sun 12/07/2020

LGBT+

Storyville: Welcome to Chechnya, BBC Four review - trauma, tension and resistance

David France’s revelatory film may have been subtitled “The Gay Purge”, but from the start it was clear this wasn’t just another documentary from Russia charting the increasing pressure faced by that country’s queer community. Since “propaganda” of...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, National Theatre At Home review – a mad delight

Nicholas Hytner’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed for NT Live at the Bridge Theatre last summer, is – as it gleefully acknowledges – completely bonkers. But it doesn’t start out that way. A troop of actors trudge through...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a story of impossible love between two young women, takes place in the 18th century, on a wind-swept, wave-battered island off the coast of Brittany. The writer and director Céline Sciamma, who established herself as a...

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Larry Kramer: 'I think anger is a wonderful useful emotion'

Larry Kramer, who has died at the age of 84, was the Solzhenitsyn of AIDS who indomitably reported from the gay gulags of Manhattan’s quarantined wards and revolving-door hospices. “I felt very much like a journalist who realises that he has been...

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Moffie review - heart rates will rise with Oliver Hermanus’ powerful war film

Oliver Hermanus’ potent fourth feature Moffie certainly has a controversial film title. A homophobic slur, it can be translated from Afrikaans as "faggot". If you were to see buses with film posters emblazoned with the title in translation...

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Garth Greenwell: Cleanness review - pornography and high art

Both Cleanness and Garth Greenwell’s award-winning first novel, What Belongs to You, are set in Bulgaria, with a gay American teacher as the anonymous first-person narrator (Greenwell taught at the American College in Sofia from 2009 to 2015). In...

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Feel Good, Channel 4 and Netflix review - a fresh, bingeable comedy that digs deep but feels mild

“I am not intense.” That declaration arrives early in Feel Good, the new Channel 4 and Netflix romantic comedy fronted by comedian Mae Martin, who plays a fictionalised version of herself. Over Mae’s shoulder, we see a literal trash fire. She’s lit...

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And Then We Danced review - glorious Georgian gay coming-of-age tale

The final sequence of Levan Akin’s coming-of-age drama And Then We Danced is as gloriously defiant a piece of dance action as anything you’ll remember falling for in Billy Elliot. Merab, the film’s youthful dancer protagonist (played by Levan...

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Kate Tempest, BBC 6 Music Festival review - more personal than political

For those wondering if performance poet Kate Tempest would be upstaged or introduced by either pandemic panic or International Women’s Day – know that a) she’s fearless and b) she practices equality always. As such, there’s no pre-amble, other than...

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RuPaul's Drag Race, Season 12, Netflix review - 13 queens up the game

As RuPaul's best squirrel friend Michelle Visage, co-doyenne of the amused and amusing judges, put it, "that was some next-level shit". She was referring to a high point in the contest's weekly lip sync-ing finales, right at the end of the new...

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Album: Maria McKee - La Vita Nuova

From Tom Cruise soundtrack hit singer to self-described “pansexual, polyamorous, gender-fluid dyke”, and from LA country-punks Lone Justice to a Blakean songwriter in thrall to London’s phantom spirits, Maria McKee’s 13-year musical absence has...

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Actress Noémie Merlant: 'This is something that hasn't been told yet'

Lest anyone believe that Parasite was the only ground-breaking foreign language film of the past year, Céline Sciamma’s fourth feature, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, arrives to remind us otherwise. Like Parasite, it...

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