James Walling, The Prague Post, 28. října 2009
This year's Mezipatra has a little something for everyone
This year's incarnation of the Mezipatra Queer Film Festival features a wide array of offerings for English-language moviegoers. Small, ambitious films and old favorites rub shoulders with widely successful projects boasting big-name movie stars. Sexual orientation notwithstanding, the schedule offers a welcome relief from the never-ending stream of mediocre romantic comedies and animated features emanating from Hollywood. The following 10 selections are just a taste of what this year's festival has to offer.
Breakfast with Scot-Canada, 2007. A recently orphaned, out-of-the-closet 11-year-old turns the lives of a stable gay couple upside down. Sexual identity and family values are turned on their head as the so-called grown-ups attempt to adjust to a shameless young soul. Lucerna, Nov. 2 at 7:30
Derek-UK, 2008. A bracing documentary examining the life and work of celebrated filmmaker Derek Jarman, whose retrospective features largely in this year's Mezipatra. Tilda Swinton stars. Světozor, Nov. 2 at 8:30; Nov. 8 at 5:45
Ghosted-Germany/Taiwan, 2009. Legendary feminist and queer-cinema auteur Monika Treut follows a young artist, Sophie, from Hamburg to Taipei. Haunted by the ghost of a murdered lover, Sophie struggles to come to grips with the confluence of passion and morality and the roles they play in the artistic life. Lucerna, Nov. 3 at 6
Butch Factor-USA, 2009. What does it meant to be male and gay? This and other questions are examined in a new documentary that delves into the psychology of a rugby player, a policeman, a cowboy and other macho figures as they attempt to reconcile their inner drives with their public personas. Světozor, Nov. 3 at 5:45
The Times of Harvey Milk-USA, 1984. Thanks in part to Gus Van Sant's brilliant, Oscar-winning biopic, Milk (2008), renewed interest in the life and times of gay activist and politician Harvey Milk has brought attention to the 1984 documentary that preceded it. Also an Oscar-winner, Rob Epstein's film examines Milk's life in greater detail than Sean Penn's, though perhaps with less pathos. Lucerna, Nov. 6 at 4
Hollywood, je t'aime-USA, 2009. A heartbroken Parisian explores the bizarre landscape of Southern California in an attempt to cope with the loss he experiences as the result of a breakup. Inspired by the work of Jean-Luc Godard, Hollywood, je t'aime both mocks the many clichés surrounding Tinseltown and embraces the strange creatures that inhabits its storied streets. Světozor, Nov. 4 at 8:30
Bi the Way-USA, 2008. Trumpeting the maxim, "The divide between gay and straight is crumbling," this new American documentary explores the lives of a wide range of practicing bisexuals, from young singles on the make to earnest parents struggling to find stability. Světozor, Nov. 5 at 5:45
War Requiem-UK, 2009. Another of several films by or about director Derek Jarman, War Requiem is an astonishing nexus of powerful elements. Jarman's picture - an anti-war musical - combines documentary footage of the world wars, Vietnam, Angola, etc. with a score by Benjamin Britten, verse by Wilfred Owen and Laurence Olivier's last appearance on screen. Lucerna, Nov. 6 at 6
My Summer of Love-UK, 2005. Sexual tension, subtle class conflict and small-town ennui collide in Pawel Pawlikovski's examination of sexual obsession and coming-of-age angst. Opposites attract and romance is in the air, but good intentions notwithstanding, trouble ensues. Lucerna, Nov. 7 at 4
Transamerica-USA, 2005. Duncan Tucker's sleeper hit brought the subtleties and possible complications of a transgendered lifestyle to mainstream audiences. Preparing for a male-female sex change operation, Bree is confronted with a grown son, previously unknown, who has been arrested for prostitution. Bree agrees to help, but leaves the subject of paternity to fester unspoken. Felicity Huffman stars. Lucerna, Nov. 8 at 4
A number of off-program events, parties and discussion forums will augment the cinematic offerings. But the movies are the main course. For film junkies hungry for something a little different, Mezipatra is a feast of substantial proportions.