Bring Down The Walls (2020) – Another Brick In The Walls

Seen as part of the Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival (Online Screening)

Bring Down The Walls Info

The Prison Industrial Complex is a topic that’s been touched on by many truly fascinating documentaries for a reason, it’s an obscenely messed up system that is often used capriciously against POC and queer people who are just trying to live their lives. In the US it’s particularly awful, they have the largest number of prisoners on the planet and it’s disproportionately people of colour (largely black and Latin men). 

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Cured (2020) – An Important Piece Of History

Seen as part of the Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival (Online Screening)

Cured Info

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association took a vote to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. It was one of the most controversial votes that the board would ever have since homosexuality had been considered a mental illness since the first DSM was printed in 1952. With homosexuality being labelled a mental illness, it was able to be used as an excuse to deny employment or housing or basic rights to an entire class of people. This led to some of the most brutal torture ever done in the name of mental health, and a story that the film Cured tells brilliantly.

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P.S. Burn This Letter Please (2020) – And Watch This Film Please

Seen as part of the Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival (Online Screening)

P.S. Burn This Letter Please Info

The history of gay culture is hard not well recorded, this is almost intentional. Thanks to the way that the community at large was treated by a legal system that revelled in arresting gay people for the crime of existing, keeping records wasn’t a high priority. If one were to have letters or photos that caught moments of queer culture, they were either burned by an angry parent determined to pretend that their departed child was straight, or it was destroyed upon request by the person who wrote the letter who would often add “P.S. Burn This letter please” at the end.

Thankfully, someone in the 1950s ignored this request and kept a hold of a series of letters and photos that described the underground 1950s drag and gay scene and now we have a record of this period of the era when the LGBT community was its most secretive.

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A Secret Love (2020) – A Sweet Secret

Released: 29th April
Seen: 5th May

A Secret Love Info

In terms of gay history in film, we tend to focus more on the 70s-80s than almost any other time until now. If you were to ask most writers, it seems like the history of gay culture began around the time of the AIDS crisis and everything has happened in its shadow but that’s not the reality of the situation. Gay people have been a part of society since society became a thing but with few exceptions (like The Favourite or Wilde), we rarely see stories from before the decades mentioned… except in documentaries, which often give us stories of legendary queer people and the stories of their lives back when things were a lot worse than they are now.

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DC Did What Marvel Didn’t

For the last decade, Marvel has basically owned the cinema landscape. Since the release of Iron Man, they have never left the top 10 highest grossing films list of each year, the only exception being in 2009 when they didn’t release a film (remember when there was a year that didn’t have a Marvel film? Memories). In all that time they have proven to dominate the cultural conversation around movies, and recently they even added an Oscar to the collection of things they pulled off. But there is one thing that they didn’t pull off yet, that their competitor DC just pulled off with Shazam! and I’m in the mood to talk about that. The catch is, in order to talk about it I have to spoil a few things so if you haven’t seen Shazam! then be warned, I’m spoiling a lot of major moments that you’re going to want to see so this is where you abandon this editorial discussion and go see the film, then come back because I require validation.

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Cherry Pop

Released 22nd September

Seen 30th November

Cherry Pops.jpg

Directed by Assaad Yacoub
Written by Nick Landa
Produced by Wolfe Releasing
Starring Lars Berge, Mayhem Miller, Detox Icunt, Bob The Drag Queen, Allusia, Tempest DuJour & Latrice Royale

There is a very small genre of films that revolve around a drag queen. Classics like The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert or Too Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Numar are big high points in the genre but there are other great films like Victor Victoria, The Birdcage, Some Like It Hot or Tootsie. Drag is a great topic for a film but you know who very rarely get’s to star in these kinds of movies? Actual drag queens. Since we now live in a post-Drag Race world, someone decided to fix that and god bless them for it.

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