ANNOUNCEMENT: In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Sunday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicles, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
SXSW 2022 had plenty of great content this year. And while feature films might’ve gotten a lot of buzz, it’s the short films that really shined for us. That’s why this writer has put together a list of 5 standout LGBTQ+ short films that we can’t stop thinking about, that made us cry, and that made us dig a little deeper as to what makes us who we are as individuals and as a community.
1. For Love – Drama, Romance
Director: Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor
Mini-review: For Love is a powerhouse of a story that left this writer a sobbing mess. It was beautifully shot amongst a backdrop of the realities of immigrants hiding. But that’s not the heart of this story. The heart is the love Nkechi and Martha hold for each other. That raw power was told in intimate moments like cuddling in bed, getting engaged, and having their own wedding ceremony. It was pure love that cemented this story and left us wanting more like we’ve never experienced before.
2. Aspirational Slut – Comedy
Director: Caroline Lindy
Mini-review: Aspirational Slut is what happens when divine intervention, in the form of a pizza boy, changes the life of a woman who is tired of falling too fast. And as she learns about the many facets of sexual freedom, by dating men and women, she learns how to satisfy her urges and needs. It comes as a surprise to our lead when a date makes her realize she can be liberated without giving up the parts of herself that make her who she is. And because of that, she finds balance and possible love.
3. Tank Fairy – Comedy, Fantasy
Director: Erich Rettstadt
Mini-review: Tank Fairy is a fantastical fantasy take on what happens to queer youth when we see someone who matches our energy or spirit. It’s that moment where you feel less alone in the world and liberated from something that was holding you back that you weren’t quite sure what name to give it. Its charm rests on the shoulders of the lead and it left this writer wanting a magical drag tank fairy to have shown me the way when I was a young queer woman.
4. Too Rough – Drama
Director: Sean Lìonadh
Mini-review: Too Rough embodies the terror that one feels when afraid to come out to one’s family, especially when that family is abusive. And while the circumstances they’re in are frighteningly real, it’s not the heart of the film. That rests with the two male leads of this film and the enduring love they have for each other that isn’t scared away when things get messy or too complicated. Because life is full of pain but it’s sparks of joy like the love these two share that keep us going throughout our days.
5. Gay Haircut – Comedy
Director: Jude Harris
Starring: Krista Fatka
Mini-review: Simply put, Gay Haircut is weird fun. After getting a girlfriend, a stand-up comedian wants to reinvent herself and shake things up. She falls prey to the evil thought in all our heads, “Get a haircut, why don’t you?” So she does at the most eccentric place this writer has ever seen but that we oddly want to visit. The lead gets what she wants but the journey there is filled with hotdogs, candy, and so much weirdness that you know that someone somewhere is just like this.
What LGBTQ films did you watch at SXSW? Let us know in the comments below!
Queerly Not Straight posts every Sunday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)