Films, Music, Films

I’ve spent my days so far wandering the streets again, going on long bus rides on my own, seeing all the old buildings I missed while I was away, and reconnecting with close friends.

My first week-and-a-half back in London coincided with BFI Flare. I can’t say this was pure coincidence. Queer Christmas, as it is comfortingly called by some of my favourite queers, is an annual celebration of what it means to be LGBTIQ+ in London. There are films galore and DJs play most of the nights in one or both of the bars.

So some of my evenings have been mis-spent, in the best possible way, at the BFI surrounded by gorgeous sexy people of all genders and sexualities.

Femme Brutal is a documentary about an Austrian burlesque troupe based in Vienna. The documentary included interviews with groups of two or more of the seven performers. These interviews were conversational and relaxed, showing the humour and shared chemistry between the people involved in the brutal, kinky burlesque shows.
Interspersed was footage from performances, shot as artistically as possible, with close-ups of bodies and the performances adjusted to work to camera, which ensured the people watching the film were as involved and included as if they were in a live audience. The final sequence was an elaborate power-play of sexiness between two of the performers.

I left flabbergasted, overwhelmed with joy at being home where I belong.

That weekend I went to the Roundhouse to see some performances as part of Roundhouse Rising, most of note was a stunning improvised collaboration between sound artist Gawain Hewitt and countertenor Patrick Terry, based on the theme of ‘water’. The set-up included a bowl of water containing a hydrophone, into which Patrick sang, and a large soundboard with waves painted onto it where the triggers were.

I couldn’t believe it had been improvised, the whole piece was so perfectly delivered.

I was lucky enough to be able to visit some of the young people’s pieces of work down in the Roundhouse Studios too. Audio Collective, made up of 11-25 year olds, has been working over the last few months on some sound art of their own, developed around the idea of water. The three pieces of art I saw were stunning and in great contrast to one another. It was easy to imagine them all within a gallery context, being interacted with and critiqued by pretentious art-types. My favourite was a piece created from sine waves and hospital drips, it was genius.

Then, back to the BFI for a night of three short films as part of the Glitter, Slush, Neon, Cake selection.

The first was a beautifully touching German story about a young teenager spending the summer with her younger maths tutor and her older ballet teacher. The second was a trashy Brazillian high school drama full of magic and lust.

The final film of the evening was a perfect honouring of femme sex workers set in a fictional American building called The Palace. It was just so wonderful, I wanted to dive into the film and spend the night adventuring with them.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply