Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest (13 to 18 NOV) opened last night and many of their free events are already fully booked. We thought we’d take a look at the features that you can still buy tickets for at the time of posting. Here’s our RADIANT CIRCUS top ten picks of this year’s Fringe! Click quickly…
First things first, don’t panic… Fringe! advises you not to worry if your fave film screening looks sold out: “Come and join the stand-by queue before the screening. Especially for the FREE events, seats will always become available on the day with no-shows and uncollected guestlist tickets. We’ll get in as many people as we can!”
You heard ’em.
1. SHAKEDOWN (17 NOV 16:00, Rio Cinema)
Dir. Leilah Weinraub (USA, 2018).
RADIANT CIRCUS view: If you could only see just one, we’d recommend Leilah Weinraub’s stunning dance hall doc. RADIANT CIRCUS saw it earlier in the year and can’t imagine a more sex- and body-positive film complete with life-affirming soundtrack that pumps you hard.
Fringe! says: This is a triumphantly lesbian documentary, charting the history of a Los Angeles strip club; created for women of colour, by women of colour. SHAKEDOWN is both dope-tempered and energetic. Leilah Weinraub’s confident and assured filmmaking features several years’ of footage, documenting Shakedown nights throughout the late nineties and early noughties – the women who performed and the women who watched.
2. THE WHISPER OF THE JAGUAR (14 NOV 19:00, The Castle Cinema)
Dir. Thais Guisasola & Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau (Germany/Brazil, 2018).
Fringe! says: Ana’s sister, a Brazilian queer activist has been murdered. To honor her sister Anna goes on a pilgrimage across the Amazon carrying her sister’s ashes, on a quest that will become spiritually and sexually liberating for her. Her journey is filled with encounters and challenges that will lead to experimentations with hallucinogens and medicinal plants.
3. THE REST I MAKE UP + Q&A with director Michelle Memran (15 NOV 18:30, Barbican).
Dir. Michelle Memran (USA, 2018).
Fringe! says: Pioneering avantgarde playwright and director Maria Irene Fornes may be better known for her relationship with Susan Sontag but she is considered, by some, to be one of the most influential playwrights and teachers of the 20thcentury. A chance meeting with documentary filmmaker Michelle Memran, leads to a tender and inspiring portrait of Irene’s later years as she faces the challenges of memory loss, in much the same way she lived her life; with humour, creativity, style and sass.
4. OBSCURO BARROCO (15 NOV 21:00, Genesis Cinema)
Dir. Evangelia Kranioti (Greece/France, 2018)
Fringe! says: OBSCURO BARROCO, Greek-born artist and filmmaker Evangelia Kranioti’s second feature film, blends documentary and fiction in a lyrical quest for the self through continuous metamorphoses. The words and body of the late iconic transgender activist Luana Muniz travel through the vibrant streets of a nocturnal Rio de Janeiro, more mysterious and seductive than ever. The carnival, challenge to gender norms and political protest are all means to reach a deeply intimate, and at the same time collective, transformation.
5. THE WIZ SING-A-LONG (16 NOV 23:30, Rio Cinema)
Dir. Sidney Lumet (USA, 1978).
RADIANT CIRCUS view: We’ll be honest, RADIANT CIRCUS normally avoids sing-a-longs, but we love THE WIZ, so we include it here without hesitation. Head down to Rio and give those vocal chords a good late night stretching. If you’ve been following The Celluloid Sorceress’ #Schumachatak (and which of you hasn’t…?), you’ll know that Joel Schumacher wrote the screenplay for this one.
Fringe! says: Come on and ease on down the road on a magical musical journey with us. Cult classic THE WIZ, a reimagining of the classic story, stars Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as Scarecrow and an all African-American cast dancing down the yellow brick road of a fantastical 1970s, pre-gentrification Manhattan to a disco, soul and r&b soundtrack. Dorothy might try to find the Wiz to get back home, but we want to stay right here.
6. TRANSGEEK + PANEL with director Kevin McCarthy, documentary subject Cheryl Morgan + guests (17 NOV 13:00, Hackney House)
Dir. Kevin McCarthy (USA, 2018).
Fringe! says: TRANSGEEK brings in a wonderful diversity of Trans voices and their experiences across tech culture, gaming, fantasy and sci-fi. Across actions like online forums, avatars, new readings of fantasy texts, and inclusive hacking conventions we see Trans folk, like all marginalised communities use their passions to dismantle and reconstruct systems that never imagined people like them.
7. DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION! + PANEL (17 NOV 13:30, Rio Cinema)
Dir. Caroline Berler (USA, 2018).
Fringe! says: The definitive story of lesbian cinema from America. Think The Celluloid Closet but with a feminine focus, as well as a focus on the emergence of the gorgeous queer image and story onscreen, rather than its omission. Sit back and enjoy a joy-ride through lesbian cinema of the 20th century, and the 21st.
8. THE DAUGHTERS OF FIRE (18 NOV 13:00, Rio Cinema)
Dir./Scr. Albertina Carri (Argentina, 2018).
Fringe! says: Imbued with true eroticism merged into politics and one hell of a road movie, this free-flowing journey is a transformation of landscape and polyamorous desire morphing and unfolding through scenes of explicit sensuousness as a filmmaker-narrator Violeta explores the bodies of all the lovers, the nature of porn, the overthrow of patriarchy and a new way of forming society and existing in the world.
9. SWEDISH CANDY, SOME VIOLENCE AND A BIT OF CAT (18 NOV 13:00, Hackney House).
Dir. Ester Martin Bergsmark (Sweden, 2018).
Fringe! says: If you like your queer film, fanciful, dark, provocative and a bit f****d up, then this is for you. SWEDISH CANDY, SOME VIOLENCE AND A BIT OF CAT takes us down the the rabbit hole of the truly bizarre and into the psychotic, co-dependent, lesbian relationship of two cousins; all acted out in a pale blue and lime green Ikea set. Wait for the genius rendition of Charlene’s “I’ve never been to me” and keep your eye on the pussycat.
10. 26 DE DICIEMBRE (18 NOV 15:00, Hackney House).
Dir. Silvia Maggi (Netherlands, 2017).
Fringe! says: The residents’ different stories show aspects of the social situation and the needs of LGBT elderly people in Spain. Four former drag performers performed as ‘Las Roseras’ during Franco’s dictatorship in Madrid and Barcelona: a time when prosecution and violence was an everyday problem. Their memories and those of the other residents highlight the importance of demanding recognition for social rights, the crucial need for social housing and the different ways that love can be understood.
… and that’s the meat of it.