Tag Archives: film

Darkroom – The obsessions of Bob Carlos Clarke

15 Sep

In honour of the late erotic photographer Bob Carlos Clarke, The Bob Carlos Clarke Foundation and The Little Black Gallery are seeking donations to make a film based on his life and work.

They’re looking to make a minimum of £75,000. Anyone who donates £100 or more will get their name listed in the credits, and anyone who donates £5000 or more will be listed  in the credits as a Executive Producer.

Details on how to donate can be found on the following link:
http://www.bobcarlosclarke.co.uk/darkroom-the-obsessions-of-bob-carlos-clarke/

From Birth To Chosen

5 Apr

A vibrant treasure of a collection of short films was shown at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. ‘From Birth To Chosen’  had eight films that explored the areas of gender and family, both born and chosen. With a mix of documentary, drama and comedy, this group of films delighted the audience and left all who saw them contemplating issues of gender identity and what family is all about.

The programme started with a U.S. documentary, ‘The Family Journey: Raising Gender Nonconforming Children’, which interviewed various family members from several families about the issues that both they,  and their children,  faced in society and amongst friends and peers. This touching, candid film was very moving. It was refreshing to see the family love and support that was given to the children concerned. With a wealth of different experiences and emotions felt between the interviewees, this film provided a sense of hope and recognition to many.

Another short film from the U.S., ‘Loop Plane’ was a gem of a film. With a fictional story set in an amusement park, following a day in the life of a transgender teen who lives and works there with his supportive father, this wonderful short took you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Beautifully acted and directed, and with some quite stunning cinematography, this film is definitely worth looking out for.

Nominated by the LLGFF for the Iris Short Film Prize (which is one of, if not the, gay and lesbian short film awards), ‘James Dean’ was a smart, funny short set in Scotland. Perfectly capturing the way families behave, argue and relate, all whilst waiting in a car ready for a family outing, this amusing film pleased the audience no end. Everyone could relate to the way families bicker, support or disagree, and the ‘punchline’ towards the end of the film was fabulous.

‘Spiral transition’ was a personal exploration of the development of relations between a mother and her trans son, from the moment when he first finds out her feelings about his transitioning. ‘Absence’ was an artily crafted short about gender fluidity, and the way some have to navigate between identities, in order to relate to family members. ‘Living Room: Bar Wotever 2008-2009’ is the first installment of an ongoing project by Dr Jane, about the people who go to the fantastic Bar Wotever, and what the space means to them. It gave a real sense of why Bar Wotever is cherished by so many and incorporated some of Dr Jane’s stunning photographs as well.

Filmed as a pilot for a possible series, ‘Traverse City’ followed the adventures of a woman and her trans boyfriend as they cross the U.S. to meet her gay male parents. Much comedy was had from the reactions of the gay father, the seperate sexual adventures of the non-monogomous central couple, and the awkwardness of having a partner meet the parents for the first time, which most can relate to. Incorporating comedy, drama, animation and fantasy, this had the audience laughing out loud and waiting for the next installment.

The final film in the selection was ‘Bella Maddo’. This fantastic comic melodrama was about a self-obsessed pregnant wife and mother, and the hell she brings on most of her loved ones. Although none of the characters in the story were transgendered, all the actors in the film were. Co-writer, director and amazing star of the film, Janice Danielle, wanted to make a film that showcased talented trans performers, in roles they may usually not be considered for. This hilarious film had a great sense of heightened drama (in the best possible way!) and was shot, written, directed and acted to a very high standard. It made ‘Mommie Dearest’ seem tame by comparison, and was extremely well received by the audience.

Hopefully you will all get the chance to see this great collection of films. You will be amused, enlightened and have your heart touched by the films.

Mutantes (Punk Porn Feminism)

3 Apr

Showing at the BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival,  ‘Mutantes (Punk Porn Feminism)’  is a documentary about the sex positive feminist movement, as seen by the activists, sex workers and performers. Virginie Despentes (director of the film ‘Baise-Moi’ amongst others) has interviewed a wide-range of pro-sex performers, academics, film makers and activists across the U.S and Europe, notably France and Spain. With clips from various porn films and performance pieces interspersed throughout, this winner of the CHE ‘Derek Oystan Film Award’ at this years’ LLGFF, is thought-provoking, entertaining, sexy and informative.

The list of interviewees is extensive, starting with Annie Sprinkle, who always manges to raise a smile and challenge prejudice in an enlightened and humourous way, Carol Queen and other women from the early days of the pro-sex feminist era. We follow the changes, growth and expansion of ideologies from the early 1980s to the present day, demonstrated by the views, activism and porn produced by the punk porn movement’s new radicals in France and Barcelona. The way the shift in feminist thinking has occurred over the decades shows how there is constant change as our understanding of gender, femininities and masculinities and sex itself is constantly challenged and built upon.

This refreshing, provocative film has many instances of humour, politics and what the pleasures and limitless expectations of sex is all about. It will leave the viewer with much to think about, as well as the memory of some hot films, which I am sure you will want to remember the titles of. Some of these clips have not been widely seen before, and will leave you wanting to seek them out to view in full. It also helps you rediscover some lost classics; I, myself, had forgotten the joys of Lydia Lunch’s fishnet clad ass as well as Tribe8’s ferocious BDSM influenced live performances. Strong, intelligent women, with a pro-sex, ethical feminist stance and aesthetic, that will hopefully counteract what is unfortunately an often misogynist porn industry, can only be a good thing. Let’s hope we get the chance to see more work from the punk porn feminist movement, and open up all our eyes to what is possible.

London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

11 Mar

logo for the 25th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

 

Running from the 31st March until the 6th April, the BFI LLGFF will be a place to watch some great films, get involved in some equally fabulous events and hang out with friends, lovers and many a queer cinephile. This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the event. Originally starting out as a short festival with just a handful of films, the LLGFF has grown over the years to become one of the hotspots of LGBTQ community entertainment.

This year, due to cuts in funding, the festival will be shorter than it has been in recent years, running just one week. However, the programmers have still managed to select a comprehensive range of films that should interest many a film-goer. With new films, world premieres, workshops, interviews and many classic documentaries and dramas on offer, there is something for everyone.

Gregg Araki’s latest film Kaboom opens the festival, and if you’ve been a fan of his earlier work (Totally F***ed Up and The Doom Generation) this film will not disappoint, as it visits similar themes. We Are Family, the LLGFF film event for kids, their families and friends is now in its third year. Showing LGBT themed cartoons and film clips and with an array of activities and performances, this is always a popular event. There are also many other features and short films that will appeal to a diverse LGBT and straight film-loving crowd, with many themed events throughout the course of the festival.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on the 18th of March. As the festival is shorter this year, no doubt tickets will be in great demand. Not only do you get to see some excellent films, but you have the chance to meet and mix with a predominantly LGBT crowd at one of London’s best arts spaces.  So, here’s your ‘heads up’ to the hottest event this spring!

Oscars: Black Swan 1, Gay Mom 0

28 Feb
annette benning as one of the moms in 'the kids are all right'. looking sad

didn't win...boo-hoo!

Spare a thought…if you will…for Annette Bening. She’s been nominated four times for an Academy Award, but for some reason the prize statue does not get to be in her hands. The 2011 version of the reason: Natalie Portman’s highly visable and all-conquering performance in Black Swan, which is still hooking up large audiences in actual movie theatres.

And while you’re still thinking… that movie that Ms. Bening was in is called The Kids Are All Right. It was the one with the two moms, two kids and a donor.  In a good year for film making, this interesting independent comedy was always going to be noticed.  Unfortunately, when the prizes get distributed someone has to…lose.

Oscar Summary: almost everybody got something (see above).

Greg in Hollywood on ‘The Kids’ review. The pic is also from there and is a still from the movie.

Art Wank- Porn, Performance, And A Pleasure!

24 Feb

The London Launch of Art Wank happened last night, and what a happening it was. Curated and hosted by the talented, funny and damned sexy Ophelia Bitz, Art Wank is the perfect night for lovers of classic, retro porn, the curious and those of us who like a chance to dress up, have fun and be enlightened to our kink history. Yes, a pornucopia of entertainment was had by all!

Ophelia Bitz, photo by K. James for Coffee, Cake and Kink

Art Wank was held at the Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury, a wonderfully intimate venue that felt just right for the occasion. Ophelia Bitz, our hostess with the mostest and wearing a stunning outfit to boot, welcomed a glamourous capacity crowd who had also dressed for the occasion. The night itself was a glorious mixture of showings from very early porn films (from the silent era up to early 70s ‘lost’ classics), entertaining acts, music, comedy and an insightful mini-lecture on ‘Why sex is fun’.

Kitty Stryker, photo by K.James for Coffee, Cake and Kink

Ophelia has spent days, nay months, researching early porn films (so you don’t have to!) to delight a very appreciative audience. From early (mostly French, ooh la la) films, that seemed to have a penchant for outdoors threesomes, up to early 70s football themed gay male porn, with a witty, specially selected (by Ophelia herself) and apt music accompaniment , the films showed how both the aesthetics and content of porn have changed over the decades. The innocence, naivety and lack of camera awareness of the early performers was a refreshing joy, and the audience happily laughed along to the films. Mr Tom Baker provided wonderful musical accompaniment on the accordion to these very early classics, which seemed especially fitting for the French films, in particular.

Kitty Stryker, sex worker and sex educator, who you may know from Kinky Salon London, gave a thought-provoking, amusing, empowering and well researched mini-lecture on ‘Why sex is fun’. Challenging the audience to think about how we view and consume porn, how we should bring the fun and pure joy back to it, even encouraging us to take control and make it ourselves; Kitty reminded us that sex is both fun, and often funny. She is also probably the reason why there were so many clowns in the audience (you should’ve been there).

Crimson Skye, photo by K.James for Coffee, Cake and Kink

Ophelia Bitz held the night together with both wit and aplomb. Charming all who were there, she added her amusing asides to accompany and introduce the films, performed a very funny take on the song ‘Falling in Love Again’ (with an apt change to the lyrics) and held a competition that had the crowd hooting with laughter. Performance artiste, Crimson Skye, also entertained the crowd with her sassy, sparkling (in more ways than one!) act. She had the audience whooping for more, and added to a brilliant night’s entertainment.

Ophelia and contestants, photo by K.James for Coffee, Cake and Kink

Art Wank is a magical amalgam of  a night out. Educational (though not in the way that our education system works. If only school was like this, I would’ve paid more attention!), fantastic performances, fabulous films, humour and the chance to socialise with a charismatic crowd, it was all very enjoyable. There will be another Art Wank next month, and if the popularity of last night’s event is anything to go by, I recommend you get your tickets early. Trust me, you will love it!

Black Swan: close up and in a cinema near you

20 Jan

a long corridor, artificial light,  a ballet dancer (Natalie Portman) limbers up centre left Black. Swan. Once those two words are out there, you are hooked. You don’t have to know about the other films the director  (Darren Aronofsky) has made, and you don’t need to have seen them. You don’t need to be a fan of Natalie Portman, the star of this particular film. You don’t even need to be a fan of Swan Lake (the popular ballet frames the arena in which this pic is set). However, if you are up for seeing an interesting flick – and an acclaimed portrayal of  a dancer in disintegration, Black Swan should draw you to the theatre with ease.

Some of the posters trailing the movie  show the words Black Swan underneath an image of Ms. Portman ‘in character’ as the White Princess. It’s a neat way of showing what’s at the heart of the chills and spills. Which is this: you’re challenged to perform two contrasting dance roles in one production. It’s challenging because the ‘dark side’ of one role is outside your comfort zone. Do you accept the challenge? And what will it cost you?

Well, art isn’t easy, and of course you accept. Which means cinema-goers have the double pleasure watching the progress of Nina, the ambitious member of a American ballet company…as well as marvelling at the dedicated (and now award-winning) performance given by Ms. Portman as Nina.

In UK cinemas: also starring Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, Vincent Cassel and Winona Ryder.

Film: Burlesque (and a competition)

16 Dec

There has been a steady rise in activity for the variety of entertainments listed under the term of ‘burlesque’. Good news, you might think, from local reviews of such things as La Soiree and La Clique Even better news for those of you who like a little sassy glam in your knicker drawer.

Now there’s a movie from Hollywood…and a soundtrack to boot. Christina Aguilera and Cher are a dream coupling that will guarantee a mainstream audience for the film, and there’s added interest with roles for Stanley Tucci and Alan Cumming. But Aguilera’s the lead character, and this is her first major movie assignment. Will she reveal a presence every bit as large as her music videos or CDs?

This video of “I’m a good girl” from the movie starring Christina Aguilera has certainly got the  team grinning, and we’re looking forward to seeing if the rest of the film is as good!

Competition time! Here’s a picture of Cher and Christina on set. But what exactly is Miss Aguilera saying? And is it printable? Best caption as judged by the team (put it in the comments) wins a CCK goodie bag! The goodie bag contains some FYI chocolates, a few seasonal cards, and a special something from our shop.

on-set still of Cher and Christina Aguilera.

Burlesque is released in UK  cinemas on Friday; we suggest checking your local listings.