Writer-director Harry Macqueen’s Supernova opens with images soothingly catalog-ready. Long-time lovers Sam and Tusker (Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, respectively) awake tangled in their duvet, tasteful sidebutt sold separately. They start a trek across an idyllic English countryside equipped with sensible sweaters and David Bowie’s “Heroes” softly on the stereo of their hip retro RV. The incoming emotional pain of their short journey is captured in docile tones and full Instagram-friendly splendour. That’s not just British Isle fog hovering just over the beautiful surface in Supernova, it’s the bar for gay cinema being kept as low (and superficial) as possible.Continue reading “In Review: Supernova”
With Sauvage, writer/director Camille Vidal-Naquet creates a film that refuses to be overcome – not to prurient sexual displays, not to emotional manipulation, not to bleakness. This realist telling of a homeless male sex worker’s life is many things, but never is it exploitative. But most exciting is Vidal-Naquet’s achievement in crafting a story that shirks tidiness or the dishonesty of an overly pat, definitively complete character arc. The film is a dark night of the soul where personal demons might always remain to haunt, where darkness has as much potential undertow as optimism. From Sauvage’s vantage, the human spirit is a transitional creature.
Adapted from Gerrard Conley’s memoir, Boy Erased paints a picture of repressed queer white middle America, in all of the religious familial practice and assumption of normalcy to go with the setting. Lucas Hedges plays the author (here named Jared Eamons) as he is sent to a gay conversion center called Love In Action by his parents, played by Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. In the hands of sophomore director Joel Edgerton (himself playing Love in Action’s mouthpiece and leader Victor Sykes) however, this search for healing is detrimentally willing to sacrifice what’s real.
The Happy Prince suffers the familiar strains of the modern biopic, charting the humiliating downfall of Oscar Wilde with structurally scattered and emotionally limited effect. Obviously a project of great importance to Rupert Everett, as the actor wrote and directed the film in addition to starring as the notorious writer, the film is still notably passionate despite its haphazard expediency. What we ultimately get is affectionate portraiture shoved into a soggy package that often mistakes its ping ponging construction for insightful texture.
Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post takes a look at christian gay conversion therapy camps with an eye as curious for the blasé as the insidious. As its titular hero is subjected to its invasive therapy as punishment for her sexual relationship with a friend, her experience within the camp’s sterile walls is a burden to be born for its monotony as much as its cruelty. Like the teenage years, sure, it’s hell. But it’s also incredibly mundane as you are waiting for your real life to begin.