Mardi Gras Film Festival starts tomorrow, and Antenna is pleased to be co-presenting two films in the festival. We’ll be bringing you the hard-hitting, intimate American Vagabond; and a fierce and empowering chronicle of the early women’s movement, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.
There are many more compelling documentaries to see at the festival, too. Here is a snapshot of what’s on offer.
Sat 28 Feb 4.30pm
This documentary, with extraordinarily intimate access to its subjects, is truly a special experience. Escaping his small town family home, James leads his boyfriend to San Francisco, in the hope of finding refuge in the promised city. What they find is a world of kicked-out queer youth, an ever present reminder of the past James thought he left behind. American Vagabond won the Special Jury Prize Q Hugo Film Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, and the Image Out Jury Award for Best Documentary.
SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY
Tue 3 Mar 6.30pm
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is an impassioned account of the early women’s movement. It cleverly juxtaposes interviews with archival social activism footage, bringing the audience into a time when revolution was possible. Follow the lives and personalities of the amazing women who brought gender inequality to America’s attention. With voices of queer activists such as Rita Mae Brown and Ellen Willis, this documentary is a compelling examination of how sexuality was acknowledged in this movement, and a must-see for the young and old in questioning whether women truly have achieved equality.
OUT IN THE NIGHT
Sat 28 Feb 9pm
Under the neon lights of a gay-friendly neighbourhood in New York City, a man sexually harasses four young African-American lesbians as they walk home one hot August night in 2006, violently threatening to “fuck them straight”. When a fight begins as the women defend themselves and the man himself is stabbed, the women are rounded up and charged. This group of women, cruelly dubbed a ‘Gang of Killer Lesbians’ by the media, are given the chance to tell their story in this harrowing documentary about a justice system that fails so many queer and African American people, more often than we like to think.
NAN GOLDIN: I REMEMBER YOUR FACE
Sat 21 Feb 2pm
Meet one of the world’s most respected living photographers in this nostalgia-filled, sentimental journey through Berlin in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Goldin’s photos are littered with the self-destructive detritus of bruises, beer cans, cigarette butts, blood and unmade beds. Members of her ‘tribe’—queers, drag queens, sex workers, artists and drug addicts—dwelled on the margins of society. Now 60, Goldin retraces her steps, approaching each moment of her fraught past with warmth and good humour.
DO I SOUND GAY?
Tue 24 Feb 7pm
A simple question asked by David Thorpe begins this documentary: Do I Sound Gay? As he confronts his anxieties about this hugely fraught cultural marker of queerness, he speaks to a fascinating collection of subjects, from Margaret Cho, David Sedaris and Tim Gunn to George Takei and Dan Savage. What results is a funny and vulnerable expose on the relationship between sexuality and self-esteem. This lighthearted, fun film opened the New York Documentary Festival and was selected for the Toronto Film Festival.
PETER DE ROME: GRANDFATHER OF GAY PORN
Sat 28 Feb 9.39pm
It seems hard to believe that Peter de Rome, a polite and a well-spoken elderly gentleman, could earn the title ‘Grandfather of Gay Porn’, but the manner of this unlikely pornographer adds an endearing charm to this fascinating documentary. Audiences will be surprised by this celebration of his extraordinary life in pornography art film. The film includes clips from de Rome’s films—never before seen on the big screen—and interview contributions from film academics and famous filmmakers.
For tickets visit: http://queerscreen.org.au/mgff/ticketing/