Ben Whishaw’s racy queer drama Passages is screening in Brisbane


Still from Ira Sachs movie Passages starring Ben Whishaw
Image: MUBI

Actor Ben Whishaw’s highly anticipated new queer drama Passages will open the New Farm Queer Film Festival in Brisbane next month.

The film premiered at Sundance earlier this year to rave reviews. Passages centres on a same-sex couple in Paris, an artist (Ben Whishaw) and his filmmaker husband (Franz Rogowski).

One of the men unexpectedly sleeps with a woman (Blue is the Warmest Colour‘s Adèle Exarchopoulos), which throws their relationship into turmoil.

New Farm Cinemas have confirmed Passages will open the New Farm Queer Film Festival on September 21.

Now in its second year, the festival runs for twelve days until October 2 at the cinemas.

Also on the lineup are five Australian premieres, seven Queensland premieres as well as restored queer classics and special guests.

Other films on the lineup include John Waters classic Pink Flamingos, lesbian drama Blue Jean and Australian film The Winner Takes It All and series Single, Out.

Tickets to Passages and all of the films at the 2023 New Farm Queer Film Festival at New Farm Cinemas are on sale now.

Director slams Passages’ NC-17 rating overseas

Last month, Passages director Ira Sachs declared he wouldn’t edit his film after the US censor slapped it with an NC-17 rating.

The steamy drama includes several sex scenes – including a gay sex scene lasting two minutes. But Variety points out none of the scenes are “salacious or gratuitous”.

Director Ira Sachs wasn’t happy. He told the Los Angeles Times he wouldn’t censor the film for a more commercial adult R-rating.

“There’s no untangling the film from what it is,” he said.

“It is a film that is very open about the place of sexual experience in our lives. And to shift that now would be to create a very different movie.

“It’s really about a form of cultural censorship that is quite dangerous, particularly in a culture already battling, in such extreme ways, the possibility of LGBTQ+ imagery to exist.”

Film distributor MUBI said the NC-17 rating was “deeply disappointing”. But the distributor said the film would be released in the US “uncut and unrated”.

In June, Passages first played in Australia at the Sydney Film Festival. The film hasn’t been formally classified in Australia yet.

Read next: Gay drama series Fellow Travelers gets Australian release date

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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