Moving to Toronto from a small town at the age of nineteen was the first time I was entirely introduced to the queer scene. More specifically an open and proud community that I would have never really been exposed to three years ago; it’s not that it didn’t exist where I lived either, it just had to be sought out. I remember going to my first gay bar and seeing my first drag show, I was in complete awe. Such an important part of LGBTQIA2S+ history and its community is the drag scene, and the queens who started the revolution at a time where it could have easily resulted in death. So when I sat down to watch Philip J. Connell’s Jump, Darling I already had an instilled excitement knowing that a drag queen character was leading this film. It’s due time for these types of queer stories to be told as a sort of coming of age and I have to say, this one is an incredible installment.
Sometimes comedies just hit the right spot. Some comedies are just tailor-made for you, while others not so much. Late Night is not only in my wheelhouse when it comes to humour but it just hits a home run when it comes to its subject and message. Filmed in 2017, Late Night is as timely as ever and maybe even more in the post #MeToo era that we live in. And yet, while it hammers down on its feminist message and diversity message, it’s never too much. It always does it just right.
With every year, there are always a handful of films that I try and champion. Films with little-to-no marketing. This is why I almost have a film end on my list of favourites at the end of the year that nobody has heard of before.
Knives and Skin is definitely one of those movies you’ll hear me rave about for the rest of the year. If you followed any outlets that have been at Tribeca, Overlook or even Fantasia later this year, I know you’re going to hear all about this film. And you very much should. You’re going to hear a lot of similarities to Twins Peaks – and rightfully so.
When I first heard about Adam I wasn’t so sure. It’s a controversial subject. A young man pretends to be trans so he can get a lesbian to fall in love with him. It’s a tricky subject that if handled by the wrong person, it could have been a real disaster. While some aspects of it didn’t sit with me well, it also didn’t do a mockery of everything. And that is a lot due to the fact that the film was directed by Rhys Ernst (Transparent) who himself is a trans man. Had the film been directed by a CIS person, the point of view would have been totally different. Ernst brings a vision and a truth that no one else but him could bring.
While I didn’t see that many films for the festival, it felt good to agree with an award for once. Xiang Zi won an award for Best First Feature and it’s extremely worthy of its award.
The film is a wonderfully unique and exquisite story that with such control from the director. Never allowing you to get further than she wants you to get. On top of that, it’s edited in a very moving and swaying motion. It weaves in and out of everyone’s past, so you’re never aware of where you truly are.