Mix it up with sex and sentiment

MIX Copenhagen, the lesbian, gay, bi, transgender film festival, is an annual event with roots dating back to the 1986 Copenhagen Gay Film Festival. MIX sheds light on forms of sexuality and self identification, themes that are often kept out of mainstream cinema.

The whole affair is run by 17 volunteers, dedicated to the cause of creating awareness of a segment of society, which throughout history has struggled for accepted self identification.
The festival itself takes place in October, but each summer hosts outdoor screenings of select movies in HC Ørsteds Park. This year, the outdoor cinema takes place from Thursday (July 25) through Saturday (July 27).

Public relations director for the festival, Sara Louise Harbo, explains that the purpose for hosting the outdoor screenings is twofold.

“The idea with the outdoor screenings is both to fulfil the role of the film festival, putting focus on different ways to live, but also to create diversity in the city’s culture,” she said. “We want to use the film medium to express ideas of tolerance and of accepting each other’s right to be themselves.”

Harbo adds that the LGBT community is often underrepresented in the film world and that the festival aims to find movies that represent either the community, or themes and issues that relate to it.

All in all, there will be three movies shown this year. The first is the 2011 flick Albert Nobbs, a dramatic story of gender relations in 19th century Ireland, based on the George Moore novella The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs. The film offers much more than just a study on the role of women in society, as it is also a heartbreaking story of sexual repression and crisis of identity. Glenn Close gives a stellar performance as Albert Nobbs, a woman who has pretended to be a man for decades in order to hold down a job. Close and her costar Janet McTeer were both nominated for Oscars for their performances.

The second movie to be shown is the Swedish drama Kyss Mig (With Every Heartbeat), directed by Josefin Tengblad. Based on Tengblad’s personal experience, the screenplay tells the story of Mia and Frida and the complicated nature of their relationship. Much of the movie is set in the Swedish countryside, where the sublime, scenic atmosphere plays a key part in setting the tone of the movie.

The Saturday screening and the last of the festival is the Pedro Almodóvar thriller La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In), starring Antonio Banderas as a brilliant surgeon experimenting on people. The movie deals with classic themes such as sexuality, sex, death and revenge, but in a sci-fi manner. Almodóvar has described the movie as being “a horror story without screams or frights”.

DJs will play music before each screening, while Copenhagen Pride will host a bar onsite to provide refreshments such as cold beers, sodas and popcorn for movie-goers. If July stays as beautiful as it has been, the festival is set to offer a great addition to your summer.

MIX Festival: Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender Film Festival
HC Ørsteds Park, Cph K; starts Thu, ends July 27, live DJs from 19:00, movies start at 22:00; free adm; www.mixcopenhagen.dk

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