Edinburgh International Film Festival - LGBT

This article is from 2008.


Various venues, Edinburgh, Wed 18–Sun 29 Jun

This year’s EIFF programme includes a handful of intriguing films featuring gay characters or themes. If it’s a mix of high camp, glamour and drama you’re after, look no further than Pageant, Ron Davis and Stewart Halpern’s fascinating documentary about five male contestants competing in the Miss Gay America female impersonation contest. The film charts the progress of the contestants as they are judged on the cut of their jib, their hair, make-up, jewellery, passion, live singing and lip synching.

Also high on camp humour is Gloss: the Director’s Cut, Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky’s satirical look at the fashion industry. The film focuses on Galya, a pretty young girl from a coal mining town, whose dreams of becoming a supermodel are quickly brought down to earth when she arrives in Moscow and joins the staff of Beauty magazine.

The programme also offers a chance to revisit films from years gone by. Among the grittier fare is Portrait of Jason, Shirley Clarke’s compelling 1967 portrait of gay black prostitute and aspiring night club performer Jason Holliday, filmed over the course of one night. As he reminisces about his experiences in the hedonistic 60s, Jason initially comes across as charming and entertaining, but his monologue turns darker as the night wears on, the vodka flows and the film grows increasingly discomforting.

François Ozon’s Time to Leave stars Melvil Poupaud as a hedonistic young gay photographer, who initially responds to his diagnosis with terminal cancer by keeping his lover and family at arm’s length, but is redeemed in his relationship with a childless couple. The film is screening as part of the festival’s Jeanne Moreau retrospective (Moreau plays Poupaud’s grandmother), which also includes Querelle. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s mesmerising final film, adapted from Jean Genet’s novel, stars Brad Davis as the eponymous sailor, who sets down in Brest and is immediately absorbed into a surreal world of heightened sexuality where he is desired by men and women in equal measure.

For full details and listings please see www.edfilmfest.org.uk

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