; galeist.co.uk

Above: Cet Amour La, a tribute to Marguerite Duras; below: Beatrice Dalle in Dix-Sept Fois Cecile Cassard


Gay men and their relationships with strong, straight women have long been a staple of Hollywood moviemaking, from Liz Taylor and Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun to Rock Hudson and Doris Day in those 605 sex comedies. Rupert Everett and Julia Roberts were the most recent addition in My Best Friend’s Wedding . Gay men are naturally drawn to divas as the fans of Garland, Kylie, Liza and Madonna would testify. Indeed some divas have married gay

men. Garland married two homosexuals, Liza at least one.

This gay man/straight woman relationship lies at the heart of two of the most anticipated features of the French Film Festival. French films are second to none, often literate, willing to grapple with philosophy and unflinching in exploring the darker side of psychology. And French stars - compared to their British counterparts are true divas, full of mystique, eroticism and not afraid to delve into dark places.

Beatrice Dalle, the striking star of Betty Blue is on incredible form in novelist Christophe Honore’s first movie Dix-Sept Fois Cecile Cassard. From the opening shot, alone in her bedroom, separated from her naked dead husband, Dalle is in every scene. Unable to function through grief, she abandons her baby son and heads for Toulouse, where she strikes up a friendship with a poetic dreamer, gay waiter Romain Duris. His

It’s a question of context

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friends, lifestyle and optimism force her to reassess her life. A dark, haunting tale, full of silence and nuance, Dalle holds it all together. Whether cruising men through dark streets or swimming in icy water, Dalle acts her age with complete panache.

No French diva is as grand or has lasted as long as Jeanne Moreau. Born in Paris in 1928 to a Lancashire chorus girl and a French barman, she is the art-house Monroe - sexual, chameleon-like, always taking risks in her career. Moreau found worldwide fame in Jules et Jim for Truffaut, and went on to inspire Orson Welles, Louis Malle and Bunuel. She growled throatin for Fassbinder in his homoerotic version of Genet’s Querelle. A magnificent stage star, Moreau has also written and directed movies herself.

In Cet Amour La she plays the Indochina-born novelist Marguerite Duras, whose work for the screen includes The Lover and Hiroshima mon Amour. Moreau starred in Duras’ Moderato Cantabile in 1960 and had a lifelong friendship with the writer. Based on the memoirs of Yann Andrea, Cet Amour La tells of the special love affair between a gay man and Duras in the last 16 years of her life. Poetic and certainly provocative, you can guarantee Moreau will be on fabulous form. (John Binnie)

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Cay rrrglrts; are up and down Irke a parr of Arrnre Sprrnkle's; krrrckers. So when we heard there was; yet another venue openrng we decided to take bets on how long rt would last. As; rt turns; out. what used to be club Alaska has not only been redeveloped and renamed but also rerrrverrted as a gay venue and a darrrrr good one by the looks; of rt. No one-off gay rrrglrts here. tlrrs; rs targetrng a gay audrence seven nrglrts; a week. ‘Nothrng nev.’ happens rrr the gay market and we realised the huge potentral.’ says Mercury Lounge rrrarrager Brran Coffey. ‘We're not trying to take away from the exrstrng venues. Just add to thenr.'

The plan rs to do sorrretlrrrrg a lrttle brt different. A rrrrx of drag and frre artrsts are certainly sonrethrng that hasn't taken off rn Glasgow. but wrll the \A/(ECQICS; be ready to errrbrace the were exotrc side? ‘The gay corr‘rrrunrtv can rrrake rt or break rt so we are keen to get feedback from people who corr‘e.' says Coffey.

Mercury rising

So can the Mercury Lounge lure people away from the gay \. rllage’? l'hrs; rs where Coffey t'nrnks nrs; venue :s; strongest by offering a stylish rrrglrt out with good rrrusrc from top notch DJs such as Jon Pleased. Jo l ryer and Hushpuppy.

lhe venue rs keeprrrg the upstarrs dona'nstarrs theme but that rs; ‘.-~.'here any srrrrrlarrtres; to Alaska end. Plenty of seatrrrg. a stage and table seryrce rn the dosxrrstzrrrs area give It a rrrore lard back feel with entertarnm's; on luesday through to Sunday ‘.'./Itl‘. a Coffee Club on a Monday. a student rrrglrt on a luesday. a ladies rrrglrt on a \I"s..’ednesday and a conredy nrght on a lhursday, Upstairs rs the n‘arn club space ‘~.'.’|lll DJ Michelle Tuesday and \‘u'erlnesday. .Jo l ryely and Spider 8. Blonde flash alternating lhursdays and .Jon Pleased l rrday and Saturday.

llrrs :s the first trn‘e Ill n‘any years that (‘rlasgornx has seen the launch of a gay venue. so do grxe rt a try. r.Jane Harrrrltorrr I lie/cu". lounge, .7-1.” Hat/r

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