After twenty years of a harmonious life in an open marriage, two middle-aged workaholics, cultural editor Hanna and architect Simon, take another bite out of life. Without telling each other, they both fall in love and enter into a relationship with the charismatic Adam. Their random, secret, and unexpected common acquaintance helps them to discover in themselves sexual freedom without doing harm to each other. The film breaks down some relationship clichés and looks at the heroes-at first glance a seemingly heterosexual couple- in unusual situations where they gradually realize their own identities. This layered story about a love triangle is an intimate delight from the director of the film, Run Lola Run.
Sting’s song of the same name was a tribute to the protagonist of this biography - the godfather of all fearless, modern, openly gay authors and the legendary performer, Quentin Crisp. Since the 1920s a veteran of the rigidly persecuted, British gay scene and always the flawlessly elegant English gentleman, who would never leave his house without a dazzling scarf and eye shadow. After the publication of Quentin’s scandalous memoirs, the gay icon takes his one-man-show across the ocean at the end of the 1970s. Thus Quentin meets New York City and mainly, New York gets to meet Quentin. Returning to his portrayal in the adaptation of The Naked Civil Servant, stars the enchanting John Hurt.
Set of gay short films
In the retro-stylistic homage to 1950s American melodramas of Douglas Sirk, this film emancipates the female protagonist, who is dealing with her husband's closeted homosexuality as well as her own improper interracial romance in the stainless-on-the-surface conservative society of rich suburbia. The ongoing collaboration of Todd Haynes with the actress Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven, constitues a play with classic Hollywood techniques, opens up the possibilites of nonconformity, and also gained many acclaimed awards as well as four Oscar nominations.
The idyll of a perfect, stable family in a beautiful suburban house is shaken when the coming-of-age kids of the couple Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) discover and bring home their biological father – an anonymous sperm donor and active drifter, Paul (Mark Ruffalo). Earning four Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture), the comedy by the director of the cult classic, High Art, narrates about parenthood and marriage with honesty and clever humor - like when Jules is explaining to her 15-year-old son why his lesbian mothers indulge in watching male gay porn.
Porn actor, Imaizumi Koichi, is directing and also starring as the constantly drowsy grandfather of a family that is hit by a virus compelling all the family to rape grandpa. WARNING: At your own risk only. The festival claims no responsibility for consequences or traumas inflicted on one’s relationship towards the following: 1) Japanese cinema and pornography in general; 2) the model of the family, specifically feelings for one’s grandpa, siblings, grandchildren, or pets; 3) engagement in various sexual or occult practices. Recommended especially for hard-bitten lovers of novel family histories, Yasujiro Ozu, and meowing grizzly bears.
Julianne Moore concentrates the title savage grace in her depiction of a magnetic, unrestrained woman as well as a destructive force in Tom Kalin’s film that is based on the actual infamous “American tragedy.” The aestheticized perfection and beauty of the sun-lit, luxurious lifestyle is bond with darkness of the grimly dysfunctional Baekeland family and as the homosexual Tony is growing up, he is pulled deeper and deeper under the morbid, controlling influence of his mother. The history of the desintegration and downfall of a family, all the way to the murder on November 17th, 1972 constitutes a psychologically true drama and an understanding analysis of the motive.
Set of gay short films
Enrique is coming home to his family in the Bronx after three years spent in prison. In this tough environment, always just an inch away from crime, he is dealing with the newly acquired freedom of life on parole, an estranged wife, and most of all with the news of his son, the teenage Michael, going through the transformation of his gender identity into a girl. The festival hit is an outright and sensitive drama that follows the paths of the father, embedded in his macho view of the world that is supported by his surroundings, and of the transgender boy/girl, who is trying to find her way in that world as Vanessa. Harmony Santana, starring as Michael/Vanessa is making her debut as a transgender actress.
Till death do us part… Two married couples have a hard time keeping that promise. Sigve and Elisabeth have a problem, as Elisabeth looked for fun outside of the connubial bed, Kaja and Eirik have a problem, because Eirik is, no matter how hard he tries to hide it by crude behaviour, a homosexual. Scandinavian humour, so popular in the Czech Republic, elevates the slightly bitter but hopeful film about the uneasy task of living matrimonial monogamy and about the difficulties we inflict upon us by trying to suppress our true natures.
The name of the film sums up the problem of 35 year-old Julie, a professor of English literature trying to come to terms with the departure of the love of her life, Antonie. How to forget when Julie keeps recalling the happy moments she spent with Antonie? Julie's friends help her to overcome the feeling of complete emptiness and total loss of appetite for life, but they also have to come to terms with their own love lives. Julie does not believe that she could ever love again and be happy. But her conviction is soon put to the test when she meets beautiful Helena. Will she finally be able to forget?
Erotic fantasies about a prison romance inspired by Jean Genet; a mystifying documentary about a father-killing, flying boy; and a retro-horror where a scientist discovers an elixir of sexuality, which will dismantle his body and mind. This intertwined trilogy: Homo - Hero - Horror, passes through gay cultural history and cinema genres. Todd Haynes's feature debut, won the Jury Grand Prize at Sundance, Teddy Award for best queer film at the Berlinale, and was one of the defining films of the movement, which went down in cinema history ‘New Queer Cinema.’
The legendary German filmmaker, Rosa Von Praunheim, presented his retrospective at Mezipatra 2008. His newest documentary is a take on an infamous locality of Berlin - the former ZOO main train station. Rooted in their authentic testimonies, the film reconstructs the stories of men, whose entrance into adulthood, sex, and real life took place years ago right there, among the dirt, trains, drugs, criminals, while waiting for customers to whom they were selling their unprotected bodies. How have these boys lived, survived, and where are they today?
Handsome Harry Sweeney (Jamey Sheridan), follows a dying friend’s (Steve Buscemi) wish to set out on a journey to see their former Navy buddies in order to reveal the true culprit of their long-ago collective crime and apologize decades later to their maimed victim. Along his quest for truth and forgiveness, coming to the surface are deeply buried secrets, wrongdoings, and cowardice, which lead the party of young Navy men to brutally beat up one of their own based on a suspicion of homosexuality. Harry is forced to face the reality of his suppressed past, which defines his life in the drama and is an actor’s tour de force of love and guilt.
Mary and Marie return after their mother’s death to the house of their childhood for a summer of sweet nostalgia. The delicately provocative eroticism of the sisters’ relationship blends together with the tenderness of picnics at nightfall under the dark blue sky, illuminated by sparklers. Beauty, innocence, passion, sexual tension, manipulation, and jealousy escalate in a love triangle. And the summer is almost over… Alexandra Roxo, the director and also starring as Marie, will introduce her frisky, poetic, and passionate feature debut at the international premier in person in Prague.
A forbidden love affair, boxing, and the unsurpassable passion of two men in contemporary Chile, plays out between the village and the metropolis. The young Hugo is trying to break through the monotony of his life, when the older, tough macho boxer, Octavio, draws him in. But Octavio’s career in the ring is over due to an illness. Precise in ambiance, a strong drama about a relationship in opposition to society fighting for survival, circumstances and the intrinsic personalities clash of the lovers, and a rough love story about rough, reticent men. To top it all off, Octavia still has one more night in the ring, which could be fateful…
The 19th century Sicilian village on the coastline comprises visually stunning scenery, as well as an inauspicious setting for the fateful relationship of two women, which grew from a childhood friendship into being the love of their lives. The boyish, provoking, fearless Angela and the delicate, as if from a classical painting, beautiful Sara would make the perfect couple - but not in the closed, conservative community of the Mediterranean island, ruled by the patriarchal family and the Catholic church. A drama based on a true story of an impossible romance, told in perfectly romantic and atmospheric images.
Most of the love story films end happily when the two meant-to-be-together girls finally get together. Liza and Sally have already been living together, surrounded by friends, the queer music underground, and their subculture that makes its way from one night to another through the alcohol and drug-colored parties. The dynamics of the girls’ relationship is frantically pulsating between devotion, anger, and pathology. The director, Kanchi Wichmann, brings an authentic insight into the young scene of contemporary London, and the reality of one great love’s ups and downs, doing so in radiant colors with brutal honesty, vigor, humor, and a dead-on soundtrack (Micachu, Peggy Sue, and others).
An adaptation of another work from the famous lesbian writer, Sarah Waters (Tipping the Velvet, Fingersmith), opens as a story on the backdrop of the 1940s of three young women, Kay, Helen, Viv, and Viv’s brother, Duncan, who are fighting two wars at the same time. Amongst the bombs falling over London they find the opportunity for amorous adventures and sexual freedom for which up until now they had only dreamed of. The victory of war for them is bitter-sweet, because it returns them tied to the edge of the conventions of British society.
History across the centuries follows the enigmatic Orlando, who is not ageing as ordered by the dying Queen Elizabeth the First, and who travels the world a time via Constantinopol all the way back to England of the 1990’s, devoting himself to diplomacy, art and intricate love affairs. Always a non-conformist, Orlando becomes a woman in the course of his immortal life, thus transcending not only the human flow of time but also beyond the traditional understanding of gender. In the virtuosic adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel of the same name, the queer icon Tilda Swinton is starring in the androgynous title role.
The 20-year-old, Lukas, is discovering the world of adulthood, Cologne’s gay nightlife in the company of his loyal fag-hag and everyday awkward situations in which he lands himself because of his ongoing transition - as he was born a girl. Most importantly, he meets his first homme fatal, the muscular and wild, Fabio. The development of their flirt is the source of trouble and quite possibly love in this cheeky, sexy comedy that also brings a sensitive insight into this transgender coming-of-age story. Romeos is the feature debut of director Sabine Bernardi, whose documentary, Transfamily, won several festival awards and who will be attending Mezipatra in Prague.
An autobiographical documentary that is a diary, an essay, and a ballad of one life transposed onto film. The director, Rachid B., tells in a riveting and candid monologue the story of his boyhood, journey from Morocco to Europe and New York, coming-of-age, homosexuality, passion, religion, self-discovery, art, and dealing with his father‘s death. His voice accompanies a visually and emotionally gripping documentary-experimental collage of images, authentic super 8 records, and atmospheric impressions.
Short film: All That Sheltering Emptiness (G. Carducci & M. B. Sycamore, USA 2010, 7 min)
A visual poem of one New York City hotel, in synch with the authentic recollection of one night of sex there.
Julianne Moore stars in this masterpiece of intimate drama about a housewife in the suburbs of California in 1987. Carol suffers from the incurable and devastating “allergy to the world,” the progression of which cannot be stopped even by her perfect home and perfect, understanding husband. This stylistically brilliant film points to an abstract AIDS metaphor and more broadly, provides a delicate, psychological insight into a physically manifested disease of the soul.
The celebration of glam rock, stardom, and dandyism is fiction, just as the media reconstruction is after 10 years of a fallen music star, whose similarity to David Bowie is more than incidental. Starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Christian Bale, and Ewan McGregor, the film was awarded for artistic contribution at Cannes, nominated for an Oscar and with its nostalgic, visually rich, and stirring music performances reached cult status among audiences. Velvet Goldmine opens the festival and although dress code in the style of the film is not mandatory, we strongly recommend a glam get up (or at least some glitter eye shadow).
Sasha is a young, gifted pianist, who tries hard to fulfil his mother’s dream and make it to a prestigious music conservatory. His life, though, collapses when he learns that his beloved music teacher is moving to Vienna, leaving Germany for good. The only person in whom he can confide is his best friend Jiao. It seems he can expect no understanding from his family, especially his Montenegrin father, so he chooses to pretend that Jiao is his girlfriend. Sasha is, however, soon to find out that the truth will out.
Mezipatra 2010 Audience award.
Christopher Isherwood, long before he became the world-famous writer (his work inspiring the film, Cabaret, recently his novel was adapted into A Single Man), he left his English countryside residence and his overbearing mother for the Berlin of the 1930s. Even though red flags with swastikas are already being put up, the nightlife is ruled by parties, cabaret, and seductive liberalism. The young Christopher meets his muse, finds inspiration and among the pretty boys,-for whom he traveled to Berlin in the first place-finds a delicate true love. Yet the darkness of Nazism starts to overshadow their sunny days. Starring Matt Smith (Doctor Who).
The pioneering work of longtime activist in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Jean Carlomusto, a member of ACT UP movement, examines the background of the AIDS pandemic in the United States within gay communities, African American and Latino Americans from different perspectives. The film uses authentic period footage and interviews with leading activists, who documented the development of education and prevention over the past 30 years. The film also points to the fact that the fight against this insidious disease was and still is wrestling with many cultural stereotypes, religious, and political fanaticism.
Marko works as a farm helper during the harvest south of Berlin. He is about to take his exams, but Marko realises that he does not know what he expects from life. His secretiveness and reclusiveness isolates him from his peers. But there is a turning point when new help arrives in the form of Jacob. A bond begins to form between Marko and Jacob during their work in the field, a bond which is confirmed by their joint trip to Berlin. Will their fragile relationship last even after the harvest is over? Benjamin Cantu very sensitively captures the gradual development of the relationship between Marko and Jacob, and yet he rejects superfluous clichés and excessive pathos.
Stirring in style and cinematically radical, Swoon re-enacts the scandalous case of Loeb and Leopold, which in reality took place in the Chicago of the 1920s: two beautiful, Jewish young men coming from respected families commit an almost perfect crime when they kidnap and brutally murder a boy. The passionate and fateful pathological relationship of the lovers, their arrogance, and peak act of incomprehensible violence as well as the following trial, provoke an intense blend of fascination and horror. The acclaimed (Teddy Award) and controversial film debut of the artist, activist, and currently, QFF Mezipatra’s exclusive guest, Tom Kalin.
The documentary of Michelle Lawler is a tribute to a living legend, the oldest professional American drag artist, Vicki Marlane. The director, Michelle Lawler, maps out half a century of performances by the transgender artist, Vicki: from her beginnings as a farm boy when she left her home state of Minnesota to her performances in cabarets and clubs when she became a San Francisco gay icon to up until now when she is still performing at the age of seventy-six. HIV positive, Vicki Marlane, accompanies the viewers through the stormy years of her youth right up to the present. Amongst other things the documentary tackles the still overlooked issued of ageism.
Two women meet after ten years in Toronto. Kat and Vic used to play together in a cult rock band broken apart by drugs and squabbles, in addition to being together in an apparently complicated love relationship. Their dialogue is carried out over a disastrous dinner, guest concert performance, and walks around the sleepy city; it oscillates between resentment, nostalgia, and the question about what had happened and what will become of their lives and their peculiar friendship. Sarcasm, rock’n’roll, and a bass line of a shared history pushing back like an audio feedback effect, nourish this bitterly witty drama that unfolds over one single night.
A drug dealer’s corpse wrapped in a carpet on one hand (precisely on the roof of a car) and a mother possibly going out of her mind, if her daughter with a secret recreational drug habit does not come home on time, on the other. Galia needs to get rid of the body, get her brother out of jail, avoid being arrested, and manage all of this by the evening or she really will be in trouble. Luckily, she has her devoted BFF with her, along with the fierce Latin girl recently widowed from the dead guy in question. This pitch-black, sexy comedy runs at a brisk pace with slapstick dialogues, telling a story of three incompatible chicks in one mutual jam and the possibility of killing a habit.
„Thou shalt not sin with a woman, a man, or thee“, says the oath Ondřej takes when entering the order of Crusaders. He resists earthly temptations arm in arm with his friend Armin as they let waves of the ice-cold Baltic wash over their naked bodies. After Ondřej gives in to his desire for a normal life and flees the monastery, devoted Armin decides to follow Ondřej to his home keep and bring him back on the right track. One of the best films of the legendary Czechoslovak New Wave starring gorgeous Petr Čepek and Jan Kačer relentlessly offers itself to queer reading: it is a story of two men driven apart by irreconcilable passions.
Recommend to watch after Queer café Lukáše Skupy.
The artist, Zbigniew Bzymek, shot his feature film debut in Brooklyn as a portrait of an unlikely postmodern, queer family that inhabits a house while working on its reconstruction. While having fragile relationships, the family constructs hope for the functioning of their own private, microscopic utopia. The constellation involves the red-headed yoga teacher, Roger, his masculine African American daughter, Zoe, who just returned from the military, and her schizophrenic girlfriend yearning for a baby. Narrated through meticulous visual imagery in synch with a hypnotic musical score, the flowing existence of the trio is portrayed in structures of associations while concentrating on precise, realistic performances.
A fresh dance comedy reacting to the popularity of series likeGlee and referencing dance film classics such as, Dirty Dancingand the Australian film, Strictly Ballroom. Toni and Tasi live with their mother, a former dance champion whose whole life is dance. When talented Tasi gets pregnant, timid Toni is supposed to go on as her substitute in a dance competition. Her dance partner and friend, Cedric, shows her a new world, the gay club, where he goes to dance. Toni meets Mona there and finally realises what she wants out of life. A romantic comedy full of great dance numbers, for example from Benji Schwimmer, the winner of the American dance competition, So You Think You Can Dance.
A one-night stand after a random meeting in a bar just before closing hours grows into an intense weekend together for two young men. With a limited amount of time on their hands, they spend it in bed and in bars, telling stories, exploring the boundaries of intimacy and their own understanding of attraction, relationships, sex, and love. The protagonists are trying to capture that intangible magical moment of their unexpected romance taking place in their cynical reality, which will have to come to an end when the weekend is over. This independent, intimate British film has already become a knock-out at the festival circuit and, in an unusual agreement, the favorite of both critics and audiences.
Ewan McGregor, enchanting as ever, stars as Oliver in this bitter-sweet film about eternal beginners in the field of love. Oliver’s 75-year-old father (Christopher Plummer), who spent the past half-century in a model marriage, comes out to his son and with stirring energy throws himself into a new life of night-clubbing and a relationship with a young hottie. A fatal diagnosis catches up to him though. Oliver lives through all this with him and later takes inspiration from recollections of his Dad’s last years at the beginning of his own new romance, all the while an inherited terrier provides him with advice and commentary. The basis for the story was the director’s (Mike Mills) real relationship with his father.
The vibrant, colorful, and dynamic New York City with its crowd of millions swarming in fast motion, hides the stories of the lost kids, whose very existence it is trying to ignore. The documentary film shot continuously over the period of eight years, follows the destinies of transgender teenagers that left their home and who now live on the streets of the metropolis. They are “invisibles” – yet they are surviving with fascinating energy, they pour out their hearts about their everyday fears and struggles, while they also dream and establish new, alternative families and see hope in their impossible situation.