With BFI Flare almost upon us, we’ve compiled a list of films not to miss. From modern classics to fresh discoveries, this festival season announces itself to ignite conversations long overdue.
The Happy Prince
Fresh off the Berlinale, Rupert Everett returns to the screen as a triple threat in his all-around involvement in what is a ode to Oscar Wilde. With perhaps of one of the most anticipated performances in Flare’s catalogue, the project will have Everett as Wilde in an examination of a societal fall from grace, connecting cast and audience over a passion for the famed writer’s life.
Though you’ll more than likely be aware by now, 16 March marks the release of delightful-looking, LGBT-centred teen flick Love, Simon through 20th Century Fox, as we’ve eagerly reported here.
Based on Becky Albertalli’s now-acclaimed novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the film follows in-the-closet teenager Simon and his romance for an anonymous messenger with whom he met online with all the warm, fuzzy-feeling clichés of a teen rom-com certain to ensure. Greg Berlanti is on directorial duties, with the film almost-certain to be a success in 2018’s film world.
Shaking South African society in a visually and thematically provocative effort, John Trengrove’s feature left its mark on the London Film Festival where it won Best Debut. This slow-burning account of initiation tackles masculinity in a culture rarely magnified through this lens. Dividing South Africa in what has now turned into a cultural movement in favour and against the film, Inxeba ignites a wider, much necessary cultural discussion.
Second Chance Sunday
For those who missed the trailblazers in queer cinema that have emerged throughout 2017, such as A Fantastic Woman, God’s Own Country, 120BPM and more, the minds behind BFI Flare have curated a special Sunday for visiting and re-visiting these modern classics.
Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex, Fashion & Disco
Through archive photographs and spoken accounts of contemporaries, Antonio Lopez, legendary illustrator, quasi-rival of Warhol and discoverer of muses Jessica Lange and Grace Jones, is resurrected through an account worthy of the effervescent vibe of 70s queer life. The documentary is a deep dive into liberating a city, shuffling New York’s fashion scene with cutting edge design, and a fierce championing of representation of people of colour.
A Deal with the Universe
In a reversal of roles, former BFI Flare curator Jason Barker makes a directorial debut with an urgent story of personal triumph. 15 years’ worth of archive footage map a tough negotiation of transitioning and conception: when Jason’s partner was faced with difficulties conceiving, his own transition was put on pause in order for the couple’s dreams of a family to reach a final form. We are promised an intimate documentation, a celebration of trans identity, pregnancy, family and, of course, love, and by the looks of the clips below, A Deal with the Universe will surely deliver.
My Days of Mercy
Reworking classic tropes of love trumping politics, Kate Mara and Ellen Page team up to set the tone for this year’s flare. A lesbian love story sees the two sides of the death penalty debate intertwine, in a romance promising to challenge priorities and personal beliefs. Career-best performances consolidate the emotional thread of this tender love story that promises to charm even the coldest of hearts.
For the full programme and ticket information visit the website here.