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London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2012
Manish Agarwal , March 22nd, 2012 13:45

Huge programme starts at BFI Southbank tomorrow!

Running until April 1 at BFI Southbank, the 26th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival promises to more than live up to its taglne - 'Explode Your Expectations' - with an impressively far-ranging choice of movies, documentaries, shorts, seminars, workshops, archive favourites and club nights.

The event is bookended by gala unveilings for the Olympia Dukakis/Brenda Fricker road trip comedy Cloudburst (clip below) and Belgian auteur Bavo Dafurne's first full-length work North Sea Texas, with this year's other centrepiece pictures being Argentinian director Marco Berger's thriller Absent and Iranian exile Maryam Keshavarz's feature debut Circumstance, which won the Audience Award at Sundance. There's more drama in the shape of provocative French flick American Translation, Israeli drug dealer/psychopath romance Joe + Belle and the South Africa-set Skoonheid (Beauty), winner of the Queer Palm at Cannes 2011.

Among the bumper crop of US productions are Rashaad Ernesto Green's Bronx tale Gun Hill Road, starring transgender actor Harmony Santana; Los Angeles costume ball musical Leave It On The Floor; Brooklyn-based black lesbian drama Pariah; and new Kathleen Turner vehicle The Perfect Family. Homegrown selections include Campbell X's "multi-cultural, polysexual tale of desire in contemporary London" Stud Life and the factual film This Is Not A Dream, exploring alternative performance and video art, plus a world exclusive preview of work-in-progress Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth, accompanied by an interview with filmmaker Pratibha Parmar (whose earlier civil rights piece A Place Of Rage gets a separate screening, marking its arrival on DVD).

The diverse array of docs also boasts four intriguing music portraits: The Ballad Of Genesis And Lady Jaye, looking at Genesis P-Orridge and late partner Lady Jaye Breyer's quest for pandrogyny; Hit So Hard, which profiles Hole drummer Patty Schemel; Jobriath A.D., chronicling the cult gay glam-rocker; and Wish Me Away, which follows Nashville country singer Chely Wright on her journey to coming out.

A complete LLGFF schedule and highlights reel can be found here. Quietus report to follow...