Discover This: Xposed International Queer Film Festival

"Norwegian Salmon" by Vebjørn Guttormsgaard Møllberg, Copyright: Vebjørn Guttormsgaard Møllberg/ Xposed International Queer Film Festival

A little hung over, a little cold, a little lazy and ready to watch some films tonight? I’m sure that description fits most Berliners on this gloomy holiday, and – for Christ’s sake, it’s Ascension Day! – so let’s all start a heavenly journey to Moviemento and see some sexy and unholy queer films and have a little party at Südblock afterwards. Yes, it’s time for Xposed again and -come on- who wouldn’t love to discover some hot 1960s experimental films by a Swedish underground pioneer slash heroine, watch the new kinky compilation film by art-pornographer Antonio da Silva and listen to Antony and the Johnsons during the opening film?! So get your asses off the couch and start a little pilgrimage to Kottbusser Damm where the next 3 ½ days will be filled with exciting cinematic trips, programmed with love, lust and experience.

"Pix" by Antonia da Silva, Copyright: Antonia da Silva/ Xposed International Queer Film Festival
“Pix” by Antonio da Silva, Copyright: Antonio da Silva/ Xposed International Queer Film Festival

Nine years ago, festival founder Bartholomew “Barth” Sammut had the idea of showing some Australian short films during Gay Pride Month at SchwuZ – the party mecca for all shades of gays which was still located at good old Mehringdamm back then. Barth decided to stick with a geographical focus every year and took his audiences on trips to the Middle East, South Korea and even exotic countries like Austria. Two years ago, Barth teamed up with co-director Michael Stütz, they moved the festival to Moviemento, extended the programme (a mix of narrative and experimental formats with both feature films and shorts) and -voilà- attendance doubled! In its ninth year, Xposed will focus on Scandinavia which turns out to be more exciting and sexy than you could have ever imagined…

Take Gunvor Nelson for example. The little-known Swedish filmmaker has made a range of exciting and visually fascinating short films in the 1960s which reminded me a lot of her American counterparts Avery Willard or even Jack Smith. Nelson gets her own little retrospective (Sunday) and you get the unique chance to feast your eyes on her female choreographies, striptease fantasies and personal essay films that circle around memory, desire and the female gaze.

"Schmeerguntz Women" by Gunvor Nelson, Coyright: Filmform
“Schmeerguntz Women” by Gunvor Nelson, Coyright: Filmform

Then there’s the German Shorts Programme (Friday), which features -among other things- Matthias Müller’s and Christoph Giradet’s amazing new compilation film Cut. Müller and Girardet are two artists who are among the most exciting and important representatives of contemporary German experimental film. They often focus on a single topic or motif from film history and compile their found (or rather painstakingly researched) footage to a flow of beautiful and enigmatic images that seem to correspond with each other. This time, the overall-focus is the wound, the maimed or cut flesh on film. Watching their latest pictorial broadsheet on a big screen will surely be an exciting experience and if you you haven’t had enough after this yet, you can still see an entire Cut exhibition (featuring the film, a slide show double projection and photographs) at the Gallery Campagne Première at Mitte.

"Cut" by Matthias Müller and Christoph Girardet, Copyright: Matthias Müller and Christoph Girardet/ Xposed International Queer Film Festival
“Cut” by Matthias Müller and Christoph Girardet, Copyright: Matthias Müller and Christoph Girardet/ Xposed International Queer Film Festival

In the same programme you can also watch Aykan Safoǧlu‘s amazing Oberhausen-winning essay film Off White Tulips in which the Berlin artist combines memories of the US-American writer James Baldwin with thoughts on exile, migration and his own personal childhood. A hypnotic essay film narrated through a series of images and a voice-over that guides you through a cinematic field of associations and juxtapositions.

"Off White Tulips" by Aykan Safoǧlu, Copyright: Aykan Safoǧlu/ Xposed International Queer Film Festival
“Off White Tulips” by Aykan Safoǧlu, Copyright: Aykan Safoǧlu/ Xposed International Queer Film Festival

Then there is Want Some Oranges, a beautifully photographed lesbian porn poem by Goodyn Green that already played at last year’s Porn Film Festival but is soo worth watching again! Pregnant performer/ artist/ sex worker Sadie Lune teams up with sexy ginger Zoë Challenger for a heated encounter of two bodies like you surely haven’t seen before.

"Want Some Oranges" by Goodyn Green, Copyright: Goodyn Green/ Xposed International Queer Film Festival
“Want Some Oranges” by Goodyn Green, Copyright: Goodyn Green/ Xposed International Queer Film Festival

Xposed has focused more and more on bodily images and discourses in recent years and apart from the great programme, the amazing festival trailer by Berlin-based visual artist Marion Habringer gives you a great taste of where cinematic images of the body might lead your imagination. At tonight’s party, there will also be a naughty room at Südblock where you can study the male body in slow motion (Córrer 2) and witness a couple taping their sex for the first time (Incipens) or see a Norwegian fisherman drifting off into a fantasy of glitter and lust (Norwegian Salmon).

"Correr 2" by Eloi Biosca, Copyright: Eloi Biosca/ Xposed International Queer Film Festival
“Correr 2” by Eloi Biosca, Copyright: Eloi Biosca/ Xposed International Queer Film Festival

The festival opens with a documentary of Antony and the Johnsons on tour (Turning, Thursday, 9 pm) and closes with a the German premiere of Les Recontres D’Après Minuit/ You and the Night (Sunday, 10 pm). Reading the festival’s synopsis, I was like: What’s not to love?!: “Around midnight, a young couple and their transvestite maid prepare for an orgy. Their guests will be The Slut, The Star, The Stud and The Teen.” In conclusion: See you at Moviemento – no matter how hung-over or lazy you are!

Xposed International Queer Film Festival, Moviemento: Thursday, May 29th – Sunday, June 1st

Check out the entire programme on the Xposed homepage: http://www.xposedfilmfestival.com/xpo.html#st-panel-3

Discover This! is a Berlin–based film comment.

 

 

 

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