Queer East returns for 2021 exclusively in cinemas from 15th to 26th September with another handpicked selection of recent and classic East Asian LGBTQ+ movies. Opening with Hajime Tsuda’s Daughters, the festival will feature a 10-film focus on Japanese queer cinema from the 1980s to the present day, as well as a special focus on Taiwan closing with moving family drama Dear Tenant.
Wednesday 15 September
Opening Film: Daughters (UK Premiere) | Dir Hajime Tsuda | Japan | 2020 | 104 min
Two young women find themselves reassessing their ideas of womanhood and maternity in the wake of an unexpected pregnancy in Hajime Tsuda’s refreshingly positive new family drama. Review.
Thursday 16 September
Curzon Soho: Lan Yu (20th Anniversary) | Dir Stanley Kwan | Hong Kong, China | 2001 | 86 min
Recent restoration of Stanley Kwan’s Mainland drama in which a businessman, Han-dong, falls in love with college student Lan Yu against the backdrop of the Tiananmen Square protests.
Saturday 18 September
Curzon Hoxton: My Dear Friend (UK Premiere) | Dir Yang Ping-Dao | China | 2018 | 106 min
A young woman travels from the city to look for her missing boyfriend in his rural hometown but finds only his grandparents and agrees to help a family friend who’s lost all memories of his childhood regain his identity.
Genesis Cinema: Number 1 (UK Premiere) | Dir Ong Kuo-Sin | Singapore | 2020 | 98 min
Musical comedy in which a married father is made redundant from his regular office job and ends up running a drag bar. Persuaded to take to the stage himself, he proves a natural but is desperate to conceal his new line of work from his family.
Sunday 19 September
Curzon Soho: Days | Dir Tsai Ming-Liang | Taiwan, France | 2020 | 127 min
Tsai Ming-liang meditates on time and loneliness as an older man in pain and a young migrant worker find temporary relief in momentary connection. Review.
Catford Mews: Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence | Dir Nagisa Oshima | Japan, UK | 1983 | 123 min
Landmark second world war drama from Nagisa Oshima in which a British prisoner of war (David Bowie) becomes locked in a psychological battle with the authoritarian Japanese officer in charge of the camp (Ryuichi Sakamoto).
Monday 20 September
Curzon Hoxton: Close-Knit | Dir Naoko Ogigami | Japan | 2017 | 127 min
Warmhearted quirky drama from Naoko Ogigami in which a little girl neglected by her mother moves in with her uncle and his transgender girlfriend. Review.
Tuesday 21 September
Genesis Cinema: Hush! (35mm, 20th Anniversary) | Dir Ryosuke Hashiguchi | Japan | 2001 | 135 min
Landmark queer drama from Ryosuke Hashiguchi in which a gay couple with differing views on settling down find themselves agreeing to help a chaotic young woman conceive a child. Review.
The Lexi Cinema: Secrets of 1979 (UK Premiere) | Dir Zero Chou | Taiwan | 2021 | 86 min
Set during Taiwan’s martial law period, Zero Chou’s latest sees two women fall in love while working on a banana plantation only for their relationship to be threatened by their resistance to the military regime.
Wednesday 22 September
Bertha DocHouse: Queer Japan | Dir Graham Kolbeins | US, Japan | 2019 | 100 min
Graham Kolbeins’ documentary exploring LGBTQ+ life in contemporary Japan including contributions from mangaka Gengoroh Tagame (My Brother’s Husband), drag queen Vivienne Sato, and Aya Kamikawa who recounts her path to becoming the first transgender elected official in Japan.
The Prince Charles Cinema: Madame X (10th Anniversary)| Dir Lucky Kuswandi | Indonesia | 2011 | 100 min
When a homophobic and oppressive political party threaten the nation, hairdresser Adam must embrace his destiny by learning traditional dance to become legendary trans superhero Madam X!
Thursday 23 September
The Horse Hospital: Shinjuku Boys | Dir Kim Longinotto, Jano Williams | UK, Japan | 1995 | 54 min
1995 documentary short focussing on the lives of three transmen working as hosts in an “Onabe” host bar.
The Lexi Cinema: Ghost in the Shell | Dir Mamoru Oshii | Japan | 1995 | 82 min
1995 landmark anime adapted from the manga by Masamune Shirow in which cybernetic enhancements have become the norm but have also left humanity vulnerable to brain hacking.
Horse Hospital: The End of the Track | Dir Mou Tun-Fei | Taiwan | 1970 | 90 min
A teenage boy finds himself knocked off course after his best friend suddenly dies in Mou Tun-Fei’s subversive social drama. Review.
Genesis Cinema: Gohatto (35mm) | Dir Nagisa Oshima | Japan | 1999 | 100 min
A beautiful boy proves a disruptive presence within the all male environment of the Shinsengumi in the final film from Nagisa Oshima starring Takeshi Kitano, Tadanobu Asano, and Ryuhei Matsuda.
Genesis Cinema: Miss Andy (UK Premiere) | Dir Teddy Chin | Taiwan, Malaysia | 2020 | 108 min
A collection of marginalised people form a fragile family but find their bonds tested by desperation and despair in Teddy Chin’s melancholy drama. Review.
Sunday 26 September
Curzon Hoxton: Moonlit Winter (UK Premiere) | Dir Lim Daehyung | South Korea | 2019 | 106 min
Two middle-aged women embark on a path towards becoming more themselves after a letter never intended to be sent brokers a reconciliation in Lim Dae-hyung’s beautifully subtle drama. Review.
Closing Film: Dear Tenant (UK Premiere) | Dir Cheng Yu-Chieh | Taiwan | 2020 | 112 min
A grief-stricken man lovingly takes care of his late partner’s family but finds himself continually othered in Cheng Yu-chieh’s melancholy familial drama. Review.
Queer East runs 15th to 26th September at venues across Central London with plans to tour to other cities throughout the UK later in the year. Full details for all the films as well as ticketing links can be found on the official website, while you can also keep up with all the latest news by following Queer East on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.