THE ORNITHOLOGIST (d. João Pedro Rodrigues)

BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival (16–26 March)


The 31st edition of Britain's most established and attended film festival (renamed BFI Flare in 2014), devoted to LGBT themes, issues and concerns, this year with more than 50 British and international features and 100 shorts, plus special events, guest appearances, discussions and workshops.

In a year that sees the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalised private homosexual acts in England and Wales, hyped BFI Flare highlights veer from the world premiere of Fergus O’Brien’s AGAINST THE LAW — the true story of Peter Wildeblood (1923–99) and the events that led to the creation of the Wolfenden Committee on sexual law reform — to monumental camp 'gay' classics such as a sing-a-long edition of Howard Hawks's 1953 musical comedy GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, starring Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe. Plus Frank Perry's critically maligned but compulsory high-octane biopic MOMMIE DEAREST (1981) — starring true Hollywood star Faye Dunaway as true Hollywood star Joan Crawford — and the likewise slated late-disco-era comedy musical CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC (1980), starring the Village People, Valerie Perrine, Steve Guttenberg and Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn) and directed by comic actress Nancy Walker, who played the sardonic mother in the 1970s sitcom RHODA.

The Centrepiece Screening of the 2017 Festival is the European premiere of Clyde Petersen's TORREY PINES – a psychedelic stop-motion animation about a child grappling with gender identity and a schizophrenic mother. The year’s Special Presentations are both world premieres: Jacquie Lawrence's new UK web series DIFFERENT FOR GIRLS — a sassy, sexy multi-layered lesbian drama, directed by award-winning Festival alumni Campbell X — and Vincent Gagliostro's AFTER LOUIE, in which Alan Cumming plays a New York artist whose life is turned upside down by an encounter with a much younger man. Documentaries include Morgan White's THE SLIPPERS, about the the most famous ever ruby red slippers coveted by a wicked witch, featuring one of the last film appearances by former Hollywood collector Debbie Reynolds. Plus events and debates including SEXIT: WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING WITH UK PORN LAWS?

Tickets go on sale via to BFI patrons, champions and members from Monday 20 February and the general public on Monday 27 February.

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