Tré Ventour previews the Q-Film Weekender at Northampton Filmhouse and asks why cinema is doing this better than television…
I was overjoyed finding out that Northampton Filmhouse (néé Errol Flynn) were doing their Q-Film Weekender for second time. What I loved about last year is the broad range of films on show – from short films to coming-of-age to monochrome features, to the struggles of being Black, Trans and woman in Tangerine (representing a minority within a minority within a minority).
2018 has been a good year for queer representation on screen – from Love, Simon to Bohemian Rhapsody to TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) debuting Girl, Rafiki and Boy Erased, as well as Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk, adapted from the 1974 novel by James Baldwin. Disobediance, The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Colette are also of note.
From November 2 to November 4, Northampton Filmhouse on Derngate will house an array of films once again from queer cinema in the West and around the world. Whilst film is making waves, television still sucks, often falling into cliché-filled, trope-riddled coming out stories, degrading stereotypes, and killing off queer characters in dramatic story arcs when writers don’t know what to do with them.. Such shows include Victoria, Modern Family, House of Cards, The Walking Dead and Vampire Diaries.
Oberyn Martell (played by Pedro Pascal) in Game of Thrones; fans got attached to him. He was loved by everyone. He lived seven episodes, dying in season four, episode eight “The Mountain and the Viper.” He follows the rule of queer characters being killed in dramatic ways. However, it defies the trope. We were given a character study. We are given a backstory. We grow to care for him and it’s even better in the books, George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series set in Westeros.
Additionally, people still talk about Netflix’s Master of None, especially on its treatment of the queer community, telling one of the best coming out stories in a TV series (see “Thanksgiving”) whilst simultaneously representing what it means to be gay and Black. It’s a fact that non-White communities are less accepting of this community. This episode is a reflection of that, and Leana Waith (who plays Denise) became the first African American woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing. Well deserved!
Moving on; Northampton Filmhouse will play host to a number of films once again. Eleven films will be shown, starting proceedings at the Maul Collective with the grand opening 6:45pm, followed by a preview of Postcards in London at 8pm. One of my most-anticipated films is The Handmaiden, a film much talked about by film fans and critics alike at its release in 2016.
So, get yourself down to Northampton Filmhouse over the weekend. If it’s anything like last year, you will be enlightened, entertained and informed by the time the last film finishes on Sunday.