Plot: Alexia (Agathe Rousselle) is a dancer, working at car shows and the like. She is tough, tattooed and shows off a big scar she has on her skull from a car accident. Her roughness is not just exterior. When she is assaulted by a fan, she doesn’t hesitate to stab him. But when her colleague Justine (Garance Marillier) also tries to get closer to her, Alexia has the same reaction though. And it’s neither her first, nor her last killing – and she desperately needs an exit strategy. That presents itself in an unusual option.
Titane is not an easy film, and I had to sleep over it to really get to an opinion about it – but ultimately, I really liked it. It is a wild, refractory, aesthetic film that is certainly worth watching and then discussing a lot.
Plot: David (David Schachter) is a typesetter. Inspired by the book about the AIDS crisis that he is currently laying out, and as a gay man, he decided to volunteer as an AIDS buddy – a visitor for one of the many gay men who are dying alone and abandoned in a hospital. He is assigned to visit Robert (Geoff Edholm). Taken aback at first by Robert’s attempts to be humorous and have high spirits in his desperate situation, the two men quickly become close regardless.
Buddies was maybe the first film shot about the AIDS crisis. Shot while it was still raging pretty much unchecked, there is an urgency to this low-budget production that is hard to escape and that reminds us of how long this period lasted and how many people died. But there is also a strength there, a celebration of gay love that is absolutely beautiful.
Plot: Marina (Daniela Vega) and Orlando (Francisco Reyes) have been dating for a while, and despite their considerable age difference, they are very happy. In fact, Marina is just moving in with Orlando. When Orlando suddenly dies, Marina’s world suddenly shatters. On top of her lover dying, she has to also deal with Orlando’s family who can’t accept Marina and the fact that she is trans.
Una mujer fantástica is an intense film about transmisia and the resilience that trans people have to develop in the face of it. Except survival, it has not much space for positivity though.
Plot: Phil (Louis Hofmann) lives with his mother Glass (Sabine Timoteo) and his sister Dianne (Ada Philine Stappenbeck) in an old mansion at the edge of town, but he just spent the summer abroad. Returning home, he finds that things between Glass and Dianne are tense and Dianne is barely talking to him. Fortunately, there is still his best friend Kat (Svenja Jung) with whom he can still have fun. When school starts, it brings a new student to their class, Nicholas (Jannik Schümann). Phil is convinced that he met Nicholas once already, but in any case, he feels very drawn to him. And Nicholas seems to return his interest. Between family, friends and first love, Phil has to figure out where he stands.
Die Mitte der Welt felt a little bit more like wish fulfilment and fantasy than I would have liked, but other than that, and the usual bimisic trope of the bisexual just not being able to be content with one person, it was nice enough.
Plot: Deena (Kiana Madeira) has a vision of how everything started with Sarah Fier (Elizabeth Scopel) in 1666, seeing events through her eyes to learn how Sarah’s curse started, and how Deena can hopefully finally end it. It appears that Sarah used to be a normal teenager, trying her best to take care of her brother Henry (Benjamin Flores Jr.) and her father (Randy Havens), and even the unfortunate widower Solomon Goode (Ashley Zukerman). But after a visit to The Widow (Jordana Spiro) everything changes.
Fear Street: 1666 was a really nice finale to a very satisfying trilogy – one that doesn’t only deliver emotionally, but also gives us some surprises that completely paid off for me.
Plot: Shadyside is a difficult place to live, as Deena (Kiana Madeira) and her brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) well know. Poverty, crime and a whole lot of murder has plagued the city since about forever – quite to the contrary to the neighboring town Sunnyvale. Rumors are that is the curse of the witch Sarah Fier (Elizabeth Scopel) who was hung 300 years ago and is taking her vengeance still. But Deena has no time to believe fairy tales like that – she dreams of getting out, as do her best friends Kate (Julia Rehwald) and Simon (Fred Hechinger). At the same time, she feels very betrayed by the fact that her big love Sam (Olivia Scott Welch) moved to Sunnyvale. When Deena has to meet her at a school event, things get out of hand – and Deena has to realize that there may be more to the Sarah Fier story than she thought at first.
Fear Street: 1994 is a really satisfying watch with great characters that should satisfy horror fans. Especially if they lived through the 90s themselves (like me). I had an excellent time with it.
Morgen ist auch noch ein Tag, wenn du willst [literally: Tomorrow is another day, if you want] Director: David Gräber Writer: Andreas Neu Cast: Hannah Zieziula, Christina Völz, Bo Anderl Part of: Transition Queer Filmfestival Seen on: 11.7.2021
Plot: Claudia (Hannah Zieziula) and Marcus (Bo Anderl) have been dating for a while, but their relationship isn’t at its best anymore. Marcus feels that Claudia is distant, so he seeks to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend Jana (Christina Völz). What he doesn’t know is that Claudia is distant because she, too, met Jana and fell in love with her – and vice versa. Marcus, living out of his van, takes turn staying with the two women, but he can’t stop them both from turning away from him.
Postcards from Sicily didn’t work for me. I found it very tiring and couldn’t get into the story or the characters.
Plot: George (Adriano Visagie) and Simeon (Simon Hanga) meet in a bar. They flirt, they have sex. They don’t really expect more, especially not in Namibia where homosexuality is criminalized. But then they run into each other again when George comes to buy Kapana for his lunch break, and finds that Simeon is the one who is selling it. Simeon panics, he isn’t out to anyone in his life, but George finds a way and they start dating. Only, George has a secret, and this could threaten to end things between them before they ever really started.
Kapana is a very sweet film that tries to deal with a lot of stuff in its short runtime, but also keeps its emotional side in sight. I really liked it.
Plot: Danielle (Rachel Sennott) is a student, just trying to figure out what she wants to do after college. Meanwhile, she has a rather comfortabel arrangement with Max (Danny Deferrari), her sugar daddy. When Danielle’s parents Joel (Fred Melamed) and Debbie (Polly Draper) insist that she come to a shiva with them, Danielle things she is dealing with the worst when her parents keep trying to finde her a job and she runs into her ex-girlfriend Maya (Molly Gordon) there. But then Max shows up as well – with his wife (Dianna Agron) and baby.
Shiva Baby is billed as a comedy, but the parts that stood out to me the most were the uncomfortable ones, and not the funny ones. In any case, for a debut feature by a very young director, it shows a lot of promise.
Plot: Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) lives in a small town at the sea with her mother (Gemma Jones). Every day, Mary goes down to the beach to look for fossils, having made many important finds already – not that the scientific establishment cares much about her. Nevertheless, one day a geologist, Roderick Murchinson (James McArdle) comes to her shop and hopes to accompany Mary to the beach to learn from her. He is willing to pay for it, and Mary is poor, so she agrees. A little while later, Murchinson leaves on a trip to the continent, but leaves behind his sickly wife Charlotte (Saorise Ronan). Mary finds herself suddenly responsible for Charlotte, a charge she resents at first. But slowly the two of them warm to each other.
Ammonite is a really nice film with excellent performances and good characters. It could have done with a little more happiness, but I did like it a lot.