Closing Gala Film - XXY

This Week in Film: May 23rd 2008

This Week in Film returns from hiatus due to a case of overwhelming cinematic malaise, but after a week of 'filmic vacation' I have returned, now energized and ready to get down to it! This week we have the remainder of the Inside Out Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and the Toronto Hispano-American Film Festival this weekend to keep cineastes busy, as it's a grueling wait until the Cinematheque's summer programme begins. Combine that with some lackluster Hollywood fare this week and hey, at least it's Friday!

The Toronto Hispano-American Film Festival ends this weekend, but try not to miss Burn the Bridges, a Mexican film about the struggles and coming of age of a high school boy, his obsessive older sister and mother (a former pop star) who is dying of cancer. The film stirs together themes of death, questions of sexual orientation, familial relationships with the trials of growing up and the drama comes to quite a boil. Burn the Bridges will be screened at the Bloor Cinema on Sunday May 25th at 4pm.

For the final week of the Inside Out Festival, I recommend checking out the Closing Gala film, XXY. XXY follows Alex, an intersexed teenager struggling with the decision to continue life as a female or to transition to male. As if having to make this decision at 15 wasn't difficult enough, Alex begins a relationship with Alvaro, an awkward 16 year old boy who just happens to have plastic surgeons for parents. This film is a welcome addition to the recent focus on trans/intersexed issues and was winner of the Critics Week Grand Prize at Cannes last year. XXY can be seen Sunday May 25th at the Isabel Bader theatre with tickets for the film being $19.75 or $24.75 to gain access to the Closing Gala party as well.

Also notable at Inside Out this weekend? The Queer Youth Digital Video Project which is in its 10th year of providing Queer youth with the tools and mentoring to create, storyboard and shoot their own film. The films for this year can be seen tomorrow at 4:30.

The Royal Cinema has some interesting films screening this week, one of them being the latest Hou Hsiao-Hsien film, Flight of the Red Balloon. For those who don't know much about him, Hsiao-Hsien is well respected globally, (he was one of the contributors to last years Chacun son Cinema) and one of his best films, Cafe Lumiere, is one of my modern favourites. There is quiet magic in his films as he always manages to film his characters in these beautiful, authentic environments, letting their personas flourish naturally, so be prepared for long takes and gorgeous scenery. The other film in rotation at the Royal this weekend would be the local film This Beautiful City, featured earlier this week by Sameer.

And...oh yeah. That film. You know the one, the overdue sequel to a trilogy? No, it's not Star Wars although it features one of those actors. No, not one of the actors from the prequels. Anyway, you've probably heard enough already, so I digress. There's no way it can be as good as the one with James Bond in it.

Now please excuse me, I've got a screening of Postal to catch...

Image: XXY from Film Movement

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