QFest Film Reviews by Shän

What did you see at QFest this year?  Annually, QFest brings some of the best in LGBT-centered films to St. Louis.  If , like me, you are pretty bummed about having had to miss it, then Shän Lewis’ enlightening reviews below is just the ticket for keeping up and filling your wishlist with DVDs.  See you there next year!

Thanks Shän !
After an eventful weekend with the 2nd Annual LGBT Health and Resource Fair, St. Louis Earth Day, and – of course – QFest, yours truly sat down to review some of the latest films that the LGBTQ community had to offer. Below are three films seen at this year’s 4th Annual St. Louis LGBTQ Film Festival. {I’m rating on a 4-asterick system, in case you weren’t sure.}

==> Different From Whom ****

Diverso da chi?

I’m familiar with subtitled films, and also the fact that reading can take away from the emotion of the film – diverting you to look at the bottom of the screen instead of the actor’s faces. “Different From Whom” subverted that… allowing for you to get the full affect of the Italian speaking parts while still understanding and laughing in-time with every joke, twist and turn. This comedy from director Umberto Carteni put a nice, funny twist in the old “love triangle” story. I applaud the director for putting together a convincing yet hilarious plot and allowing for the audience to be swayed away from the traditional lines of happily-ever-after films. I gave 4 stars for an awesome performance, unexpected twists, and an alternative ending.

[This film is available on DVD but with a code that doesn’t work in U.S. players.  Get this fine film anyway. You can work around codes. The internet will teach you how ~Ed.]

==> The Owls ***-
The Owls highlights a who-dun-nit film noire that is often missing from LGBT cinema. I recognized many of the cast members from previous LGBT films and the recent pilot of what I’d like to call a “people of color version” of the L-Word, “Don’t Go”. Although DG didn’t launch, I am glad to see that filming about lesbian relationships and life still continues to happen in this sort of low-budget corner of the LGBT film spectrum.

The film circles around a murder that is eluded to in the first few minutes of the film. The break to talk directly to the audience about the characters seemed odd, at first, but then became expected throughout the film to explain the motive of each person. Cheryl Dunye’s return to film is refreshing, yet invigorating. I gave 3 stars for the bold look at a film about lesbians that wasn’t about being lesbian (or a person of color). I took one star away for the awkwardness that seemed to break the mood of the film. Otherwise, I really really want to see this on video.

==> Loose Cannons ***-

The German title for this translates to 'Men Al Dente' Ha!

The final film I viewed during the festival was Ferzan Ozpetek’s film regarding sons of a family-owned business who turn “out” to be more than what the dad’s heart can handle. The most touching parts appear to be with the grandmother – who started the business. Hilarity ensues with the youngest son’s friends come in from Rome to visit, to an unexpecting family of straight-laced relatives. Overall, this film was a great ending cap to my fabulous weekend of screenings. I gave three starts for the dramatic realistic interpretation of a family’s viewpoint and the comedic break to lighten the storyline. I took away one star because I wanted to see more of the story between the older brother and the younger brother. I still want to see this one of video, as well.

Well, that’s all folks! Thanks to Chris Clark, QFest, and Cinema St. Louis for stretching out their necks and providing a fun-filled weekend of films geared towards the LGBTQ community.