From the moment Janno steps into frame of Die Stropers (The Harvesters), we enter his world, a cattle farm in the rural Free State, an isolated stronghold of the Afrikaans ethnic minority, where he herds cattle and lives in the shadow of a conservative Afrikaner upbringing, ruled by religion and governed by family. This impressive feature debut from Greek-South African filmmaker Etienne Kallos, who wrote and directed the film, vividly captures Janno’s world and the characters that live in it.
Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos creates its own very alive universe in The Favourite , a mind-bending exploration of female sexuality from the veiled world of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), as her lifelong intimate friend and political advisor Lady Sarah, and Sarah’s penniless cousin turned social-climbing chambermaid Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion.
Francis Lee didn’t make the masterful God’s Own Country because he thought it would be a sure fire hit or stoke enough controversy to get him recognized as a director. The first time filmmaker wrote and directed the soaring queer love story, which revolves around the budding romance between Yorkshire sheep farmer Johnny (Josh O’Connor) and Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe (Alex Secareanu), because the story was burning inside of him and he needed to get it onto the page and onto the screen, regardless of who saw it.
The life of a teenage gay boy is turned in side out as he is forced to reveal his identity and embrace his sexuality in the endearing film Love, Simon. Everyone deserves a great love story. But for sixteen-year-old and not openly gay Simon Spier it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Bonus Features: Deleted scenes and audio commentary by director Greg Berlanti, producer Isaac Klausner and co-screenwriter Isaac Aptaker.
Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s emotionally driven Call Me By Your Name is a film intended to sweep over an audience like sunshine. It vividly evokes the feeling of an Italian summer, filled with bike rides, midnight swims, music and art, luscious meals under the sun, and the heady awakening of a 17-year old’s first passion. It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 17- year-old American-Italian, spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzi. One day, Oliver (Armie Hammer), a charming American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father.
Kanarie is a coming-of-age musical drama set in South Africa in 1985, about a young boy who discovers how through hardship, camaraderie, first love, and the liberating freedom of music, the true self can be discovered. The film is directed by Christiaan Olwagen (Johhny Is Nie Dood Nie), from an original screenplay crafted by Olwagen and Musical Director Charl-Johan Lingenfelder.
From Rudolp Nureyev’s poverty-stricken childhood in the Soviet city of Ufa, to his blossoming as a student dancer in Leningrad, to his arrival at the epicenter of western culture in Paris in the early 1960s. The White Crow is an incredible portrait of a unique artist who transformed the world of ballet forever, is brilliantly directed by Ralph Fiennes and elegantly scripted by playwright David Hare.
Green Book is set against the backdrop of a country grappling with the valour and volatility of the Civil Rights Movement, a New York City bouncer from an Italian-American neighbourhood in The Bronx, and Dr. Don Shirley, a world-class gay Black pianist, confront racism and danger, and are comforted by generosity, kindness and humour as they challenge long-held assumptions, push past their seemingly insurmountable differences, and embrace their shared humanity.
Love is larger than life in Carol, Todd Haynes’ masterful poetic ode to passion, a sumptuous adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, following two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York.
Haynes’ lingering haunting images beautifully captures the essence of true love, with Rooney Mara absolutely radiant in her heartfelt performance as the beguiling 20-year-old Therese Belivet, a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (a mesmerising Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens.
In the Irish comed-drama coming-of-age-story Handsome Devil, Ned (Fion O’Shea), the bullied outsider, and Conor (Nicolas Galitzine), a new boy and star athlete, are forced to room together at their cloistered boarding school. Conor is drafted into the senior rugby team, whose actions dominate school life and whose privilege and entitlement have made Ned’s life to date at the school a misery. The boys take an instant and visceral dislike to each other, and Ned and Conor seem destined to remain enemies until an English teacher, Mr. Sherry (Andrew Scott), begins to drill into them the value of finding one’s own voice. This lesson isn’t appreciated by everyone though, not least the rugby coach, Pascal (Moe Dunford), who has his own agenda, and who harbors some deep suspicions about Sherry.