One of my favorite queer festivals makes a triumphant return with 2023’s NewFest! The October staple is back, and we have a few notable movies of coverage to go with it. Don’t miss it all after the jump!



Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


Set expressly at a youth correctional facility, The Lost Boys follows welder Joe (Khalil Ben Gharbia, Peter Von Kant) in the final two weeks before his hearing that may lead to a release. A new arrival in the form of quiet, artistic William (Julien de Saint Jean, Lie With Me) shatters Joe’s reverie. After sharing a cigarette together, the duo secretly bond organically. Staring longingly in one another’s eyes and listening to music together on opposite sides of the facility walls, Joe and William have a quiet attraction that surely enraptures any casual viewer. The direction of The Lost Boys is quite good—co-writer/director Zeno Graton carefully teases this relationship so that by the time a glimmer of it happens, we are supposed to be thrilled. This French production favors subtlety over gratuitous sexual encounters. Grasping the messaging is confusing, especially given the abruptness of the ending and the brief runtime. Ultimately, The Lost Boys should momentarily scratch that queer-indie itch. 


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


(Written by Allison Brown) When a film is introduced by former President Obama, albeit virtually and pre-recorded, one just knows they are in for a treat! Director George C. Wolfe familiarizes viewers with an unsung hero of the civil rights movement, Bayard Rustin, in the deeply moving and empowering Rustin. Most are familiar with the 1963 March on Washington as the origin of the iconic Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech, but many are unaware of the man who put it all together amidst enormous obstacles. Unapologetically queer, we are served a slice of Rustin’s struggles as a gay Black man in the 1960s, where neither were accepted by society. Colman Domingo gives an incredible and rousing performance, somehow topping his stunning turn in Zola. His bombastic, infectious, and snarky personality is just as big as the influence Bayard had in lawmakers molding the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Adversely, Aml Ameen as Martin Luther King Jr. cannot hold his own to Domingo’s vigor, reducing the legend to a mere background player. His acting and representation pales in comparison to those who have magnificently stepped into MLK’s shoes prior, like David Oyelowo in Selma. I often had to remind myself who Ameen was supposed to be playing, as he lacks the necessary charisma for this prominent role. Heavy on the jazz, the delightful score is not surprising given the director’s previous experience with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Incredible vocal talent is sprinkled in the most unsuspecting of moments. In prayer and protest chants emerges flair unusual for a straight political piece. Archival footage is well woven into scenes by allowing characters to react to it playing on a television, and in intermixing it with the actual march scenes towards the end. One undeniable weakness is how preachy the script can sometimes feel; this attribute pushes it into the realm of awards bait. Far too much dialogue acts as a forced motivational speech, which may lead some to eventually tune out. Nevertheless, Rustin is overall a very solid historical biopic, and surely will make a splash by educating new audiences when it comes to Netflix next month.

For more information about the festival, please head over to the official website. I’ll be counting down the days until the next NewFest special event, or film festival—whatever comes first!

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