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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Queer Screen Film Fest 2019

Check out Antonio Banderas' latest award-winning performance — or revisit the supremely trashy 'Showgirls'.
By Sarah Ward
September 17, 2019
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Queer Screen Film Fest 2019

Check out Antonio Banderas' latest award-winning performance — or revisit the supremely trashy 'Showgirls'.
By Sarah Ward
September 17, 2019
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What starts with one of the most acclaimed movies of the year, showcases a glorious award-winning performance and features the trashy erotic drama to end all trashy erotic dramas (plus a documentary about the latter, too)? That'd be the 2019 Queer Screen Film Fest, aka the film fest that the folks at Queer Screen put on each September to help bridge the gap between last year's Mardi Gras Film Festival and next year's.

Hitting up Event Cinemas George Street between Wednesday, September 18 and Sunday, September 22, QSFF will kick off with sumptuous period romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire, the latest film from Girlhood's Céline Sciamma — and it's all winners from there as well. Spinning a story about a queer filmmaker battling work and health issues, Pedro Almodóvar's semi-autobiographical Pain and Glory nabbed Antonio Banderas the best actor prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. And both lurid Austrian effort Nevrland and Argentinian drama End of the Century have picked up gongs at other overseas fests.

Something that hasn't ever scored the right kid of the awards is multiple Razzie recipient Showgirls, and QSFF is screening it in all of its gyrating glory. Prepare for some of the worst sex scenes in the history of cinema, very little in the way of clothing (or acting chops), plus a conversation about eating dog food. The Paul Verhoeven film will be paired with doco You Don't Nomi, which explores the cult status that's surrounded the Las Vegas-set flick since its first release back in 1995.

Other highlights include documentary Killing Patient Zero, about the man accused of bringing AIDS to North America; Seahorse, which follows a gay transgender man's decision to get pregnant; and Vita & Virginia, starring Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki as Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf. There's also Benjamin, which is directed by British comedian, actor and TV presenter Simon Amstell, in QSFF's closing night slot.

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