In its 5th edition one of the main highlights of Queer Porto is the program 50 Years after the Stonewall Uprising where, by celebrating this important date, the festival seeks to touch on the themes of representation, achievements, exclusions and voices that have been silenced. Through a selection that includes key classics such as Greta Schiller and Robert Rosenberg's Before Stonewall (1984), Buddies (1985) and Gay USA (1977), both by Arthur J. Bressan Jr, and the more recent The Archivettes (2018), by Megan Rossman and Self-Portrait in 23 Rounds: A Chapter in David Wojnarowicz's Life, 1989-1991 (2018), by Marion Scemama and François Pain (shown also in September at Queer Lisboa), we aim to reflect on what half a century of modern movements meant to the LGBTQ+ cause, what are its political and social achievements in the various corners of the world.
Also in this context, and integrated in the same programme about Stonewall, Queer Porto 5 Opening Film will be the documentary The Cockettes (2002), by Bill Weber and David Weissman, a film that transports us from the psychedelic São Francisco of the 1960's to the gay San Francisco in the 1970's, and in which The Cockettes, a flaming hippie troupe, decked out in a drag gender-bender, for a series of legendary midnight shows at North Beach's Palace Theater. As Closing Film, the festival features the Argentine El Ángel, by Luis Ortega. Debuted at the 2018 edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the film introduces us to Carlitos, a teenager with the arrogance of a movie star who, upon meeting Ramon at his new school, immediately becomes attracted to him and begins to call his attention, embarking then together on a journey of discovery, love and crime.
Once again, a total of eight films are part of the Official Competition. Xiang Zi's A Dog Barking at the Moon tells us the story of Huang Xiaoyu, a US-based Chinese writer who, upon returning to China, is confronted with her difficult family past; Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher's The Gospel of Eureka brings us a story of love, faith and civil rights in a southern USA city; In M, by Yolande Zauberman, we are introduced to Menahem Lang, who as a child was systematically raped by members of the Orthodox Jewish community where he grew up; Stéphane Riethauser's Madame is an intimate journey where a lush 90-year-old grandmother and her filmmaker grandson explore the development and heritage of gender identity within a patriarchal environment; in Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov's The Man Who Surprised Everyone, Egor, discovering that he has only two months left, desperately tries to deceive death by taking on the identity of a woman; In Los Miembros de la Familia, by Mateo Bendesky, siblings Lucas and Gilda travel to a small Argentine beach town where Lucas explores his sexuality while Gilda seeks some meaning for the world around her; Raia 4, by Emiliano Cunha, tells us about Amanda, a calm and reserved 12-year-old swimmer who seeks safety in her own universe; and in Irene Lusztig's Yours in Sisterhood, hundreds of women are invited to read aloud and respond to letters from the seventies sent to the publisher of Ms., America's first mainstream feminist magazine.
Alongside the Official Competition, the festival will also have its usual “In My Shorts” Competition, made up of Portuguese school films, which this year includes students from Escola Superior de Artes e Design das Caldas da Rainha, da Universidade da Beira Interior, da Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema de Lisboa, do Instituto Politécnico do Porto e da Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão de Portalegre.
The festival also hosts a programme of Video-Essays featuring films such as Darren Elliott-Smith's Flow/Job, where an aesthetic analysis of the films of iconic gay porn star Joey Stefano is juxtaposed with the legendary short film Blow Job, by Andy Warhol; or Natalie Tsui's International Face, a meditation on race, queer diasporas, and image classification systems.
Also to be shown in Queer Porto 5, is the program already presented at Queer Lisboa 23, Agência 20 Years: Carte-Blanche to Cláudia Varejão. This is another opportunity to see A Torre, by Salomé Lamas; Insert, by Filipa César and Marco Martins; Paisagem, by Renata Sancho; Retrato de Inverno de uma Paisagem Ardida, by Inês Sapeta Dias; and Um Campo de Aviação, by Joana Pimenta.
Queer Porto 5 also presents, as a Special Screening, O Beijo no Asfalto, by Murilo Benício. The directing debut of the well-known Brazilian actor is a re-reading of the homonymous play by Nelson Rodrigues. The screening of the film is followed by a talk with performer Tales Frey about the importance of the play by playwright Nelson Rodrigues, and today's significance of this dramatic text from 1961.
Still on the theme of Benicio's film, Tales Frey will present the performance piece O Outro Beijo no Asfalto, which is part of his series "Beijos", an intertextuality with the Rodrigues' classic in which two artists, in conventionally changed costumes, hang in a 30 minutes uninterrupted kiss. The performance will take place at D. João I Square, just prior to the screening of the film.
In this edition, Queer Porto also presents Vier Nev's “A Terra é Tela”, an augmented reality 'exhibition' that subverts public space, inviting us to wander around the festival spaces, and the city itself, by activating pieces of untold stories that unravel in sculptures made of bits and pixels, from the stone and tiles of the city.
Poping in to Maus Hábitos, we are ready for Queer Pop, where this year's two sessions will be held, the first, entitled 50 Years after Stonewall, will feature music videos by Bronski Beat, Le Tigre, RuPaul, and Troye Sivan, among others, inevitably culminating in Madonna's latest work; while the second one is dedicated to Britney Spears, tracing her route from Club Disney to leather-obsessed femme fatale.
Still in Maus Hábitos, the festival says goodbye with an incredible Closing Party where performance and music mix, celebrating the experimental and unique character of the festival in Porto. The night kicks off with Susana Chiocca, and her performance BITCHO continues with Catxibi, an important figure in the Porto night scene and culminates with João Vieira, the famous DJ Kitten, whose Club Kitten legendary parties rewrote the clubbing scene in Portugal at the beginning of the century.