2016 Damn These Heels Film Reviews

Posted July 13, 2016 in
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Since 2003, the Utah Film Center has hosted the annual Damn These Heels Film Festival (DTH), a weekend-long celebration of LGBTQ films, filmmakers and narratives. This year’s festival, held at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, spans gripping narratives like Golden Lion winner Desde Allá and Tribeca Film Festival selection AWOL to powerful documentaries on black trans* activist Miss Major, the world’s only LGBTQ political party and the astonishing story of the San Antonio Four.


AWOLAWOL

Star-crossed lovers in rural American towns is something that we’ve seen before, but Shoval’s portrayal of a potential army recruit named Joey (Lola Kirk) and her illicit romance with local housewife Rayna (Breeda Wool) manages to breathe new, melancholy life into the genre. Read More…


Closet MonsterCloset Monster

Like the title implies, Closet Monster is a film about the deep, dark fears that are born somewhere in our childhood. In the case of the film’s main character Oscar however, these repressed anxieties are attached to his own sexuality. It’s a well-illustrated look at the sexual confusion that many young people face, especially when negative stereotypes continue to perpetuate among those they care about. Read More…


From AfarFrom Afar (Desde allá)

Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas’ Golden Lion–winning feature debut is a terse and gripping story of two men and their relationship’s shifting dynamics of power, affection and closeness. Read more…


Hunky DoryHunky Dory

Director and co-writer Michael Curtis Johnson’s Hunky Dory is as striking and beguiling as is the film’s protagonist, Sidney, a “glam rock dilettante” who, after the seeming disappearance of his ex, finds himself taking care of his loving 11-year-old son, Georgie. Read our Slamdance review here…


MAJOR!MAJOR!

“When the dust settles, I want a whole bunch of transgender girls to stand up and say, ‘I’m still fucking here,’” declares Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a fearless, formerly incarcerated black trans elder activist and beloved community leader. Read More…


Out RunOut Run

In the wake of North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” and Utah’s history-making nomination of Democrat Misty K. Snow as Senate nominee, Out Run is one of the timeliest documentaries being shown at this year’s Damn These Heels Film Festival. Read More…


MAJOR!Oriented

Since 2003, the Utah Film Center has hosted the annual Damn These Heels Film Festival (DTH), a weekend-long celebration of independent films that bring LGBTQ+ narratives to the fore. While the Utah Film Center is still recovering from the fire that devastated their offices in late March, they’ve forged ahead in preparation for the 13th DTH installment, held July 15–17, with a lineup that ranges from Slamdance gem Hunky Dory to Golden Lion winner Desde Allá. Read More…


Set the Thames on FireSet the Thames on Fire

In what may well be the most WTF-worthy film of the festival, Ben Charles Edwards’ Set the Thames on Fire is a beautifully dark fairy tale that calls to mind the films of Terry Gilliam and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Read More…


Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio FourSouthwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four

The women in Southwest of Salem were a tightknit group of friends living in Texas when a trumped up charge of sexual assault against Ramirez’s nieces finds them on the wrong side of the criminal justice process. Read More…