Friday, 21 May 2010

Inside Out 2010: Topp Twins, Regretters & Mods

Above: Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls
Dir: Leanne Pooley
New Zealand

I remember hearing the buzz for Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls after it played at TIFF'09 and it was across-the-board praise, so I was thrilled to see that it's playing here at Inside Out. The praise was so good that I couldn't help but be curious to look into the film more, and turns out its a documentary on the lesbian, yodeling, twin sister singing act Lynda and Jools Topp. It's certainly the only doc I've seen centred on lesbian, yodeling, singing, twin sisters, and that might be a god thing as it sets the bar so high I don't think film could stand up to the competition. Not that the sisters would mind, they are genuinely 100% good-natured, fun-loving, filled with joy people that speak up and out on issues from equal rights to the environment. It's so refreshing to see them take these issues head on with a positive spin to things, and equally spend time making the world a better place and making everyone feel comfortable and welcome in it. All the praise fr the film is bang on and well-deserved for this spirited and inspiring documentary. Did I mention the yodeling? It's awesome too.

See also: The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls DVD Review

Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls screens at Inside Out on:
Saturday May 22, 2010 at 7:30pm at the ROM

We Are the Mods
Dir: E.E. Cassidy
Cast: Melia Renee, Mary Elise Hayden, Lance Drake

I'm always up for a good coming of age film, and the ironic thing here is that is not what I expected from We Are the Mods at all, thinking it would be focus primarily on mod culture. Mods and mod culture are ever present and important, but I found this to truly a story between aspiring photographer Sadie (Melia Renee) and her new friend and mod Nico (Mary Elise Hayden). It was fun to watch the relationship grow and develop just as Sadie's mod-ness grows throughout the film, which allows for fun opportunities for art direction, costuming and make-up. There are strong nods to films like Blow-Up (vlog review), which I'd only seen recently and be curious to the experience of seeing this without being aware of that contextually. It's certainly not necessary as the film hold strongly on it's own two feet and the Sadie & Nico's journey keeps us guessing, interested and curious throughout.

We Are the Mods screens at Inside Out on:
Friday May 21, 2010 at 9:45pm at the ROM

Dir: Marcus Lindeen

I'll admit that I was a little leery going into Regretters, worried that a documentary centred on 2 male-born transsexuals in different stages of transition back to male would be hard to watch or sad or depression. Thankfully, Regretters is none of these things. It's an amazingly open discussion between Mikael and Orlando on their experiences through the processes, from their thoughts to feelings to even regrets. But, the amazing thing is that it's such a free and open discussion that even when they discuss the harder times or disagree there is a warmth of wisdom that cushions the hurt and embraces it instead of denying or rejecting it. Absolutely stellar filmmaking here, providing enlightened, frank and beautiful portraits to share with the audience. It's a must-see.

Regretters screens at Inside Out on:
Sunday May 23, 2010 at 5:30pm at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Above: Regretters

For more information, check out the Inside Out website, Film Schedule, Festival Planner, Online Box Office, Ticket Availability, Box Office Information, Venue Information and Party Information.

The Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival 2010 runs from May 20-30, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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