in no particular order, are 10 reasons to attend Image+Nation’s 25th year.
While many tend to associate HIV with an older generation, Charlie David’s moving documentary shows us the lives of younger people who have seroconverted.
A tremendously acted, beautifully written film about a young Muslim gay man who must negotiate his emerging sexuality (he falls in love with a gorgeous waiter) and his immigrant parents, who can’t deal with the concept of a queer son.
Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years
This documentary looks at Lorde’s years in Berlin, where the iconic lesbian author and activist made connections with the little-known Afro-German community.
Call Me Kuchu
This award-winning doc explores the life of famous Ugandan gay activist David Kato. His brave fight against anti-gay legislation is hampered by American rightwing lobbyists, who are seen supporting the legislation.
Mommy Is Coming
Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman) returns with this crazy campy affair, in which a dyke porn starlet must deal with a girlfriend who wants real commitment. Meanwhile, meddling Mom is about to arrive.
My Brother the Devil
Sally El Hosaini’s feature directorial debut is winning widespread critical acclaim, as well as awards at both Sundance and Berlin. Two Egyptian brothers living in London grapple with the demands of their family life and the street gang they are members of.
A Perfect Ending
A woman desperately in need of intimacy soon finds that hiring a prostitute brings her great joy and ecstasy. Featuring a cameo by prime-time fag hag Morgan Fairchild.
Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean
A queer bit of speculative fiction, about one of Hollywood’s most famous queer actors. When James Dean was once asked if he was indeed bisexual (as the rumours suggested), he responded, “Why should I go through life with one hand tied behind my back?” This film reveals what he was doing with both hands.
I Want Your Love
Travis Mathews examines 30-something ennui and relationship angst in this explicit, yet somehow beautifully understated, indie feature hit.
Keep the Lights On
Ira Sachs’ latest feature shows us how invigorating the beginnings of a romance can be and then takes us to the possible agonizing depths of its end. A journey through love, friendship and addiction.