Reeling Films 2022
One feature film in this year’s Reeling is Nana’s Boys, a story about a struggling individual named Amari (David J. Cork). Amari, who lacks a career and a sense of purpose in his life, realizes it’s time to make some decisions, especially because his long-term partner Q (Jared Wayne Gladly) appears to have everything sorted out. The film celebrates the love between Black homosexual men, which is still sadly uncommon. With subtle, sympathetic performances, Nana’s Boys zeroes in on the intimate life of a couple confronted with the realization that their relationship is not as stable as they thought.
Three Headed Beast, another feature film this year, comes hot on its heels! It follows a long-term couple on the verge of ending their open relationship and finds themselves in unfamiliar territory when one of them develops an intense connection with a younger man. With almost no conversation, this ambitious experimental romance depends on precise editing to follow three entangled lovers. Three Headed Beast appears to be a peaceful, relaxing, and sensual film about three people learning to love themselves and each other.
If you need a break from strong emotions and want something lighthearted, Homebody is the film to watch. This fun spin on Freaky Friday follows Johnny, a 9-year-old boy who adores his babysitter, Melanie, who never judges him when he wants to put on lipstick and try on his mother’s outfits. They spend their final day together watching an online video on spirit projection. It’s unclear how seriously she takes it, but Johnny is captivated, which is how he temporarily manages to possess her body. Homebody, with its upbeat score, explores the simple pleasures of imagination, fantasy, and intuition.
Finally, step into another world with Uýra-The Rising Forest, a lyrical and visually spellbinding film. Uýra, a trans-indigenous performance artist and ecologist, voyages through the Amazon on a journey of self-discovery, using performance art and ancestral messages to teach indigenous youth and confront structural racism and transphobia in Brazil. Uýra and their fellow activist-artists bring their message of LGBTQ+ rights and environmental protection to life through dance, poetry, eye-popping make-up, and costumes, many of which use natural elements in the forest. The connections between LGBT identity, Indigenous identity, bodily/cultural autonomy, and the natural world are greatly separated, but these intersections are at the heart of Uýra-The Rising Forest.