Film: the final frontier

From time-travelling lesbian
science-fiction in The Sticky Fingers of Time to the ridiculously playful
Star Trek Disco Generation, the Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival offered
a variety of themes to satiate all tastes. I’d never attended a queer
film festival before, so I can’t draw a comparison between this year’s
festival and those of previous years. I can, however, relate what I’ve
come to expect from such an event.

The festival ran for two nights, and featured two shows each night—a
collection of shorts, and a feature film running over 80 minutes. The shorts
varied in length (anywhere from three to 23 minutes) as much as they did
in theme. Some were playful and imaginative, and dealt with their content
in a light manner. Disco-dancing Star Trek figurines in stop-motion photography
hardly left any profound implications. Other films were more suggestive
and thought-provoking, dealing with heavier topics such as gender issues
and their infiuence on individuality.

One of the most intriguing and refreshing aspects of the films was the
honesty surrounding their examinations of certain issues. Several films
(or more, depending on whether or not you look at them from a Freudian
perspective) incorporated sexual themes into their overall structures—no
latent lesbian undertones here!

A far cry from mainstream film—which often disguises certain sexual
themes to produce ambiguous results—many of the films at this year’s
festival were honest and even blunt in their intentions towards the issue
of sexuality. From the pursuit of sexual gratification to a fascination
with sexual deviance, or from the role of gender stereotypes to small-town
homosexual identity, the intent behind the film was clearly expressed,
leaving little to the imagination.

Aside from the kinky sex set to Chinese pop music found in One Night in
Heaven, most films which dealt with sexual subject matter were more implicit
than explicit in terms of the graphic content.

Themes beyond sexuality formed an integral part of the films screened.
Insightful examinations of issues such as the pursuit of normalcy were
included. Themes such as what it means to be male or female, or an examination
of the apparently quintessential lesbian name—Lisa—all added
up to make for an entertaining, enjoyable film festival. Both light and
heavy, playful and provocative, this year’s montage of queer films
left a good impression, and high expectations for years to come.

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