Two Cheers for the Melbourne Queer Film Festival – MercatorNet
The Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF), I suspect, is not an event to which many MercatorNet readers have rushed to secure tickets. This fixture on the LGBT-etc calendar, squeezed in between Carols by Queerlight (self-explanatory) and Southern HiBearnation (no, Google that one yourself) offers attendees two weeks of cinematic merry-making, or so I’d been led to believe.
The theme of this year’s event, I’m sorry to report, is frequent sniping and a decided lack of chirpiness, and I see little prospect of renewed cheer occurring before closing night.
The trouble began with the inclusion in the lineup of Adam Kalderon’s film The Swimmer, a story about a gay Olympics prospect, the institutional discrimination he faces, and his struggle for self-acceptance. Topical and important issues, the reviewers would say. The film also features, I have been reliably informed, lingering close-ups of strapping young fellows in Speedos. For many viewers, that all sounds like a jolly night at the cinema, so one could be excused for wondering what all the bloody fuss is about.