Sep 20, 2019
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Front Page, Industry News

Inside Out Festival celebrates its 20th year

By TO411 staff writer Daisy MacLean

The largest Film and Video Festival in Canada devoted to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender topics, opened on the weekend in Toronto. The Inside Out Film Festival is celebrating the end of its second decade this year, can you remember what you were doing twenty years ago? (it was the 90s, I had trouble too). Better still, can you remember how many gay and lesbian friends you had that were out? Compare that to now.

Inside Out has been challenging attitudes and changing lives, with a diverse group of members, now numbering over 400, supporting the Festival and its year-round initiatives. Over the next week the festival will be screening over 250 films and videos from Canada and around the world that are of interest to the LBGT community, and entertaining to cinema buffs of all stripes.

Among the categories this year is the Icon Documentary Series, returning for a third year, featuring films dedicated to larger-than-life queer icons. Included in this series is: Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work; Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Warhol Superstar and the Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls. 

Another category that has been getting a lot of attention, even though it only has two films, is Bear Nation: gay culture is not always hairless chests and washboard abs like Queer as Folk, this category promises “an insightful and thoroughly enjoyable examination of the hairy subculture of hirsute homosexuals.” One of the films, of the same name as the category, contains an interview with honorary bear member, Kevin Smith, who has been a cover model for the popular Bear Magazine.

The Regretters is a film that has been given its own category. I have to be honest, I gave it a miss at Hot Docs, something about it put me off. Mikael and Orlando were born as men, and at some point in their lives, for very different reasons, they decided they would be better off as women so they had their sex surgically altered. Their youth long gone, they are now brought together for the first time by director Marcus Lindeen to discuss their lives, and the one commonality they share, their decision to surgically return to their original gender. I was expecting it to be either offensive, pointing out a wrongness in their decisions or just depressing. I also felt cagey about the word “minimalist.” When I opened my film guide for Inside Out, there it was again, so I decided to go see it.

The discussion is open and respectful, a slide projector between them. Neither man got his sex change as a result of feeling trapped in the wrong body, instead the film is much more a discussion of gender roles in society. “I think they were just, as we all are, fed with such strong images of what it is to be a man and a woman, in very simplified and stereotypical ways.” Says Lindeen, “Afterward when they weren’t happy about it, they also both sort of got lost between categories and were really experiencing the limitations of categories that society provides.”

For such a simple set up, this is very strong filmmaking. Orlando has such an endearing charm about him, and a lifetime of experience. His gender firmly planted in androgyny, he enjoys being able to straddle both genders. An intelligent film, with warmth and affablility. I’m glad I caught it this second time around.

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Front Page, Industry News

Inside Out Festival celebrates its 20th year

By TO411 staff writer Daisy MacLean

The largest Film and Video Festival in Canada devoted to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender topics, opened on the weekend in Toronto. The Inside Out Film Festival is celebrating the end of its second decade this year, can you remember what you were doing twenty years ago? (it was the 90s, I had trouble too). Better still, can you remember how many gay and lesbian friends you had that were out? Compare that to now.

Inside Out has been challenging attitudes and changing lives, with a diverse group of members, now numbering over 400, supporting the Festival and its year-round initiatives. Over the next week the festival will be screening over 250 films and videos from Canada and around the world that are of interest to the LBGT community, and entertaining to cinema buffs of all stripes.

Among the categories this year is the Icon Documentary Series, returning for a third year, featuring films dedicated to larger-than-life queer icons. Included in this series is: Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work; Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Warhol Superstar and the Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls. 

Another category that has been getting a lot of attention, even though it only has two films, is Bear Nation: gay culture is not always hairless chests and washboard abs like Queer as Folk, this category promises “an insightful and thoroughly enjoyable examination of the hairy subculture of hirsute homosexuals.” One of the films, of the same name as the category, contains an interview with honorary bear member, Kevin Smith, who has been a cover model for the popular Bear Magazine.

The Regretters is a film that has been given its own category. I have to be honest, I gave it a miss at Hot Docs, something about it put me off. Mikael and Orlando were born as men, and at some point in their lives, for very different reasons, they decided they would be better off as women so they had their sex surgically altered. Their youth long gone, they are now brought together for the first time by director Marcus Lindeen to discuss their lives, and the one commonality they share, their decision to surgically return to their original gender. I was expecting it to be either offensive, pointing out a wrongness in their decisions or just depressing. I also felt cagey about the word “minimalist.” When I opened my film guide for Inside Out, there it was again, so I decided to go see it.

The discussion is open and respectful, a slide projector between them. Neither man got his sex change as a result of feeling trapped in the wrong body, instead the film is much more a discussion of gender roles in society. “I think they were just, as we all are, fed with such strong images of what it is to be a man and a woman, in very simplified and stereotypical ways.” Says Lindeen, “Afterward when they weren’t happy about it, they also both sort of got lost between categories and were really experiencing the limitations of categories that society provides.”

For such a simple set up, this is very strong filmmaking. Orlando has such an endearing charm about him, and a lifetime of experience. His gender firmly planted in androgyny, he enjoys being able to straddle both genders. An intelligent film, with warmth and affablility. I’m glad I caught it this second time around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

Inside Out Festival celebrates its 20th year

By TO411 staff writer Daisy MacLean

The largest Film and Video Festival in Canada devoted to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender topics, opened on the weekend in Toronto. The Inside Out Film Festival is celebrating the end of its second decade this year, can you remember what you were doing twenty years ago? (it was the 90s, I had trouble too). Better still, can you remember how many gay and lesbian friends you had that were out? Compare that to now.

Inside Out has been challenging attitudes and changing lives, with a diverse group of members, now numbering over 400, supporting the Festival and its year-round initiatives. Over the next week the festival will be screening over 250 films and videos from Canada and around the world that are of interest to the LBGT community, and entertaining to cinema buffs of all stripes.

Among the categories this year is the Icon Documentary Series, returning for a third year, featuring films dedicated to larger-than-life queer icons. Included in this series is: Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work; Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Warhol Superstar and the Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls. 

Another category that has been getting a lot of attention, even though it only has two films, is Bear Nation: gay culture is not always hairless chests and washboard abs like Queer as Folk, this category promises “an insightful and thoroughly enjoyable examination of the hairy subculture of hirsute homosexuals.” One of the films, of the same name as the category, contains an interview with honorary bear member, Kevin Smith, who has been a cover model for the popular Bear Magazine.

The Regretters is a film that has been given its own category. I have to be honest, I gave it a miss at Hot Docs, something about it put me off. Mikael and Orlando were born as men, and at some point in their lives, for very different reasons, they decided they would be better off as women so they had their sex surgically altered. Their youth long gone, they are now brought together for the first time by director Marcus Lindeen to discuss their lives, and the one commonality they share, their decision to surgically return to their original gender. I was expecting it to be either offensive, pointing out a wrongness in their decisions or just depressing. I also felt cagey about the word “minimalist.” When I opened my film guide for Inside Out, there it was again, so I decided to go see it.

The discussion is open and respectful, a slide projector between them. Neither man got his sex change as a result of feeling trapped in the wrong body, instead the film is much more a discussion of gender roles in society. “I think they were just, as we all are, fed with such strong images of what it is to be a man and a woman, in very simplified and stereotypical ways.” Says Lindeen, “Afterward when they weren’t happy about it, they also both sort of got lost between categories and were really experiencing the limitations of categories that society provides.”

For such a simple set up, this is very strong filmmaking. Orlando has such an endearing charm about him, and a lifetime of experience. His gender firmly planted in androgyny, he enjoys being able to straddle both genders. An intelligent film, with warmth and affablility. I’m glad I caught it this second time around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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