Saturday, June 25, 2005

29th SF Intl. Film Fest - Day 9

Five more programs today, plus a cool (literally!) party at the end, started at 11:00 AM with:

"Lesbian Grandmothers from Mars" (dir Keith Wilson 2005 USA 88 min video) This was the first documentary of the festival that actually got me choked up! Carrie and Elisia (I can't remember their last names! ACK!) are 50+ year old partners, who bicycled from San Francisco to New York City in an effort to raise awareness for same sex marriage. (Elisia is from Mars, Pennsylvania, which was one of the stops - her family ignored her visit, though.) Their focus, determination and devotion to each other by the end of the three month journey was quite touching. The film also focused on the more emotional stops along the way: Laramie, Wyoming (where Matthew Shepherd was killed), Fort Collins, Colorado (where Marilyn Musgrave is based), and Topeka, Kansas, to protest Fred Phelps. It is an extraordinary story, which kept me awake even after only 4 hours of sleep! Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I caught up on some of that sleep during the next program of 8 short subjects by local lesbian film makers (aka "Girls by the Bay"):

"a place to begin" (yes, all lower case - yawn) (dir Monica Enriquez 2005 USA 14 min video) This was a short tribute to a local media workshop devoted to helping Latina film makers. It is in Spanish with English subtitles. It was sort of dull. I began to doze off and basically slept through the next three shorts:

"Mirror" (dir Kimberly Alvarenga 2005 USA 4 min video), "Dear Old Man" (dir Ana Lazo 2004 USA 6 min video) and "Our Life, A Hidden Life" (dir Alexa Inkeles 2004 USA & Brazil 13 min video) I did wake up enough to know that the first two were in Spanish and the third was in Portuguese. I just couldn't read the subtitles without sleeping. It was a nice 20 minute mini-nap!

"Faith-Based Charity" (dir Maria Breaux 2004 USA 10 min video) This was just a weird little story of a woman who hires another woman to 'be her mother.' I didn't get it.

"Dangerous Kisses" (dir Mary Guzman 2004 USA 2 min video) Only 2 minutes, it was over before I almost knew what it was doing. Some sort of faux-commercial for a business called "Stop Your Stalker." It wasn't at all effective.

"Diving For Pearls" (dirs Tara Jepsen & Beth Lisick 2004 USA 10 min video) This was sort of a cute (i hate cute) story of how a lesbian couple, who are also stand up comedians, attempt to get pregnant without the use of a man. It had one good gag. The rest was tiresome and it ended terribly!

"Between the Lines" (dir Laurie Koh 2005 USA 14 min video) By the time I got to this final piece, it really didn't have a chance. It actually had the best script of the bunch, but the editing and pacing was dully slow. I tried to keep my hopes up for the next program of 10 short subjects by local gay guys, aka "Boys by the Bay":

"Kisses That Move You" (dir Elizebeth Chávez 2004 USA 4 min) Ironically, this short directed by a woman, was the best of the bunch. It was a simple music video featuring a pair of guys making out. The music was lovely, and the technique she used on the images was quite unique and lovely to look at.

"C.H.A.M.P." (dir Eric Smith 2005 USA 5 min video) This was a personal and heartfelt little memorial to a friend of the director. It was a cute little video of his friend doing a bit of a routine after having picked up his 'stash' from a local Cannabis Club.

And, frankly, the rest of them, I don't even want to talk about. (KATYDID dir Scott Boswell 2004 USA 13 min 35mm PORNO BONDAGE dirs David Cutler & Mark Ewert 1999 USA 3 min video TO HOLD A HEART dir Michael Wallin 2005 USA 12 min video THOM GUNN — DOUBLE PORTRAIT dir Rudy Lemcke 2004 USA 5 min video ABRIDGED dir Mark McCormick 2005 USA 8 min video REMOVAL dir Jo J. Barker 2004 USA 4 min video GLORY HOLE dirs David Cutler & Mark Ewert 1999 USA 3 min video THE FAIRY TALE dir Billy Clift 2005 USA 18 min video) I left the last one before it was over. It was a tiresome program and I needed to get over to the Castro (these first three programs were at the Victoria) to join the MOB for:

"Tammy Faye: Death Defying" (dir Chris McKim 2005 USA 65 min video) Produced by the same company that did "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," this followed her struggle against an inoperable colon cancer, that masticized in her lungs. She is a total hoot, even in the face of all of the stuff she went through. (Guess what? She and I are on the same regimen! With the same side effects!) She was having such a hard time with the chemotherapy, that she stopped it early. At that point, it focused on how she prayed for a miracle, and got it. (hmmm...) The documentary is not as polished as the earlier one. However, it was helped by having her there, in person (greeted by several standing ovations: when she entered, when she went on stage and when she was finished!). Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the evening, however, was during the Q&A. She was asked why she supports the gay community, yet is against same sex marriage. She was apologetic, expressed how same sex couples should have the legal rights of access (aka domestic partnerships), yet bravely faced the crowd and admitted that she was raised to believe that marriage is a sacred act between a man and a woman. That was greeted with half hearted applause. But she ended her little visit by playing the Castro organ and leaving us with a slightly blue joke about Frank Sinatra having given one to her. "I have Frank Sinatra's organ in my house!" After a fairly extended break (Maureen and Deb: I got to have my 'annual visit' with Rex and Greg - hee hee), we were ready for:

"eXposed" (yes, that's how it is capitalized) (dir Pam Doré “Mr. Pam” 2005 USA 96 min video) This is a making-of Colt Studio's "BuckleRoos" starring Zak Spears. I can't believe I am about to say this, but even with the extraordinary displays of male pulchritude, this felt like it lasted for hours. It was simply too long. (har! There's a porn joke in there somewhere!) There was a definite feel of 'home video' to it, in which everybody gets to talk to the camera about what they are doing on a porn shoot, how they started, do they like it, etc. and on and on. It really pales in comparison to "Shooting Porn". However, this, like "Tammy Faye: Death Defying," got a jolt as the cast of the movie was there! Zak Spears is one big man! (He's my daddy! But he doesn't know it yet...) The Q&A was fairly unremarkable, beyond getting a good look at them. However, there was a post-screening party, which provided a meet-and-greet! I am too shy, of course, and could only admire from afar... Well, from about 10 feet, I guess.

This party was called the "Pink Saturday Ho' Down!" as tonight is referred to as Pink Saturday in the Castro (the day before 'Gay Day'). It was drizzly and cold. But the beer, hot dogs and brownies were unlimited. And my friend Bob (a Castro theater employee) brought me and another friend of his up on top of the marquee of the theater, to join the rest of the Castro staff and gaze down upon the MASSIVE crowd! We just missed the 'show' that the Colt Models gave the crowd from up there. Ack! Normally, I could have stayed out and partied with Bob, et al, until the wee hours, but it was too wet and cold and I didn't get enough sleep the night before. And tomorrow is a BUSY Closing Day!

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