The Queen (1968)

One of the telling lines of “The Queen” is when show runner Flawless Sabrina explains that the biggest task of organizing the Miss All American Camp Beauty Pageant is finding a hotel that can house all the contestants, and finding a hotel that’s “hip” enough to want to house them. In 1968, being out and yourself was about being as discreet as possible and operating behind closed doors. While “The Queen” is basically a documentary about the cut throat world of Drag pageants, as well as a sobering portrayal of how the LGBTQ community had to function behind closed doors for much of the twentieth century.

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Shorts Round Up of the Week – Cannes Contenders

This week we have seven stellar short films from around the world including Asia, Hungary, and The Ukraine, as well as one from prolific indie filmmaker Patricia Chica. Some of the shorts featured have competed in Cannes this year, and all deal with some kind of interesting and very widely discussed social theme including LGBTQ Pride Month. Look for these excellent films when you can. If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers

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Funny Games (1997): Criterion Collection [Blu-Ray]

Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games” has tested even the most devoted cineaste, and split audiences down in two thanks to its polarizing premise and concept. Going in to Haneke’s “Funny Games,” I frankly didn’t know what to expect, but what I did know was that it’d test every fiber of patience I had in me as a horror fanatic. Lo and behold, it did. Admittedly, I was shocked to see that I admired every single aspect of what it attempted to pull off as a narrative that acknowledges the audience and asks us if we want to turn away… or see what hideous violence unfolds.

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Tito and the Birds (Tito e os Pássaros) (2018) [Blu-Ray/DVD]

Directors Gustavo Steinberg, André Catoto, and Gabriel Bitar deliver an interesting and original animated adventure with “Tito and the Birds” that’s based around very relevant social and political themes. Audiences will find some fascinating messages to be mined from “Tito and the Birds,” as the writers explore the idea of prejudice and hate the potential for disease and misery to be exploited by fascism and greed.

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Neil Simon Comedies – The Playwright Collection (DVD)

For fans of the legendary playwright, Mill Creek Entertainment brings together a slew of his more interesting dramas and comedies to DVD all for folks that are interested in expanding the collection. I would have loved to see “Barefoot in the Park” included in this set, but for all things considered this is a nice buffer course for new fans that can study up on the late great Neil Simon, who helped re-define films about couples and relationships for everyone.

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Burning (Beoning) (2018)

There’s so much about Chang-dong Lee’s dramatic mystery that I had a good time picking apart. It’s a long and occasionally trying film, I’ll admit, but director Chang-dong Lee slowly but surely takes every single element of his narrative and places them in their proper order, allowing for a character study about class warfare and paranoia that is quite satisfying. I wasn’t really privy to what “Burning” was about when I first stepped in to it, but I had a difficult time looking away from it as it unfolded, as Chang-dong Lee dissects a lot about the haves and the have nots, the idea of love, and obsession.

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Audition (Ôdishon) (1999): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray/DVD]

It should just about go without saying that “Audition” is basically Takashe Miike’s masterpiece. If not then it’s the most accessible in where Miike is able to basically cut loose in a horror movie that begins as a romance about a man finding love again that descends in to darkness and torture. Twenty years later, “Audition” is a masterpiece of the genre, of film, and hasn’t aged a single bit since its release in 1999. It embraces romance, drama, a hint of dark comedy, and builds up to a fever pitch of a climax that’s both horrifying and will leave audiences feeling physically pained.

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The Shorts of “We Are the Weirdos 2 2019: Presented by The Final Girls Collective” [Women in Horror Month 2019]

Featuring some of the greatest new and emerging female talent in the genre space, these films delve deep into the darkest human desires from a uniquely female perspective. These are films that delve deep into the darkest corners of the human experience, bringing an unforgettable array of monsters to the screen and offering a fresh and perverse perspective on horror. “We Are The Weirdos is at the core of what we want The Final Girls to be about: a platform which can nurture, champion and spotlight female talent at the centre of the horror genre.” adds co-director Anna Bogutskaya. “The programme is distributed by The Final Girls and it is our intention to make this an annual event at cinemas worldwide.”

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