There you Are!

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There you Are!

I would like to congratulate you for successfully stumbling on my ripe blueberry of a blog. Now that you’re here, I’m afraid you’ve chosen to cross into prohibited territory (also known as my mind) but you will not be electrocuted or hanged or decapitated (although I am a zealous misanthropist and would love some human heads for my latest collection), but, even better, you will have to endure my horrendous thoughts and venomous writing. I know you’re wondering what you have done to deserve this. I also know that you must have done something because you deserve this.

Have an inspirational time here, as long as you’re here, before it’s too late, before you’re gone, gone as in dead, dead as in eternally nonexistent (unless you’re a believer of reincarnation, afterlife, or lucid dreaming).

Welcome to my world! I’m quite sure you’re feeling right at home with my warm welcoming thoughts. Certainly, this blog will not express my entire world, one that is naturally infinite, however, it will speak. Now listen.

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Once upon a time, in a land not far away, people craved exclusivity. Exclusivity existed in two forms: the first was a nightclub at the edge of a cliff overlooking the city’s entire sewage system. The second was suicide. Out of the one percent who could afford exclusivity, the majority opted for suicide since it was marketed as a less constraining option with minimal subscription fees and no thorough background checks. One ad even mentioned that “post-departure views beat any sewage system.”

Marlene was raised on the myth of the nightclub, its dazzling interiors, its ensorcelling aromas. Her eleven boyfriends, from the sixth grade all the way through college, were always more interested in the nightclub than in her stories. She wrote short stories for a local magazine called Democracy Is Real where ads for the nightclub drowned the sound of everything else.

Chicago had never heard of the nightclub before he set foot in the park. On Friday, he decided to go for a late night walk with his cat Tanya, when he found a young lady sitting on a bench by herself, gazing into a crystal ball. Caressing Tanya gently, he tried to avoid eye contact with the lady but she suddenly grabbed his wrist and placed his hand on the crystal ball. The crystal ball shone red, bright red, then a series of dizzying lights emanated from it for what felt like an eternity. Chicago stood still, mesmerized by the lights. “You belong in the nightclub.” That was all she said before dropping the crystal ball and running away, leaving Chicago agape with shards of glass by his feet, fizzing with the pale colors of an alluring dream. Tanya, curious and stunned, leapt out of Chicago’s arms and stepped close to the shattered ball. She poked the broken glass with her paws but when the lights died, she marched away in disappointment.

Marlene went for her grocery shopping every Saturday. She lived above a small but sufficient deli where she found the exact size of cherry tomatoes she liked, as well as the 100% cotton pads she couldn’t live without. She finished her first draft for next month’s short story then got dressed to go to the deli.

The following day, Chicago started investigating the nightclub. He located it easily but noticed the heavy security at the front door and decided to look for an alternative source of information. On his way home, he stopped at the deli where he picked up some beers, a bag of chips, microwave popcorn, mouthwash, and cat food for Tanya. While browsing, he noticed a flashy magazine whose front page declared, “THE NIGHTCLUB: THE PLACE TO BE”

Marlene was waiting in line to pay for her groceries when she noticed the guy in front of her pick up a copy of Democracy Is Real and add it to his items. She smiled; someone might read my story after all, she reassured herself.

When he returned home, Chicago called out for Tanya as he emptied the cat food in her bowl. There was no response. He looked under the bed, in the bathtub, and in the small space between the wardrobe and his desk. He couldn’t find her anywhere. He knew she couldn’t have snuck out of the apartment because he always makes sure she’s sitting on her bean bag every time before he leaves. He quickly opened his Instagram, picked a photo of Tanya laying on his lap, and posted it on his story with the word MISSING in big bold red underneath her paws. Collapsing in bed, Chicago started flipping through the magazine to find out more about the nightclub.

Marlene spent the rest of her Saturday at home; cleaning her bedroom and editing the draft swallowed most of her time until evening. Later, she retired on her small yellow couch and turned on the TV. The minute the screen burst with life, an ad started. It was the nightclub. Marlene sighed as she watched the glamorous people drinking and dancing without a care in the world. The ad ended with the words “THE NIGHTCLUB NOW OPEN 24 HOURS. PASSWORD REQUIRED.” flashing repeatedly on screen in bright blue. Marlene chuckled, she often wondered what the password was. Did it change every day like it did in the movies? Or was it in a foreign language with a very specific pronunciation? If it was up to her, she would set the password as Fuck Karen – her twin sister stole her boyfriend Tony, married him, and moved to Dublin. Less than a year later, Tony craved exclusivity and committed suicide.

Chicago got no replies to his Instagram story and started worrying Tanya may never return. He knocked on his neighbors and asked them about her, but no one had seen her in the building. Overwhelmed, Chicago went out for a walk by himself. Wandering the streets, he looked around for any sign of Tanya. He passed through the park again but it was deserted.

It was rather out of character for Marlene to go out after ten at night. After finishing her dinner, her Saturday night shows, and her yoga routine, she left her flat without a destination in mind; she simply wanted to go out. Aimless, Marlene walked and walked, taking random rights and lefts whenever she got bored of her view. After forty minutes of haphazard turns, Marlene found herself near the nightclub. She could hear the loud music rippling through the night breeze all the way down the street.

Chicago gave up the search and chose to head home, hoping Tanya is already in bed waiting for him. On his way back, he found himself near the nightclub, its big ochre metal doors guarded by two black women in leather suits and white lipstick. He approached them but before he could even say anything they robotically demanded “Password?” He stood silently for a minute before finally uttering, “Have you seen my cat?” The guards quickly responded in unison, “Sorry sir, this is not the password.” Admonished by their steely stares, Chicago walked away and went back home to find no Tanya and no electricity.

Marlene was standing in front of the entrance. The music had changed from loud pop to a smooth jazz. Although separated by two big metal doors, Marlene could hear the jazz music clearly. She’s never been so close to the nightclub before. She took a step towards the guards when they inquired for the password. She thought for a while then replied, “Fuck Karen.” The guards responded, “Sorry miss, this is not the password.” She never really thought it would work but as she walked away from the nightclub, she muttered under her breath, “Well fuck her anyway.”

At three minutes to midnight, Tanya strolled languidly around the nightclub then stopped in front of its entrance, raised her paw, and said, “Gagagoogoo bitch.” The guards pushed the doors open.

Blood Red

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X: What do you think the color red would be called if it wasn’t called red?

Y: Burgundy?

X: That still means red though.

Y: Maroon?

X: No, you can’t use a synonym.

Y: Carmine?

X: No!

Y: Scarlet?

X: No synonyms!

Y: Ruby?

X: Stop it.

Y: Okay.

X: Just based on how it looks, what do you think it would be called? If you were to name it an entirely new name that is not red or any of its synonyms.

Y: Blood red?

X: For fuck’s sake.

Y: What!

X: That both includes the word red AND is a synonym!

Y: Fine, what about blood? Just blood?

X: So if you were to name the color red any other name you would name it blood?

Y: Well no, I’d name it blood red but you insisted I can’t use red or any of its synonyms so just blood, yes.

X: Just blood or blood?

Y: Blood. Just blood.

X: Which one!?

Y: Blood! I would call it blood, without the red or the just. Just…blood. Blood! Blood!

X: Blood. Well if you call the color red blood, what would you call actual blood?

Y: Are you asking me to rename blood?

X: No I’m just saying if red is now called blood, what would blood be called?

Y: It would also be called blood.

X: So both – the color and the fluid – would be called blood.

Y: Yeah. That’s not a problem, is it?

X: I mean two very different things called blood…that would confuse people.

Y: What about orange? It signifies both color and fruit. No one has complained.

X: You are correct. Alright then, blood the color, blood the fluid. I have a follow-up question: do you think orange was first a fruit or a color?

Y: I think I named the color after the fluid so it would follow that I think that orange the color was named after orange the fruit. And I do think so.

X: But don’t you think people discussed and named colors before they did fruits? Colors are more basic elements in our environment.

Y: But why would they call orange the color orange if the fruit was not called that? What would’ve inspired the name orange?

X: Okay, so the fruit came first, as you initially said. The origins of the word come from India. Curiously, it did not actually refer to the fruit’s color but rather to the fragrant smell of its skin. So one could say that the fruit is the source of the word historically but that the color itself is the source of the meaning of the word.

Y: Wait, back up. How do you know all of this?

X: I looked it up in advance.

Y: When in advance?

X: Right before the orange debate started.

Y: But right before the orange debate started, we were discussing alternative names for red. You were here. With me. I didn’t see you look anything up.

X: Yes, what I meant is that Farida, the one writing our conversation, looked it up on her own time, then fed my character the information to share it with you so our conversation can move along.

Y: Oh okay, I wasn’t aware of that. You’re a character. Alright, back to orange, you said it’s originally Indian. So in India they called the fruit orange? Just like us?

X: Of course not. They had a Sanskrit word for it; it was naranga. It was also called that in Arabic and Persian. Then the Portuguese brought orange the fruit to Europe where it became narancia in Italian or narange, and later, orenge, in French. And that eventually became orange in English.

Y: Whoah. *whispers* This is all still Farida, right?

X: *nods*

Y: Okay, what you were saying earlier though is that naranga as a word does not really refer to the color since the color itself was yet to be named, right?

X: Yes.

Y: So orange the fruit was naranga but naranga meant fragrant smell not orange color.

X: Yes.

Y: So when it became orange the fruit that led people to observing the color and connecting the fruit’s appearance to the pure color then they named the color accordingly.

X: Exactly. But my point now is that since the word orange at its birth as naranga never really referred to color, but to smell, when orange was semantically chosen as the color’s name, it was kind of a misnomer. That choice was based on observing the same visual wavelengths in fruit and color and therefore equating their meanings but in essence the word orange refers to an entirely different sensation: smell. In a way, after the color got its name as orange, the word orange gained its meaning as the color orange.

Y: So one could say that the fruit is the source of the word historically but that the color itself is the source of the meaning of the word.

X: That’s what I said!

Y: Wait wait, if the fruit came first, how did people refer to the color before encountering the fruit?

X: They called it “yellow-red” – literally ġeolurēad in Old English.

Y: What! How did you…Farida is giving you all the good lines, this is not fair!

X: Yeah remember when she fed you all those synonyms of red in the beginning?

Y: That was mortifying.

X: She thought it was rather amusing.

Y: I disagree with her. Although I did get to rename the color red. That was significant. Remarkable. If not grand.

X: Blood is a good choice, too. I wonder why she went for blood and not apples, or lava, or anger.

Y: Because I picked blood.

X: Sure, but she wrote your choice. You’re a character, too. Like me. You don’t actually have the freedom to choose.

Y: I do! I even changed my mind from blood red to blood when you said it couldn’t be blood red.

X: That was also her.

Y: So you’re saying I can’t do anything unless she decides it?

X: Pretty much.

Y: Oh. That’s okay. I guess. I mean who knows what I would do if I was free to make choices. I would probably fuck it up and pick a synonym again.

X: She’s the one who picked the synonyms.

Y: Right. I keep forgetting. So we don’t really know what would happen if we could choose.

X: We literally cannot know.

Y: That’s a bummer, an utterly frustrating let down.

X: I don’t think she has much more to say so we’ll probably end our conversation soon.

Y: But I was enjoying it so much!

X: Me too. But it’s out of our hands. We can’t do anything about it.

Y: Okay.

X: Okay.

 

 

 

About Witches

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Rungano Nyoni’s feature debut I Am Not A Witch is not about magic. While watching the film, I felt a mysterious force binding me to its protagonist and her story but I couldn’t understand why. For days to come, I would ponder and try to decipher why this film had shaken me so. After rewatching it, I absorbed more and slowly the picture became clearer. I Am Not A Witch is not about magic. It’s a powerful portrayal of womanhood in the Me Too era. Set to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons symphony, it untangles the social perception of womanhood on screen for everyone to see and, hopefully, understand. And for me, it was the perfect parable, reflecting my struggle as a young woman attempting to decide who she is in today’s world.

The film tells the story of Shula, a young child who is accused of being a witch in an African village where witches are put on display for tourists. Clothed in blue garments and white make-up, the witches are lined up as a tour guide explains that to control the witches, they are tethered to spools of white ribbon whose free ends are attached to their backs; they cannot fly. Additionally, witches get scars on their foreheads which heal “like a tattoo.” Three physical elements identify a witch as such: blue garbs, facial scars and white make-up, and most importantly, the white ribbon tied to their back. Witches are marked and, therefore, cast as pariahs in the social context. When Shula is declared a witch by locals, she is questioned by the police to verify the accusation. What follows is a tragicomic segment where witnesses spew their reports to prove Shula is a witch. A woman describes her as “friendless” with no relatives. A man recounts how Shula cut off his arm with an axe, only to reveal it was only a dream he had. Later, a villager spots Shula and shouts “You’re the witch who ate all my relatives!” As a child who is lost and confused, Shula stays silent, neither confirming nor denying the accusations. She is then sent to witch camp where she gets her own ribbon. At first, I am baffled by Shula’s inaction. Why doesn’t she defend herself? After some thought, I realize that I too often opt for silence during heated debates involving my behavior. I lack energy and gumption to explain myself; at times it’s because, like Shula, I myself don’t really know how to explain my own thoughts, but at others, like many women, I don’t want to upset anyone; it’s a fear-borne silence. A silence I select to avoid potential conflict arising from a disapproving relative or a conservative bystander. A silence endemic to every woman who is not strong enough to look others in the eye and speak her mind because the dialogue can spiral into name-calling, slut-shaming, and inevitably, heart-breaking. So we don’t speak and they write our story for us, for me, for Shula.

 
During the initiation ceremony, Shula is locked in a closet and given an ultimatum: to keep the ribbon and stay a witch or cut the ribbon and turn into a goat. By sunrise, the locals knock on the door and ask, “Is there a witch in there?” Shula utters her first words in the film in response: “Yes there’s a witch in here.” At this point, it becomes clear that being a witch has nothing to do with evil forces or the paranormal; being a witch is a choice, it means accepting the role that society boxes you in. Out of ignorance, or fear, or innocence, Shula chooses “witch” over “goat” and agrees on society’s perception of who she is. Similarly, every day all around the world, women accept society’s terms and conditions on what to say or how to behave out of ignorance, fear, or innocence because to rebel or stand their ground would deem them “goats” – outsiders who are discriminated against because they are not playing the roles they’re supposed to play; they get fired or blocked or crucified or ostracized simply because their version of “woman” is not the same one accepted by society. And so we settle on being witches; born and raised and tamed in a society that allows what it, and only it, deems appropriate and decent and “woman”.

 
Instead of staying in witch camp and spending hours doing menial field work, Shula’s taken in by a government official, Mr. Banda, to pick out thieves among potential suspects and prophesize rain during droughts. Shula rarely speaks yet is continuously spoken of. Mr. Banda repeatedly refers to her as “[his] little witch” and “government property.” The lexicon used illustrates Shula as a reference, never the reference point. To villagers and thieves, she’s a witch. To Mr. Banda, she’s property. Shula never leads but is led to TV interviews and police lineups. Mr. Banda shows her off on a TV show while advertising “Shula eggs” as a new farm product. He arranges the suspects and asks her to identify the thief among them. Shula is used by others as a means to various ends, none of which benefit her or are even chosen by her. The film’s name is deceptive because Shula never says “I am not a witch” for she never gets the chance to explain or explore herself; this is not her story but a story about her. Her real story begins with one word: “No.” When she locks Mr. Banda out of his truck and refuses to open the door for him, she repeats, “No.” This incident marks her first, and only, act of volition in the entire film. Embellished with the canonical No that echoed through endless stories from victims of sexual assault in the Me Too uprising, Shula’s story finally begins.

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Later, Mr. Banda drops off Shula at his house where his wife is to take care of her. Shula finds a spool of white ribbon in the wife’s bedroom and exclaims “You have one as well?” The following monologue takes place.

“I used to be like you when I was a kid…They said I couldn’t go anywhere,
they said I couldn’t cut the ribbon or do anything. They said if I cut the ribbon, I’d turn into a goat. Now, I didn’t turn into a goat. And do you know why? Respectability…Respect through marriage. Do you know how I became this way? Because I did everything I was told…I did it all without question.”

Even though no longer attached to the spool, the wife becomes attached to something else: a ring. The “respect through marriage” she so proudly boasts of is nothing but another social scheme to objectify her as a mindless reference that does “it all without question.” The “respectability” which comes with a cost, the cost of hiding her identity as a woman, is only skin-deep; she now walks stripped of her ribbon, but it still stays with her, silently spooled around a ring.

 
Not unlike the Jews whose very own star of David was used against them as a sign of public shame during the Holocaust, the witches’ womanhood, or more accurately, society’s perception and institution of what is or isn’t “woman”, is personified as white ribbons coiled around spools. It too is used against them, to shame and limit them. These spools become part of the witches’ mandated identity, they cannot escape it because it is part of who they have become, yet they learn to be ashamed of it through society’s manmade mongering. Afterwards, the wife goes out and her spool, hidden under a tarp, remains in her shopping cart. She is encircled by strangers who yell “Come see the witch…we know them” then uncover and expose her spool. Despite the obvious association one can make between the ribbon and past actions that haunt or trouble us, I found myself seeing more than shame in this scene. I saw my identity, tarred and taunted. This white ribbon, it’s mine but it belongs not on a spool but on walls and in streets and out loud. My white ribbon is part of me as it is part of every “witch” but it is not to control or tether us – it is to empower and embolden us. The spool merely represents what society spawns about me; similar to the wife’s, mine is also concealed, because I don’t want to confront others and change their minds about who I am; it’s a task I am not up to. Not yet. However, when my white ribbon unfurls, telling tales I probably don’t want to revisit, they will be my tales and only mine. I may not be ready to uncoil my ribbon and tell my story as I want to tell it yet, but I know it doesn’t belong on a spool manufactured by society.
Minutes before her death, Shula admits, “I should’ve chosen to be a goat. A goat is better.” I understand her words and they deeply resonate with me. I look back on where I am and how I got here. I shouldn’t have accepted their spool, even if it meant becoming an outsider. But, more importantly, I don’t think I should have to face an ultimatum between social acceptance and ostracism when it comes to my identity. Should I? I reconsider and argue that those ultimatums are what make us who we are, those choices are what free us. I’m tied and I long to be untied and I’m afraid of what being untied means. When Shula or the wife anger Mr. Banda, he threatens, “I’ll toss you back to where you belong” reminding them of the witch camp. Will I, too, go to witch camp if I cut my ribbon? Will my family members click their tongues and cast disapproving looks if I come out as who I am? Will my friends retreat from the person they thought they knew because she no longer fits in their version of “woman”? What about my neighbors, my colleagues, my coworkers? Will they “toss” me into their list of blocked contacts? I can’t know but I have a crippling feeling of anxiety that always stops me at the last minute; I drop the scissors, I don’t cut my ribbon.

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I am tired of everyone’s opinions and standards lurking around every corner. I am tired of slut shaming, pro-life, conservative misogynists who rant about what women should be and never think about who women want and choose to be. I am tired of their imposing comments on what a woman should wear or say or look like. I am tired of their guidelines, their recommendations, their implicit instructions about what women should or shouldn’t do. When to get married (before bars and arranged dates become your best friends), when to be home (before dark or too dark or too drunk), when to say what you think you saw your boss do (not now), and when to come out (never). I look at my white ribbon and I know it belongs to me. But I no longer want it following me around like a ghost with whom I have unfinished business. I want to completely unspool it and make a dress out of it, a dress I can wear comfortably and proudly. The villagers can keep their spool but the ribbon, my ribbon, will accompany me always and I don’t want to hide it. I don’t want to hide me.

filmqueer Award Winners 2018

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Artwork by Sonia Alins for the 24th Catalonia Latin American Film Festival

Artwork by Sonia Alins for the 24th Catalonia Latin American Film Festival

The wait is over! It’s time to announce the first ever winners of filmqueer Awards. Here we go!

Wait. It’s important to remember that my choices are highly subjective and reflect, not the quality of the film and its aspects, but rather my personal taste. I chose my favorite and not necessarily the best films.

The winners of the first annual filmqueer Awards are…

Best Film

WINNER: The Handmaiden – Park Chan-wook

Nominees:

Call Me By Your Name – Luca Guadagnino

Good Time – The Safdie Brothers

Personal Shopper – Olivier Assayas

Phantom Thread – Paul Thomas Anderson

The Florida Project – Sean Baker

 

Best Leading Actor

WINNER: Daniel Day Lewis – Phantom Thread

Nominees:

Adam Driver – Paterson

Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here

Robert Pattinson – Good Time

Timothée Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name

Vince Vaughn – Brawl in Cell Block 99

 

Best Leading Actress

WINNER: Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water

Brooklyn Prince – The Florida Project

Eili Harboe – Thelma

Jessica Chastain – Miss Sloane

Kristen Stewart – Personal Shopper

Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

 

Best Supporting Actor

WINNER: Michael Stuhlbarg – Call Me By Your Name

Barry Keoghan – The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water

Steve Buscemi – The Death of Stalin

Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project

 

Best Supporting Actress

WINNER: Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread

Catherine Keener – Get Out

Kirsten Dunst – The Beguiled

Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

Sylvia Hoeks – Blade Runner 2049

 

Best Ensemble Cast

WINNER: Dunkirk

Nominees:

Get Out

I, Tonya

The Death of Stalin

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

 

Best Screenplay

WINNERS: Call Me By Your Name – James Ivory TIED with Phantom Thread – Paul Thomas Anderson

Nominees:

Get Out – Jordan Peele

Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig

The Death of Stalin – Armando Iannucci

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) – Noah Baumbach

 

Best Cinematography

WINNER: Bojan Bazelli – A Cure for Wellness

Alexis Zabe – The Florida Project

Anthony Dod Mantle – Trainspotting 2

Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread

Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049

Sean Price Williams – Good Time

 

Best Score

WINNER: Jonny Greenwood – Phantom Thread

lexandre Desplat – The Shape of Water

Hans Zimmer – Dunkirk

Jonny Greenwood – You Were Never Really Here

Oneohtrix Point Never – Good Time

 

Best Animated Film

WINNER: The Girl Without Hands – Sébastien Laudenbach

Coco –  Lee UnkrichAdrian Molina 

Mutafukaz –  Shôjirô Nishimi, Guillaume Renard

Window Horses – Ann Marie Fleming

 

Best Documentary

WINNER: Faces Places – Agnès Varda, JR

Nominees:

78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene – Alexandre O. Phillipe

David Lynch: The Art Life – Jon Nguyen

I Am Heath Ledger – Adrian Buitenhuis, Derik Murray

The Work – Jairus McLeary, Gethin Aldous

 

Best Foreign Film

WINNER: Raw – Julia Ducournau (France)

Nominees:

Aloys – Tobias Nölle (Switzerland)

On Body and Soul – Ildikó Enyedi (Hungary)

Thelma – Joachim Trier (Norway)

The Handmaiden – Park Chan-wook (South Korea)

The Insult – Ziad Doueiri (Lebanon)

 

Best Directorial Debut

WINNER: Columbus – Kogonada

Nominees:

Get Out – Jordan Peele

Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig

Manifesto – Julian Rosefeldt

Most Beautiful Island – Ana Asensio

Raw – Julia Ducournau

 

BEYOND

WINNERS:

Cure for Wellness – Gore Verbinski

mother! – Darren Aronofsky

Oh Lucy! – Atsuko Hirayanagi

Princess Cyd – Stephen Cone

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Luc Besson

World of Tomorrow: Episode 2 – Don Hertzfeldt

filmqueer Awards 2018

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Artwork by Sonia Alins for the 24th Catalonia Latin American Film Festival

Artwork by Sonia Alins for the 24th Catalonia Latin American Film Festival

If you haven’t heard, let me tell you.

This year I decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own film awards.

Brace yourself for *drum roll* the first annual filmqueer Awards!

 

Why filmqueer? 

That’s my username on Letterboxd. And I like it.

 

What are the filmqueer Awards?

filmqueer Awards are my personal take on last year’s films. They are 1000% subjective with no specific criteria. I picked my FAVORITE films, not necessarily the best ones – the categories are all still dubbed Best but that’s only for the sake of practicality; a pragmatic misnomer.

There is a total of 14 categories. Each category includes a minimum of three and a maximum of six nominees. Some categories are classic, others original.

One original category is the Beyond Award category; it is similar to “special mention” except there are no nominees, only winners. As lame as that sounds, it is particularly important that I highlight these films because they may have been overlooked, underrated, or misunderstood and I reeeeally want more people to watch (or rewatch) these films. My perception of these films ranges from thrilling, to heart wrenching, to what the fuck. And it’s my pleasure to share them with as many people as possible.

I also eliminated the Best Director category and merged it with Best Film because…I can never really tell the difference, to be honest. In addition, I don’t have many technical categories (editing, sound mixing/editing, VFX, etc.) due to my limited knowledge of these fields. However, I hope that over the years I expand my knowledge to include more elaborate categories.

Nominations are listed below. The winners will be announced on April 28.

Note: Some of the nominees are officially 2016 productions but were released in my region later in 2017 hence their presence among my nominees.

Here we go!

 

filmqueer Awards 2018 – appreciating my favorite films of 2017

Best Film

Call Me By Your Name – Luca Guadagnino

Good Time – The Safdie Brothers

Personal Shopper – Olivier Assayas

Phantom Thread – Paul Thomas Anderson

The Florida Project – Sean Baker

The Handmaiden – Park Chan-wook

 

Best Leading Actor

Adam Driver – Paterson

Daniel Day Lewis – Phantom Thread

Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here

Robert Pattinson – Good Time

Timothée Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name

Vince Vaughn – Brawl in Cell Block 99

 

Best Leading Actress

Brooklyn Prince – The Florida Project

Eili Harboe – Thelma

Jessica Chastain – Miss Sloane

Kristen Stewart – Personal Shopper

Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water

Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

 

Best Supporting Actor

Barry Keoghan – The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Michael Stuhlbarg – Call Me By Your Name

Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water

Steve Buscemi – The Death of Stalin

Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project

 

Best Supporting Actress

Catherine Keener – Get Out

Kirsten Dunst – The Beguiled

Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread

Sylvia Hoeks – Blade Runner 2049

 

Best Ensemble Cast

Dunkirk

Get Out

I, Tonya

The Death of Stalin

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

 

Best Screenplay

Call Me By Your Name – James Ivory

Get Out – Jordan Peele

Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig

Phantom Thread – Paul Thomas Anderson

The Death of Stalin – Armando Iannucci

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) – Noah Baumbach

 

Best Cinematography

Alexis Zabe – The Florida Project

Anthony Dod Mantle – Trainspotting 2

Bojan Bazelli – A Cure for Wellness

Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread

Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049

Sean Price Williams – Good Time

 

Best Score

Alexandre Desplat – The Shape of Water

Hans Zimmer – Dunkirk

Jonny Greenwood – Phantom Thread

Jonny Greenwood – You Were Never Really Here

Oneohtrix Point Never – Good Time

 

Best Animated Film

Coco –  Lee UnkrichAdrian Molina

Mutafukaz –  Shôjirô Nishimi, Guillaume Renard

The Girl Without Hands – Sébastien Laudenbach

Window Horses – Ann Marie Fleming

 

Best Documentary

78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene – Alexandre O. Phillipe

David Lynch: The Art Life – Jon Nguyen

Faces Places – Agnès Varda, JR

I Am Heath Ledger – Adrian Buitenhuis, Derik Murray

The Work – Jairus McLeary, Gethin Aldous

 

Best Foreign Film

Aloys – Tobias Nölle (Switzerland)

On Body and Soul – Ildikó Enyedi (Hungary)

Raw – Julia Ducournau (France)

Thelma – Joachim Trier (Norway)

The Handmaiden – Park Chan-wook (South Korea)

The Insult – Ziad Doueiri (Lebanon)

 

Best Directorial Debut

Columbus – Kogonada

Get Out – Jordan Peele

Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig

Manifesto – Julian Rosefeldt

Most Beautiful Island – Ana Asensio

Raw – Julia Ducournau

 

BEYOND

A Cure for Wellness – Gore Verbinski

mother! – Darren Aronofsky

Oh Lucy! – Atsuko Hirayanagi

Princess Cyd – Stephen Cone

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Luc Besson

World of Tomorrow: Episode 2 – Don Hertzfeldt

Salvation N/A

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The Sun has a twin sister and they take shifts watching over us.

 

Blood floods.

Dreams die slow.

Pain rains.

Souls scream no.

 

The Tired reek.

Listen. Insomnia cries.

Their guilt drips black.

Listen. Ghostly hearts spell lies.

 

The Sun has a twin sister and they take shifts watching over us.

Today of tears, fears, and tar

Is too heavy to bear

Even for a star.