QFest: The Recap

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Now that the dust is just settling after another out-and-proud Philly film fest, here are some thoughts on the films that didn’t get a full review. 

This Is What Love In Action Looks Like Remember Zach Stark? In 2005 the gay teen posted a cry for help via MySpace after his parents decided to ship him off to a pray-the-gay-away camp. The protests and media spotlight that followed are chronicled in this gripping documentary, and Zach himself appears to share his story as well. At times the film relies a bit too much on archival news reports, but nonetheless it serves as an important reminder that gay kids are among the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community and there’s still much progress to be made if we’re going to ensure their safe healthy transition into adulthood. 

Over the Edge – An experiment in slacker deconstruction, this U.K. feature plods its way through a deliberately flimsy and absurd action movie plot involving a serial killer, fake mustaches, and a lot of gross spirit gum. Memorable for its ballsiness in displaying its contempt for mainstream film as well as the commitment of its lead actors, Over the Edge is otherwise just a nonsensical film student-level yawnfest.

Hollywood to Dollywood – This documentary is, on the surface, about two brothers on a mission to put their movie script in Dolly Parton’s hands. However, during the course of this earnest documentary, poignant stories of family and sexual identity in the south emerge to give the movie an emotional core that sneaks up and ambushes you with all its heart. 

eCupid – From the trailer, I thought this would be the next Trick. It was not. More romantic drama than comedy, eCupid misses its mark by seldom letting its main characters have any fun; most of the proceedings are contrived for maximum sulkiness. In this story of a couple torn apart by matchmaking computer software, only the lovely Morgan Fairchild and an ebullient party planner are allowed to let their sparkling personalities shine, and the laughs are sparse.

Married in SpandexYou will laugh, you will cry, you will ponder the significance of same-sex marriage and weigh the factors at work in our assimilation into mainstream American culture. This short, sweet documentary follows a west Philly couple as they travel to Iowa to be wed by the Gaga of the midwest, Leslie Hall, and bring their straight-laced families and rowdy queer friends along for the ride.

Go Go Crazy – This absolutely silly mockumentary chronicles a fictional go-go dancing competition as a set of hunky and scantily clad guys battle it out for a $1000 prize. Though it lacks the emotional core that’s present in other similar offerings such as Best in Show, the improvised performances from the guys are spot-on and hilarious. Drag performer Hedda Lettuce delivers a stand-out performance as the hostess with the most well-timed wisecracks.

Shave – This short film was elegant, affecting, and everything that a short film should be, as freedom and isolation keep uneasy company with a gender non-conforming family man who explores his female-identified side alone in a hotel room.

It’s been an exciting and busy pleasure taking part in this year’s QFest and we at PGC still have more interviews and fest footage to share. Stay tuned and mark your (phillygay)calendar’s for next year’s QFest 18. 


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