In the three remaining days of Queer Lisboa 23, one of the highlights is the Special Screening of Harmony Korine's cult film Mister Lonely. This story of a Michael Jackson impersonator (Diego Luna) who performs street shows in Paris to survive, and falls in love with a beautiful Marilyn Monroe (Samantha Morton) lookalike, who suggests moving to a community of imitators in the Scottish Highlands, is a unique work in the director's career that, in a way, operates a change in his cinema, not only aesthetically but also in terms of means of production. This Special Screening, which will take place at Cinemateca Portuguesa, on Saturday the 28th, at 19:00, happens in connection to the exhibition Fearless of Creating Chaos, which is shown at Galeria Focus until the last day of the festival.
In the usual sections of Queer Lisboa, the Panorama strand continues with two major films that marked the year of 2019 in diverse ways. From Kenya comes Rafiki, Wanuri Kahiu's hype film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, and is immediately forbidden in its home country. This lesbian fiction, where Kena and Ziki face conventions that expect “good girls” to become “good wives,” has been an major sensation at the many festivals in which it has been screened, and will be show on Thursday, at 19:30, at Sala Manoel de Oliveira in Cinema São Jorge. In the same screen, but at 17:15 on Saturday, we will be able to see Can You Ever Forgive Me? (pictured above) by Marielle Heller, the film where Melissa McCarthy transforms into biographer Lee Israel, and which gave McCarthy not only an Oscar nomination but also some of the best reviews of her career. Another story of fraud in the literary world, where the actress, with the fantastic Richard E. Grant by her side, abandons the comic persona she has been building throughout her career.
There is also still time for the last screenings of the competitive sections of the festival. From the Queer Art strand we welcome in Lisbon Armand Rovira, the director of Letters to Paul Morrissey (Sala 3 of Cinema São Jorge, Thursday, 21:30), a film which mixes austere existentialism, infinite vampire choreography and delusional memories of Chelsea Girls, and it is as much a tribute to Factory director as it is a thoughtful look at other times and other cinemas. While in the Competition for Best Feature Film the highlights go to Albertina Carri's Las Hijas del Fuego and Danielle Lessovitz's Port Authority. If in the first we are taken to the stunning landscapes of southern Argentina, on a polyamorous trip where two female lovers meet many other women, in Lessovitz's film we return to the city and its unforgiving cycles, in a fleeting and stratified New York, where the kiki and ballroom scene work as a shelter from the widespread gentrification and commodification. Both films will be screened on Friday, the 27th, at Sala Manoel de Oliveira in Cinema São Jorge, Carri’s at 19:30 and Port Authority at 22:00.
Also present in Lisbon will be Marilina Giménez, who will be introducing her film Una Banda de Chicas, a work that raises very pressing questions about the role of women in today's music scene, wondering what happens when women make the music they choose or when their bodies on stage are sexy and aggressive. The film, screened on Saturday at 17:00, in Sala 3 of Cinema São Jorge, is part of the Competition for Best Documentary. Also in this competition, we can see on Thursday, at 17:00, in the same screen, No Box For Me. An Intersex Story by Floriane Devigne, an urgent film that reflects on how intersex people seek to reappropriate their own bodies and construct their own identities, while questioning what our society is ready to do in the name of social norm. This is a must-see work, which will be followed by the Debate “The Right to Be… Intersex”. With the support of the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality, the debate aims to promote knowledge and reflection on this subject.
The retrospective “Berlinale Panorama 40”, at the Cinemateca Portuguesa, concludes on Friday with Tsai Ming-liang's mesmerising Rebels of the Neon God, the director's first feature film, which launched his brilliant international career, while starting on Thursday at 19:15, in Sala 3 of Cinema São Jorge, we will have the last competitive section of this Queer Lisboa 23, the “In My Shorts” competition of European film schools. This is a very strong competition, that includes films from schools as diverse as the London Film School, the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, the HEAD in Geneva, the French Le Fresnoy, or DocNomads. In this section we will have the presence of Portuguese director David Leal, who will introduce his film You Are a Letter, Written Not with Ink, but with the Spirit, at the second "In My Shorts" screening, on Friday, at 17:00 at Cinema São Jorge.
On Saturday, at 21:00 in Sala Manoel de Oliveira, it is time for Queer Lisboa 23’s Closing Night, where the awards of the various categories in Competition will be announced, as well as the Audience Awards. The closing film will be Crystal Moselle's Skate Kitchen, where the director of the award-winning documentary The Wolfpack draws a story imbued with New York's female skater scene, where Camille, an introvert teenager, befriends a group of skater girls called Skate Kitchen. Following the film, the Closing Party will take place at Titanic Sur Mer, where Las Galegas are in charge of the warm-up, with their ode to electroclash, through French electropop and Spanish electro-disgusting. The nigh continues with two DJs who take club culture to its wildest corners: the emerging fabaitos, who can go into both industrial and fast acid, and his soul mate Yizhaq, who promises from deconstructed pop to futuristic kuduro .