Geez a haun

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It’s over!

Well, that’s the festival over for another year. Had such a good time at the Closing Gala. Drank cider and ate pizza.

This was one of the best GFFs I’ve been to, and that’s saying something, because they’re always of a very high quality. I think I did better this year too, pacing myself better, getting enough to eat and sleep so I wasn’t absolutely fucked by the time the Closing Gala came around.

50 films all in all. Favourite is hard to pick, but I’d have to say Gay Chorus Deep South.

Now to rest until next year, but I will pop up a post if I see anything worth sharing in the interim. Happy GFF everyone!

How To Build A Girl

A fuck-yeah coming-of-age based on Caitlin Moran’s memoir of being a teenage music critic.

A movie about self-discovery, self-invention, self-destruction, self-reflection, and self-reinvention. Johanna from Wolverhampton becomes rock diva take-down artist Dolly Wilde, providing for her broke-ass family and making a new identity for herself. It makes her bold, it makes her sexy, it makes her adventurous. But is it making her a good person?

A film about learning to speak out, but remembering to use your own voice when you do.

Dolly, Kitty and Those Twinkling Stars

What an epic! A family drama, a coming-of-age, this film is just packed.

It focuses on Dolly, a frustrated housewife, and her cousin Kaajal, who is more like a sister to her. But this film spills out in a hundred directions, taking in storylines with Dolly’s mother and kids, Kaajal’s friends and lovers. Yet it doesn’t lose focus, and you never feel like your time is being wasted. All of it informs how these two characters figure things out for themselves.

Dolly is going through a mid-life crisis, spending money like water, and flirting with this college-age delivery boy. Her sex life with her crappy husband is in the toilet and she is flagging in her ability to maintain her happy families rictus grin.

Kaajal is much younger, and very naive. She comes to live with Dolly in the big city from her small village, but quickly moves out because Dolly’s crappy husband is a sexually predatory creep. Struggling to survive, she turns her hand to everything.

She ends up renting a bed a Christian hostel for unwed and surrogate mothers. Her only pal there is a prostitute. She ends up getting a job in a call centre for a phone sex/romance chat line. As a naive virgin from a conservative rural area, she is totally out of her depth.

The main theme of the movie is about playing the roles required of us as women. Dolly has to be a dutiful wife. Kaajal’s telephone persona is Kitty, who has to alternate between a virgin and whore depending on her client’s fantasy. Dolly has a child, Puppa, that she is raising as her son, but who is constantly tell her that she’s a girl. Puppa is always being told she has to act more like a boy.

This again is echoed in the character of Dolly’s mother. She abandoned her husband and daughter when Dolly was a kid, but is trying to reconnect with her now she is grown. Dolly is full of rage at her. “How could you?!” she asks her furiously. “What kind of mother could do that?!” Her mother is unapologetic, and simply says, she wasn’t happy and she had to live her own life.

There can be nothing more of a betrayal than a woman who lives for herself, rather than servicing the roles required of her. And the arc of the movie is Dolly coming to understand her mother’s decision.

That doesn’t even cover it. I’m giving you the tip of the iceberg here. But what I loved is that the film says that experiences can be ambivalent, but you can still take the good away from them. The power of men and the structure of sexism pervades women’s lives, but it doesn’t need to define them, we can take away from our experiences what we need and what we enjoy from them.

Great film.

A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio

A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio is a anthology of 8 short stories. Some are really good, like the one about the pile of clothes on the chair at the end of the bed. There’s certainly variety, with a period monster, angry mermaid, and scary clown.

With the radio announcer reading out the stories, it kinda sounds like the videos of reddit creepy pasta set to thunderstorms. Definitely got a bit of creep to it.