The Female Gaze (Film Festival)

Gaze Film Festival is back on August 2nd and this year it’s full of queer women and their stories. This is one of the only times we get to go to the cinema and see ourselves on the big screen in a way that doesn’t suck. It’s a few days where queer women have an actual choice of various films and documentaries that are by and about queer women.

Becks
Friday 3rd August 4.30 Screen 2

When unambitious musician Becks is
forced to move back to her childhood
home in St. Louis after a crushing breakup
with her longtime girlfriend, she must
contend with issues from her past and her
struggles to find a connection with her
ultra-Catholic mother. Making ends meet
by playing for tips in a local bar, she strikes
up a magnetic friendship with the wife of
her former high school nemesis. Though
she begins to grow more confident as a
musician, complications in her personal life
jeopardize her chances of finding a new
life in her old town.

Outitude
Friday 3rd August Screen 2 6.30

Outitude is a heartfelt documentary that
attempts to get to the core of what it
means to be lesbian – exploring what
defines us, what connects us, and what our
commonalities are. Conducting numerous
interviews and group discussions with
members of the Irish LGBTQI+ community
of all ages and walks of life, the film delves
into the lives of rural and urban lesbians,
poets, writers, activists, self-professed bar
dykes, and queer and curious women.

Disobedience
Friday 3rd August 8.30pm Screen 2

Hot on the heels of his Oscar-winning
feature A Fantastic Woman, Sebastián
Lelio’s follow up Disobedience tells the
story of forbidden love, faith, and the
consequences of suppressed desire on
family and community.
Rachel Weisz plays Ronit, who, on
returning to the community that shunned
her, reignites a passion with her now
married childhood friend, Esti; portrayed
by Rachel McAdams. Disobedience
considers themes of women unable to
express themselves in highly conservative
societies, and the conflict of religion and
identity. Lelio presents these complexities
in a rather unemphatic and sombre style
in his English language debut. However,
his beautifully composed storytelling,
combined with intense and introspective
character studies by both leads, delivers
to the audience an incisive and sensitive
portrayal of liberations against the
prejudices of a strict and traditional
Orthodox Jewish community.

The Killing of Sister George
Friday 3rd August 10.30pm Screen 2

GAZE, in association with Grindhouse,
brings you your late-night Friday delight
with a rare screening of the 50th
Anniversary of 1968 Robert Aldrich’s (yes,
he of The Whatever Happened to Baby
Jane fame) The Killing of Sister George.
Beryl Reid reprises her Tony award
winning role in this much darkened toned
and blackest of black humour adaptation,
as an aging lesbian actress who is
fighting to save the likeable and popular
TV character she portrays, while
balancing her long term off screen
relationship as it disintegrates around her.
Considered shocking and explicit at its
time of release for its treatment of
lesbianism in the mainstream, this film
perfectly captures the subtle neuroses
of the hagsploitation movies that came
before it.

Dykes, Camera, Action
Saturday August 4th 1.30pm Screen 2

Lesbians didn’t always get to see
themselves on-screen. But between
Stonewall, the feminist movement, and the
experimental cinema of the 1970s, they
built visibility, and transformed the social
imagination about queerness. Featuring
filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich,
Rose Troche, Cheryl Dunye,Yoruba Richen,
Desiree Akhavan, Vicky Du and Jenni
Olson, Dykes, Camera, Action shares
poignant, personal and often humorous
stories of how the identities of queer
women have been portrayed through film.
The screening will be followed by a
discussion entitled ‘Has Lesbian Cinema
entered it’s Golden Age?’, which
will delve into the annals of lesbian
cinema, discussing it’s trajectory and
transformation, and will explore the everchanging
representations of queer women
on screen, and the recent flux in lesbian
cinema.

The Heiresses
Saturday August 4th 6.00pm Screen 3

Chela and Chiquita, both descended from
elite Paraguayan families, have been
together for over 30 years. Encountering
unforeseen financial difficulties, their debts
lead Chiquita to be imprisoned on fraud
charges, forcing the habitually passive
Chela to face a new reality. Channelling
her unexpected new independence, Chela
begins driving for the first time in years,
providing a local taxi service to a group
of wealthy elderly ladies. Settling into
her new life, she encounters the younger
Angy – forging a fresh new connection and
embarking on her own intimate revolution.
A quietly radical and subversive cinematic
work, The Heiresses is exquisite in the
portrayal of its older female leads. This
portrayal highlights how shamefully underrepresented
mature female characters,
and in particular older lesbians, are on
screen, and justifies the current discourse
around the importance of proportional
representation in cinema.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Saturday August 4th 8.30 Screen 2

The illustrious Grand Jury Prize winner
at Sundance earlier this year – The
Miseducation of Cameron Post maps out
one teenage girl’s experience of being
forced into a gay conversion therapy
centre. Chloë Grace Moretz inhabits
the role of Cameron Post with the quiet
reflective observation of a girl caught in a
decade that demanded we fix and exorcise
desires and identities that needed ‘curing’.
Her journey of self-discovery and that of
her campmates mirror the unnecessary
inner doubt and societal scrutiny LGBTQ
teenagers endure to be their authentic
selves.
Desiree Akhavan’s sophomore feature,
after the 2014 GAZE audience favourite
Appropriate Behavior, The Miseducation of
Cameron Post has been described by the
director as a cross between a John Hughes
film and Todd Haynes’ Safe, and is certain
to go down in the annals of coming-of-age
cinema for the next generation.

Women’s Shorts
Sunday 5th August 4pm Screen 2

Weaving together distinct and compelling
narratives around the queer female
voice, the GAZE 2018 Women’s shorts
programme traverses age, nationality,
ethnicity and time period, curating a
creative and candid coalescence that
is representative of the similarities
and differences of the shared lesbian
experience.
We are still challenging the patriarchy,
testing bechdel, and committed to
showcasing strong women both on
camera, and behind it.

Irish Shorts
Sunday 5th August 6pm Screen 2

This curated programme reflects the
diverse spectrum of voices, the wide-eyed
fantasies and the distinct experiences
of the Irish LGBT community. GAZE is
committed to promoting these voices
outside of the festival, and is proud to
include the programme in our upcoming
2018 / 2019 GAZE On Tour season.

Breast Friends
A young, driven, female relay runner
begins to question her sexuality when a
new member joins the relay team.

Cat Calls
Dead Men Don’t Catcall. A sexual predator
gets his comeuppance when he picks the
wrong girls to mess with.

L’Animale
Sunday August 5th 8.30pm Screen 3

Tomboy Mati and her exclusively male
gang of friends spend their days loitering,
riding dirt bikes, and generally terrorising
the inhabitants of their small Austrian
village. When Sebastian, the leader of the
pack, falls in love with Mati and she rejects
his advances, she runs the risk of losing
her place with the boys, and the only peer
group she has ever known.
Simultaneously, Mati meets Carla and
begins to secretly explore her sexuality,
causing her world to become unstable. The
encounter with this independent, liberated
girl shows Mati who she could really be;
alive and open; something that is in direct
opposition to the life she had known with
her competitive, conventional, and quite
unexceptional friends.
Exploring the subtle seismograph of the
social realities of small town life, L’Animale
is a stunning ensemble piece, and a truly
European take on the family melodrama.

Wild Nights With Emily
August 6th 5.30pm Screen 2

Any reference to Emily Dickinson invokes
painful memories of Leaving Cert English
exam trauma in many Irish people. With
the programming of this raucous comedy
re-telling of the reclusive writer’s story,
GAZE has taken it upon itself to redress
these memories, and replace them with
a sordid reimagining of Ms. Dickinson’s
clandestine lesbian love affair.
Wild Nights with Emily, starring queen
Molly Shannon in the titular role,
challenges the poet’s popularized persona
– that of a reclusive spinster and a delicate
wallflower, too sensitive for this world.
The film explores her vivacious side that
was covered up for years – most notably
in Emily’s lifelong romantic relationship
with another woman. Directed by
Madeleine Olnek, whose previous titles
include GAZE favourites The Foxy Merkins
and Codependent Lesbian Space Alien
Seeks Same, Wild Nights with Emily is an
irreverent and surreal look at the (maybe)
true life story of the legendary poetess.

 

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