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Loud & Queer reviews Melbourne Queer Film Festival

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Tune in for Loud & Queer’s rundown on the 2021 Melbourne Queer Film Festival! Laura (they/them) and Elizabeth (she/her) dove into four movies across the annual March festival.

Laura describes the heartfelt documentary “Keyboard Fantasies” about African American musician Beverly-Glenn Copeland. Copeland grew up in small-town USA in a single-minded religious community where his parents taught him classical and traditional music. Moving to Montreal, he thought he was gay before realising he was a trans man. His 1986 album, which inspired the title of the documentary, was released on a cassette to a local audience but didn’t reach further afield until his old age. The documentary follows Copeland and his band as he tours across Canada, inspiring young people with his vibrant and soulful music. The only thing missing for us was more queer content focusing on self-love as Copeland accepted himself later in life. Laura’s rating: 9/10

Elizabeth saw “Forgotten Roads” at Como Cinema, a Spanish film which follows the story of widower Claudina who is still discovering parts of her sexual identity. The story follows her close relationships with those in her village, her loving grandson, her estranged daughter, and her new lover, Elsa. These relationships highlight her growth¬† but aren’t integral to it; Claudina is her own person with a loving partner: they both just happen to be queer. Elizabeth’s rating: 8/10

Laura visited Cinema Nova with their partner to check out “Kiss Me Before It Blows Up”, a Tel Aviv-based film surrounding the engagement of a young Sapphic couple, German Maria and Israeli Shira. The couple goes through the usual trials and tribulations when ‘meeting the parents’, discussing their future, and the uncomfortable history of ex-flames. Their queerness is hardly an issue, but their family histories are thrown in their faces daily where in Israel, the personal is equal to the political. While the story was your average rom-com in all things cinematography, plot conventions and the like, the characters had no chemistry between them and it seemed the Palestinian issue was always played for laughs in some pretty inappropriate ways. The movie’s main saviour is its occasionally witty, disastrous humour on things unrelated to Palestine. Laura’s rating: 2/10 | Laura’s partner’s rating: “Do you accept decimal point ratings?”¬†

Special shout out to “My First Summer”, MQFF’s principal film for the 2021, which Laura saw out of interest. It follows the lives of two teenage girls falling in love and supporting one another through trauma and neglect. Wildly unique and downright touching, My First Summer didn’t condescend to its audience, or underestimate the strength and depth of young queer women. Laura’s rating: 8/10


Presenters: Elizabeth Busch and Laura Green
Executive Producer: Laura Green
Sound designer: Sammy Perryman

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