My Best Day:
My Best Day, where the best-laid plans are foiled by practicalities like your car running out of gas, follows Karen (Rachel Style), whose life changes with one phone call from her estranged biological father, and Meagan (a fantastic Ashlie Atkinson), a refrigerator repairwoman who relationship with her girlfriend Amy has lost its romance. The film's no-budget aesthetic aside, it boasts an intriguing plotline full of quirky characters who make even quirkier decisions. It also features a catchy banjo score—no, not in Deliverance style (although there are some funny family things going on here).
Writer-director Erin Greenwell’s American small town is blue-collar: wrestling makes or breaks high school popularity, refrigerator repairwomen make great counselors, and staying in the closet is your best chance of survival. See Greenwell discuss her film along with actors Rachel Style, Ashlie Atkinson, Raul Castillo, Harris Doran, Robert Salerno, Haley Murphy, Sonora Chase and Hunt Block at its NewFest screening on July 28 at 4:25pm!
Swedish writer-director Therese Keining’s film Kiss Me has more beautiful people in it than almost any film I can remember (although Grace Kelly in anything might trump it all). From Mia (Ruth Vega Fernandez) to her fiancé Tim (Joakim Nätterqvist) to her blonde bombshell lover Frida (Liv Mjönes), brother Oskar (Tom Ljungman), father Lasse (Krister Henriksson) and soon-to-be stepmother Elisabeth (Lena Endre), every actor is stunning. In the wake of her father’s engagement (and her own engagement to Tim), Mia comes face-to-face with her bisexuality, which she has always known, but has never acknowledged until she meets Frida—her stepmother’s daughter.
More than a love story, Kiss Me finds beauty in every shot and tension in every glance. It’s striking, patient and engrossing… and did I mention how hot everyone is? See if you agree this Sunday at 2pm.
Mosquita y Mari:
When a new girl moves in across the street, 15-year-old Yolanda (Fenessa Pineda) lives every loner teenager's dream—that a new neighbor will be the saving grace of isolation. Writer-director Aurora Guerrero’s Mosquita y Mari is a coming-of-age story exploring sexuality, class and Latino culture in Los Angeles using math as the trigger for a newfound relationship. When Mari (a notable Venecia Troncoso) moves in across the street, and across the isle in math class, Yolanda takes on the task of tutoring her, excited and attracted to her rebellious nature, especially when Mari jumps to Yolanda’s defense in the girls' bathroom.
While discovering their sexuality, Yolanda and Mari also learn the power of their femininity—holding it over one another as each turns to a boy searching for relief when the monetary reality of life encroaches. Mosquita y Mari is touching and, at times, tragically within the bounds of reality. Director Aurora Guerrero will be in person for a Q&A at the July 30 screening!
New York's premier LGBT Film Festival, NewFest runs July 27 – 31 at Film Society of Lincoln Center.