Mardi Gras 2019

I MISS YOU WHEN I SEE YOU – PART OF QUEER SCREEN’S MARDI GRAS FF

I MISS YOU WHEN I SEE YOU is a marvellous film and my favourite so far of the offerings for Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival.  Sad and soulful and conflicted, it grips the viewer with a combination of empathy for the characters and an instinctive romantic desire for these men to be together.  It is shot with integrity and skill and the storytelling, over its 90 minutes, guides the audience to a fulsome understanding of the forces behind their active choices and their powerlessness over the passive.

Cowardice and self-destruction will roil in the two protagonists who we first see together in the second scene of the film.  At their Hong Kong school, these boys meet in the bathroom to discuss the latest manga because one is bullied and the other is too much of a coward to be seen with him in the open.  Flashbacks to Kevin and Jamie’s school days will inform the men who make up the contemporary story ten years later.  A situation where Jamie has a mercantile friendship with the men who were the boy bullies, a girlfriend and need to visit Kevin.  Kevin had been taken to Australia by his parents and he will return the visit by Jamie and begin a kind of half-life in his native country. Continue reading I MISS YOU WHEN I SEE YOU – PART OF QUEER SCREEN’S MARDI GRAS FF

BELIEVER – PART OF QUEER SCREEN’S MARDI GRAS FF

Dan Reynolds and Savannah Skyler in Believer (2018)

Outrage.  I was prepared to be outraged by this film … seeing LDS and LGBTQ in the same sentence enough to cause fear and a presentment of horrors.   Yes, there is plenty to be outraged by here if that’s what you need, but a calm analysis will give a much more reflective, intellectual response.  For BELIEVER is not just about us but about our allies and the choice they can make to walk beside us.

The film follows Dan Reynolds, front man of band ‘Imagine Dragons’, a Mormon on a different kind of mission.  With his consciousness raised by life events he sets out to ally with LGBTQ people by making this documentary about his journey and specifically by producing a music festival called LOVELOUD, in Utah in 2018.  His focus is the alarming rate of suicide in the Mormon community and the responsibility of the church, his church, toward LGBTQ youth. Continue reading BELIEVER – PART OF QUEER SCREEN’S MARDI GRAS FF

TWO IN THE BUSH: A LOVE STORY – PART OF QUEER SCREEN’S MARDI GRAS FF

This image: Sarah Mitchell as Emily and Melissa DuPrey as Rosa

How to bake a successful modern rom com?  Put the girl in hot water, simmer her in a slob of ennui, gradually add the heat of some hot sex and serve with an alternatively romantic ending.  The chef’s secret technique here?  Balance the dominant spice with vanilla for the most palatable of delicious enjoyment.

Emily, you see, has a nasty addiction to cooking show marathons as she is parked unceremoniously on her friend’s sofa, out of luck in love, career and self-esteem.  TWO IN THE BUSH: A LOVE STORY is a fun and entertaining independent feature with clever messaging about love and the forms it can take and a discreetly expressed agenda of acceptance. Continue reading TWO IN THE BUSH: A LOVE STORY – PART OF QUEER SCREEN’S MARDI GRAS FF

KANARIE – A TENDER, FUNNY FILM FOR QUEER SCREEN’S MARDI GRAS FF

KANARIE is such a sweet film.  Don’t know why that adjective springs to mind when it is about a young man who, under church and state conditioning, struggles with his inner self, his authentic self.  Perhaps it is because of the love in the film.  Or, maybe, it’s the songs and the singing … Boy George to Brahms.  Then again it could be the way that a discreet social agenda never takes centrestage, simply whispering gently to make its point.  Whatever the reason, this is a film which nestles easily into Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival for its uplift, entertainment and joy. Continue reading KANARIE – A TENDER, FUNNY FILM FOR QUEER SCREEN’S MARDI GRAS FF

LEITIS IN WAITING – A FEARLESS FILM FOR QUEER SCREEN’S MARDI GRAS FF

This image: Joey Matael
Featured image: Lady Eva Baron

Since Nanook was captured on film fishing through a hole in the Northern ice, the documentary form has brought millions of other lives into our own.  In a stunning choice by Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival, Tonga’s Leitis community will warm your heart, give you hope and inspire you to be Fearless.

  LEITIS IN WAITING is an emotional and motivating feature documentary about the transgender community of the Kingdom of Tonga and it begins The Guide's coverage of this year's Mardi Gras FF.

Reflecting the colours of the nation’s flag, the film begins with white intertitles on a red background and one of these will pull the breath from you.  And will join an LGBTQI audience together in an understanding that the issues that these women face may be site-specific, but are despairingly common for trans people.  Murder, bashing, thoughts of suicide, familial rejection, homelessness, poverty will raise their ugliness in a beautiful film of warmth and hope. Continue reading LEITIS IN WAITING – A FEARLESS FILM FOR QUEER SCREEN’S MARDI GRAS FF

KING. AN INTERVIEW WITH SHAUN PARKER

Images Credit: Prudence Upton

For Mardi Gras 2019, Shaun Parker & Company will  present the world premiere of KING, an international music-dance collaboration between award-winning Australian director/choreographer Shaun Parker and renowned Bulgarian singer-songwriter/performance artist Ivo Dimchev.

This latest work from one of Australia’s most highly acclaimed contemporary dance companies builds on Shaun Parker & Company’s reputation for combining hard-hitting cutting-edge choreography with theatrical invention and striking soundscapes.  The Guide had the opportunity of asking some questions of Shaun Parker.

SAG:           The setting is two parts, cocktail bar and jungle.  How does the name of the show, KING, sit inside those two places?

SHAUN:    The set design is part cocktail bar, part jungle.  The men are dressed in dinner suits, complete with bow-ties pomade-slicked hair, and polished black shoes.  Only the cocktail singer is dressed in a deep wine velvet jacket, which sets him apart from the other men.  He has a seemingly otherworldly quality, possessing a gender neutral essence, and as he sings he becomes a puppet-master for the suited men beneath him.   Continue reading KING. AN INTERVIEW WITH SHAUN PARKER

THE MOORS. FROM SIREN THEATRE COMPANY FOR MARDI GRAS 2019

Hero photo credit – Harvey House Productions

THE MOORS.  A hyper-theatrical and kinky homage to the Brontës ; a play about female power and what it is to write your own story.

From the company, Siren Theatre Company  who made THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY this is a play of subversive edginess toppling the male-oppressed milieus of the Brontës and taking strong, passionate female characters to new heights. 

Two sisters and a dog live on the bleak English moors. They dream of love, power and notoriety. The arrival of a governess, the pointed schemes of a scullery maid, and the musings of a moorhen set this odd assembly on a strange and dangerous path. A cleverly crafted black comedy about love, desperation, and visibility, The Moors is a brilliant new work by Jen Silverman, a fresh new voice who takes chances.

Ticket sales are now open for THE MOORS from Siren Theatre Co [Facebookin association with Seymour Centre & Mardi Gras 2019.  It will play as part of Seymour’s Mardi Gras Central.