In our latest KET Talks podcast, we chatted about queer visibility in the world of amateur and professional sport, that’s why our movie recommendations of the week are all about playing hard, winning big and standing tall as LGBTQI+ athletes.
Battle of the Sexes
The heart-warming 2017 dramedy (directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton; written by Simon Beaufoy), tells the story of the legendary tennis game between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973.
Back in those days, while male players were spoilt rotten by sponsors and tournament organisers, female players were expected to be grateful for just living off scraps. The reason: inferiority of female tennis.
The rising star, Billie Jean King thought otherwise, and together with Gladys Heldman, launched their own women’s tennis tour to prove the fellas wrong. Their growing popularity was threatening enough to trigger a counter-strike to put these women back to their place: the evil-genius idea of The Battle of The Sexes, where a male player can demonstrate once and for all his superiority of endurance, power and technique.
The escalating tension between King (played by Emma Stone) and her overconfident opponent, Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) keeps us on our toes throughout the movie. And to serve up an ace here for our queer audience, we also get to see the touching love story between Billy Jean and a hairdresser named Marilyn.
“Serve it, Smash it, Win it, Love it” – they say in tennis. Did Billie Jean King hit a winner on the court and in love? Find out in the Battle of The Sexes and let us know in the comments if you enjoyed this movie as much as we did!
The Shiny Shrimps
During our KET podcast, we also talked about how the queer community created the idea of the Gay Games – the biggest LGBTQI+ inclusive multi-sport event in the world.
The hilarious French comedy, Les Crevettes Pailletées directed by Cedric Le Gallo and Maxime Govare gives you a glimpse of what it’s like to participate in this fantastic competition.
To atone for his homophobic comments uttered on national television, swimmer and Olympic champion Matthias Le Goff receives the unusual “punishment” to train the fabulous and flamboyant Parisian gay water polo team, aka the Shiny Shrimps.
They have an ambitious mission in mind: to reach the finals of Gay Games hosted by Croatia. However, it seems the team is better at throwing crazy glitter-filled parties than doing those never-ending laps in the pool.
The road to victory is long and, along the way, Matthias discovers a world that is filled with joy, pride and resilience.
This movie has all you need: a soundtrack full of iconic gay music, gag-worthy French humour, summer vibes, and lots and lots of balls. I meant love.
Les Crevettes Pailletées is inspired by the real-life gay water polo team- the OUTsiders – with whom Cédric Le Gallo has been playing with since 2012. His first movie paints a joyous picture of the transformative experiences of his team, in and out of the pool.
Cedric also wanted to make a statement and support the values that drive his and all the LGBTQI+ inclusive water polo teams across the globe: freedom, the right to be different and – above all – to express the power and joy of our community.
So, come on! It’s your chance to jump into the pool with the Shiny Shrimps!
If you feel inspired by their story, you can always join one of the many inclusive sport teams in Brussels – such as the Mannekenfish water polo team.
Splash splash, bish!
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