Running May 24 to June 3, 2018 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, the INSIDE OUT LGBT FILM FESTIVAL is set to kick-off! Several high-profile Films set to premiere at the Festival including Opening Night Gala A KID LIKE JAKE starring Jim Parsons and Claire Danes, HEARTS BEAT LOUD starring Kiersey Clemmons and Nick Offerman and THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST for which Chloë Grace Moretz won Best Actress at Sundance earlier this year. Hotly-tipped also is HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES starring Elle Fanning and Nicole Kidman, which will see a digital release in early June.
Our Team preview for you some of the Festival’s most-talked-about titles and we will be providing you updates on some of these as the Festival commences!
In the meantime, here are some hidden treasures at Inside Out:
A MOMENT IN THE REEDS
Review by George Kozera
A MOMENT IN THE REEDS opens with Leevi (Jaume Puustinen) in a car with his father Jouko (Mika Melender) driving through the Finnish countryside. The emotional estrangement between the two is palpable. Leevi just arrived from Paris, where he is studying literature, to help renovate the family lake house and pointedly deflects the questions from his dad about his life and living arrangements. Arriving at the cottage, Leevi learns that his father hired a handyman to help with the renovations. A foreigner. Fortuitously, Tareeq (Boodi Kabbani) arrives, and whereas he cannot speak Finnish, his carpentry skills far outweigh Leevi’s and the father and son communicate with him in English.
When the father is called away on business, the two young men bond while working together, then drinking beers in the sauna and on the porch afterwards. The attraction between them is tangible and intense and they eventually wind up in bed together.
Whereas the plot of A MOMENT IN THE REEDS is somewhat derivative of many gay-themed dramas, the romance between Leevi and Tareeq is realized exquisitely with moments of sensuality coupled with revelations shared (Tareeq’s struggles with being a Syrian refugee living in Finland and Leevi’s emotions dealing with his dead mother). Billed as the first LGBT Romance from Finland, Writer/Director Mikko Makela fashioned a beautifully-accomplished, emotionally involving Movie. Kudos.
A MOMENT IN THE REEDS plays at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, June 3, 2018, 4:45 pm
Review by Justin Waldman
Derek Dodge’s Documentary Hurley focuses on racecar legend Hurley Haywood, and his struggles with being gay in such a “macho” sport. The Documentary focuses on Hurley’s career as well as his relationship with Peter Gregg on and potentially off the racetrack. This also serves as Hurley Haywood’s official ‘coming-out’, as he was worried that doing so would dampen his career and he would not be accepted by the racing world.
This is a Sports Documentary with an LGBTQ underbelly. It focuses more on Haywood’s career than it does his personal life and relationships. However, when it does get into his personal life and relationships it becomes a beautiful story of courage and acceptance and shows that sometimes in life being who you want to be is harder than it should have to be.
Hurley is an eye-opening examinayion about his career and the toxic masculinity that surrounded the sport in the ’70s and arguably even today, and the love that is shared between his partner and himself for being able to overcome the adversary that is Motorsport.
Hurley screens at Inside Out on Monday May 28, 2018 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, 7 pm.
Review by George Kozera
Bearded hunky Spaniard Bruno (Richard Garcia) arrives in Reykjavik, Iceland to look for his companion, Norberto, who left him without any explanation. While waiting for any kind of information from the police, his sister tells him to meet up with another ex-pat Spaniard, Arnau (Raul Portero) while there. Thus begins GRIMSEY, a journey around Iceland about a man looking for answers and/or closure.
Arnau, a tour guide, meets up with Bruno who is somewhat rude to him. When Bruno is told by the police that Norberto was last seen in a little town of Vik, he phones Arnau to apologize for his behaviour earlier and tells him he’s on his way to the small town north of Reykjavik to continue his quest. Suspension of disbelief number one: who shows at Bruno’s rental seconds before he leaves? Arnau. (How did he find Bruno and how did he know which car rental he was at?)
Arriving in Vik, only to be told that Norberto left three weeks prior heading further north, suspension of disbelief number two occurs: they meet another ex-pat gay couple from Spain who actually met and dined with Norberto. Back in the car. Scene after endless scene where we hear Bruno’s messages to Norberto which include pearls like “I feel my heart as a hotel. A hotel that you can leave without saying goodbye” and confessing that he was always a terrible travel companion with him and had been unfaithful. (No wonder Norberto ran away without a trace). We also hear Arnau’s messages to an ex-boyfriend which also doesn’t paint him in a positive light.
As a Road Trip Movie, GRIMSEY is endlessly fascinating. Iceland is a country rich in diverse landscapes and the cities they stop at are picturesque. The real star of this Movie is the beauty of Reykjavik. Written and directed by the two leads, as a narrative this Film is a bit lagging with scenes lasting longer than they should or have touches that suggest that GRIMSEY perhaps veers a bit to much to vanity rather than substance.
GRIMSEY plays at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, May 25, 2018, 7:15 pm.
OCTAVIO IS DEAD!
Review by George Kozera
In OCATVIO IS DEAD!, Tyler (Sarah Gadon) just lost her job when she finds out the father she never met had passed away and she is the sole beneficiary of his estate. Her mother Joan (played in full throttle eccentric mode by Rosanna Arquette) sees this as an opportunity to stop her years’ long medical insurance fraud and sponge off her daughter but Tyler decides to run away in the middle of the night and go to her father, Octavio’s (Raoul Trujillo), house to learn more about the man she knew nothing about. Thus begins Canadian Writer/Director Sook-Yin Lee’s atmospheric new Drama.
While rummaging through her father’s belongings in his filth-covered, book-lined apartment, Octavio appears to her in the form of a ghost. She also finds a photo of him besides a handsome young man, who she ultimately finds working at a gentleman’s club. To gain access to the facility, she lops off her hair, puts on her daddy’s suit, shirt and ties and successfully meets Apostolis (Dimitris Kitsos). They immediately bond and, consequently, secrets are revealed.
Sarah Gadon (Alias Grace), looking very much like and channeling a young Angelina Jolie, gives a compelling performance as Tyler, however unbelievable she looked and acted as a guy. It is accomplished and interesting. Best known for her work on Much Music, CBC Radio and in Film (Shortbus), Sook-Yin Lee’s writing and directing seem to be influenced strongly by David Lynch. Trying to combine supernatural elements with grotesque secondary characters and surreal imagery doesn’t always work in her favour but it doesn’t fail her vision either. Kitsos has very little to do but look pretty and be half-naked and Trujillo provides menace, tinged with sadness.
OCTAVIO IS DEAD! may be overreaching at times, but it is rarely uninteresting. It plays at TIFF Bell Lightbox on June 2, 2018 at 9:15 pm.
Review by George Kozera
In Ryerson University graduate, Drew Lint’s, feature length debut, M/M, this Writer/Director takes us deep inside a world of sexual and psychological obsession to a techno beat and rhythm. Golden-haired Matthew (Antoine Lahaie) recently moved to Berlin from Montreal. His is a lonely existence, made even more untenable with occurring dreams of statues staring at him. While at his job working at an indoor swimming pool facility, he gets a message on his cellphone, via a gay dating app, from Matthias (Nicolas Maxim Edlicher), seductively lounging across from him. Whereas nothing happens after that first communication, Matthew follows Matthias where he watches him shower, then trails him all the way to his apartment where he sees him in a sexual embrace with another guy. The obsession with the sexually voracious Matthias intensifies to not only stalking him but to Matthew changing the way he looks and dresses to mirror Matthias. When Matthias is hospitalized in a coma after a motorcycle accident, Matthew moves into his apartment and starts to live his life as Matthias does. Is it no surprise they share the same name; are they, in essence, the same person?
M/M is the most visually impressive directorial Feature Film debut I’ve seen since Kogonada’s Columbus. Drew Lint masters colours and textures seamlessly and breathtakingly. His use of whites and grays delights as does the occasional use of computer graphics. His storytelling is also impressive as it concisely encompasses many themes: loneliness, sexuality, the Social Media, art as a commodity. There are moments in the Movie that go on a bit too long or add nothing to the narrative but that can be attributed to a first-timer throwing all that he can to stimulate the senses.
M/M is a provocative, atmospheric and fascinating. Drew Lint is a name to remember and follow.
M/M plays at the TIFF Bell Lightbox May 30, 2018 at 9:15 pm
More on tickets and schedule here!
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