Walter Crasshole wants to spend May in a darkroom – the cinema, that is. Here’s what to see at the Xposed Queer Film Festival, May 11-14 at Moviemento.
While May usually sends everyone running outside, I’m going to take shelter in the darkness of the cinema at Xposed, a cosy, independent festival taking place in Germany’s oldest cinema, Moviemento. I’m a film fest Mensch for sure… I love hanging out with the geeks, nerds and freaks as much as I do the films themselves. And that’s what’s great about a film fest like Xposed – 20 minutes smoking cigarettes on Kottbusser Damm between screenings may never be enough to really talk about the films (or, let’s face it, gossip), but the crowd size guarantees that I’ll find the same person in 90 minutes anyway.
What to look forward to this year? A taste of France, for starters! Even though the programmers tossed out the country-theme of years past, this year’s festival is still buttressed on both ends with French features. The festival opens with Jérôme Reybaud’s Four Days in France, the story of a man who leaves his boyfriend in Paris to drive around the country on an existential search (with hook-ups along the way). Ultimately, I wasn’t sure if the romance was between the two men or with an understated provincial France. Closing out the fest, Stranger By the Lake director Alain Guiraudie follows up his tense gay thriller with Staying Vertical, a pan-sexual countryside trip.
The rest of this year’s festival is pretty international. For example, Paulo Cesar Toledo’s documentary Waiting for B is a look at the wild world of Beyoncé fans in Brazil waiting in line for two months for a front-row spot at her concert. Don’t stone me or anything, but I really don’t give a shit about Beyoncé. But the documentary itself is amazing – showing the joy fandom can bring to the lives of these young, poor, black, mostly homosexual men.
Ms. Knowles won’t be making an appearance at the fest, but a few big names will – including Panorama head Wieland Speck, presenting Westler with simultaneous Arabic translation courtesy of queer refugee film series CIMA Berlin; and legendary Austrian feminist artist Valie Export, giving a talk at Südblock-adjacent space Aquarium.
If you’re looking for a quickie, the shorts programme is filled with weird and/or touching delights, slotted into programmes like Sex Dream Tales or Fractures and Outbreaks. Don’t miss “The Last Call” or “House of Air” from the former and “Lerne Deutsch mit Petra von Kant” from the latter. The utterly, bizarrely enjoyable “Metube” series (photo) from Daniel Moshel is also guaranteed to blow your mind. On top of that, there’s the Queer Film Fund in which an aspiring filmmaker can pitch their idea for a sizeable cash prize of €1000 – and, of course, the Lolly Award to celebrate the brightest shorts in the rainbow.
So you can screw the overpacked parks, the booked-out burrito joints and the queues at the clubs. This queer’s hitting the cinema this month!
XPOSED International Queer Film Festival May 11-14, Moviemento, Kreuzberg, see website for full programme