Brazilian Film Festival 2014: Naked Eye Documents Ney Matogrosso's Career

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Ambient sounds, a screeching monkey, and some out of focus imagery greet you when Olho Nu (Naked Eye) begins. It's arguably a jarring experience, and yet, the moment one sees Ney Matogrosso donning real goat horns, goatskin, bull tooth, and monkey hair, it makes perfect sense. This documentary is all about a performer's career and all the eccentricities that come with being a Brazilian glam rocker.

It's clear from the very beginning that Olho Nu wants to pride itself on being just as eccentric a documentary as the subject it's presenting, something I'd often praise in an informative work. The problem with the film, however, is that it doesn't actually do all that much to stand out from anything else.

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Brazilian Film Festival 2014: Elena Is a Beautiful Reflection on Loss and Memory

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"Elena, I had a dream about you last night," Petra Costa, the woman who created the ultra-personal tribute to her dead sister that is Elena, says in the first lines of her film. It's a perfectly apt way to introduce a film that's as dreamlike as the very memories we hold of those dearest to us that have passed on, but everything becomes more real as the minutes flow by.

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From Abortion to Gay Rights, the Miami Jewish Film Festival Is Pushing Creative Boundaries

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Jenny Slate in Obvious Child.
A comedy about abortion. A documentary chronicling the gay experience in Israel. The avant garde work of a legendary film director.

These are not obvious choices for a relatively conservative Jewish audience. But Miami Jewish Film Festival director Igor Shteyrenberg isn't taking the obvious route to film festival success in Miami.

See also: New Miami Jewish Film Festival Director Igor Shteyrenberg: 2014 Films Will "Punch the Wind Out of You"

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Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival: Directors Johnston and MacDonald Share Their Tru Love

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An unexpected romance forms between Tru and Alice.
We're so accustomed to younger women dating older men that we don't even flinch anymore, but when it's the other way around, we're so taken aback that we even come up with a nickname for women who date younger men: cougars.

Even more out of the ordinary is a same-sex May/December coupling like the one depicted in Kate Johnston's directorial debut, Tru Love. Johnston's first feature film was co-written, co-directed, and co-produced with Shauna MacDonald (you may remember her from the Saw movies), who also stars as the title character, Tru.

Tru Love tells the story of Alice, a recent widow who develops a special relationship with her daughter Suzanne's friend. Despite Tru's aversion to commitment, she becomes involved with Alice, much to Suzanne's dismay.

We spoke with MacDonald and Johnston about the film, finding love in the most unexpected of places, and tango music.

See also: With Tom At The Farm, Xavier Dolan Grows Up

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With Tom At The Farm, Xavier Dolan Grows Up

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A young filmmaker like Xavier Dolan doesn't come often. Actor, writer, director, editor; the man seems to have a grasp on everything he's given queer cinema so far. Even so, his three first features have had a tinge of film school student to them. But Tom à la ferme (Tom At The Farm), which screened last night as part of the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, is the first to prove otherwise. By dropping the over-ambitious nature of Laurence Anyways or the over stylized aesthetic present in Les amours imaginaires, Dolan crafts a suspenseful work truly worthy of the praise he's received.

See also: Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival: SWF Seeks SWF to Prove She's Heterosexual

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Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival: SWF Seeks SWF to Prove She's Heterosexual

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Jill (right), seeks to assert her newfound heterosexuality by dating her ex-girlfriend.

Michelle Ehlen, director of Heterosexual Jill, playing Sunday, May 4, as part of the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, likes to mess with people's minds - well, at least the parts of people's minds that formulate stereotypes about gender and sexuality.

Her previous film, Butch Jamie, played with gender issues and societal misconceptions. She was awarded Best Actress from Outfest Film Festival for her performance in the "gender-bending" comedy.

Heterosexual Jill also screws with our perceptions of sexuality. The titular character falls victim to the "ex-gay" movement, then seeks to rekindle a relationship with her ex-girlfriend to "prove" the reconditioning worked. The film won Special Mention of the Jury at the Barcelona LGTIB Film Festival and was recognized by the Cleveland International Film Festival's Focus on Filmmakers Program, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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MGLFF's Mark Gilbert on Pioneering Miami's Gay Scene: "I Had to Step Up"

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Like shooting a Fassbinder film, running a film festival can be a frenzied, grotesque circus. It comes as no surprise that only one person stepped up when Franc Castro, former Executive Director of the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, stepped down last year.

"I was the only one who applied. I have loved this festival since the first day I became involved," says Interim Executive Director and Festival Chair Mark "Marky G" Gilbert, who is guiding the festival through its sixteenth year. "I had to step into the role to give back to the community that gave so much to me."

See also: Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2014: Six Must-See Films

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Stephen Bogart on Humphrey Bogart Film Festival, Digital Resurrections, and His Dad

Categories: Film Festivals

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When Humphrey Bogart's son, Stephen Bogart, decided to start a film festival dedicated to his father, the Naples, Florida-based writer knew the perfect city: Key Largo. It happens to be the title of the film set in the well-known Upper Key.

Directed by John Huston, Key Largo stars Bogart and his wife Lauren Bacall (Stephen's mother) as one of several people taken hostage by a gangster (Edward G. Robinson), all while a tropical storm brews outside. It's one of the many Bogart films playing at the festival, which kicks off Thursday, May 1.

Speaking over the phone from his Naples home, Bogart calls the location of the festival, which is in its second year, "obvious," but adds that "the ambiance there always seemed like a good place." There are not many film venues in the Upper Keys, but somehow, the festival will show 21 films multiple times; and host talks, workshops, a brunch, and even a black tie gala.

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Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival: Interview with Directors of The Case Against 8

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HBO Documentary Films
The plaintiffs featured in The Case Against 8.
Last year was a landmark year for LGBT rights. Aside from many states legalizing same-sex marriage, the United States Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as a union between a man and woman, for the purposes of federal matters, such as income taxes. SCOTUS also decided that Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, thereby allowing LGBT couples the right to marry in that state.

The Case Against 8 offers a behind-the-scenes look inside the process of the historic case. The film follows the plaintiffs, a gay couple and a lesbian couple, who were at the forefront of the controversy.

See also: Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2014: Six Must-See Films

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Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2014: Six Must-See Films

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Snails in the Rain shows just how unforgiving some cultures can still be.
Still mad you didn't meet James Franco last year when he promoted the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival's screening of his film Interior. Leather Bar.? Don't fret. Franco's impish grin and squinty gaze may be gone, but he's not the only creative genius making LGBT films.

The world-renowned festival turns 16 in 2014, and to celebrate, it's packing 65 films into its schedule. Of course, it's impossible to catch them all, and such long lists can be daunting, so we asked program chair Victor Gimenez to single out the six most unmissable, must-see selections.

See also: Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival: Director Andrew Putschoegl Talks BFFs

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