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Achtung, baby. (the Buzz).

A NEW CROP OF GAY FILMS SUGGESTS IT'S GOOD to be bad. Judging from the 53rd annual Berlin International Film Festival and winners of its gay film award, the Teddy, queers have gone homicidal and suicidal all over again.

"I wouldn't say we're back in the '50s, but we definitely haven't achieved a situation where a gay happy ending is even a possible solution for a story," opines Teddy Awards coordinator Manuela Kay. "Even the gay filmmakers seemed to like a big dramatic ending, the big emotions."

Indeed. The Teddy feature winner, Julian Hernandez's A Thousand Peace Clouds Encircle The Sky, Love, You Will Never Stop Being Love, saw a young gay Mexican literally die of loneliness and desperation. Thom Fitzgerald's The Event, about a man with AIDS who commits suicide with support from his mother (an Oscar-worthy Olympia Dukakis), got a readers' award from Berlin's gay publication Siegessaule. James Wentzy's documentary, Fight Back, Fight AIDS, evoked ACT UP's lost heyday, while Louise Hogarth's The Gift examined today's horrifying ACT UP antithesis, barebacking and bug chasing.

Lesbians got off easier only because they were barely represented--a hysterical short (D.E.B.S.), a Hollywood blockbuster (The Hours), and a cross-dressing pirate film (Girt King). Happily, Eytan Fox's tale of love between Israeli soldiers, Yossi & Jagger, and Marco Filiberti's plucky melodrama about an Italian gay porn star, Little More Than a Year Ago (Poco Piu Di Un Anno Fa), breathed a little male-male lust into the festival.

At least there were no gay cannibals at the festival. After all, Berlin gays were aghast when a gay man known as Armin M. was charged in December with eating someone he solicited on the Net. "This is too far for me," Kay sighs, hoping nobody makes a film version for 2004. "I don't know where this death wish comes from. It's a strange planet."
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Title Annotation:gay film winners at Berlin International Film Festival
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Apr 1, 2003
Words:311
Previous Article:The politics of drag: June 15, 1977. (From the Advocate Archives).
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