Saturday, June 18, 2005

29th SF Intl. LGBT Film Fest - Day 2

I skipped "Fun In Boys' Shorts" this morning, but will catch it on it's repeat next weekend. I was able to get to the Castro in time for "Fun in Girls' Shorts" however! (Thank you markosf for saving me a seat!) It was a typically fine collection of shorts subjects, in preferential order:

"A Girl Named Kai" (dir Kai Ling Xue, 2004, Canada, 10 min. video) Even though I missed some of this due to a potty break (what can I say?), it was still one of the most unique looking and fabulously recorded shorts I've seen in a while, and definitely the stand out of the group! Plot-wise, it is basically the 'coming out angst' of a Canadian-Asian woman. However, she filmed it with such unique vision and style, that it bordered on poetic.

"PROM-troversy" (dir Leanna Creel, 2004, USA, 12 min. video) This gets a special nod if just for the appearance of Jane Lynch, who also served as Associate Producer. She plays an uptight, conservative mother and leader of "Defense Of Prom Integrity" (DOPI) after a pair of girls run for Prom Queen and King. It was cute, and not in a good way, but it had nice production values and some cool performances.

"Sushi" (dir Rebecca Heller, 2004, USA, 9 mins. video) Clever little bit about a closet sushi lover in a ballpark franks world! She eventually finds her sushi loving girlfriend... hee hee...

"Hi Maya" (dir Claudia Lorenz, 2004, Switzerland, 12 mins. 35mm) A pair of senior women bump into each other at a beauty parlor and re-establish a decades old 'friendship.' It gets special mention since one doesn't see much about senior love at these things. After a while, it is a real breath of fresh air not to watch another overly tattooed and pierced pair of dykes make out, in an attempt to make an 'edgey' queer film. Which is almost exactly what these next two did:

"Day One" (dirs Pam Dore' & Dara Sklar, 2005, USA, 15 mins video) and "Hung" (dir Guinevere Turner, 2005, USA, 13 mins video). Both featured studly, tattooed and pierced dykes. "Day One" was about the discomfort of the first day of menstrual flow, which was sort of gross at points. (Is there really that much blood?!) "Hung" was a fantasy in which five lesbians grow penises for a day. Both films started a joke that they couldn't really find a punch line for. Pity.

"Inclinations" (dirs Jen Simmons & Shelley Barry 2004 USA 15 min video) A writer who is attempting to create an erotic novel, watches her 'creations' in her living room, to unsatisfactory results. That is until a girl friend, who wants to be her girlfriend shows up and shows her how to do it for REAL. Interesting set up with her novelized characters speaking to her, but... poorly acted and even at 15 minutes, goes on too long.

Finally, "Puszta Cowboy" (dir Katrin Kremmler 2004 Hungary 9min video) is so incredibly quirky, but then it IS produced by the Budapest Lesbian Film Collective in Hungary. It's an all lesbian, cross dressing, western. That's that for that!

After lunch with Mark, a Rex and Greg sighting and killing a bit of time before selling my back-up "Charles Busch" ticket at the Victoria, the next feature was the documentary:

"Blood, Sweat and Glitter" (dir Sasha Aicken 2005 USA 80 min video) This documented the "Miss Trannyshack 2004" contest and it totally blew away my expectations! I walked in expecting some sort of trashy video of drunk drag queens on stage. What I got was a "Spellbound" level documentary of the intensive preparation and competition that this group of drag queens commit themselves (and their friends!) too, in order to present a PERFORMANCE and win the title! It was fascinating and inspiring! Really, it was! Where's my wig!??! ahhhh.... there it is...! The audience was filled with the contestants and I would have liked to have stayed for the Q&A with the director, but I had to run over to the Castro for:

"A Year Without Love" (dir Anahí Berneri 2004 Argentina 95 min 35mm) This was perhaps the most aptly named title of a film I've seen this year: it felt like it lasted a year and was completely devoid of any kind of love. It is 1996 (right before the 'cocktail' was developed) and an HIV+ man wanders the bars and sex clubs of Bueno Aires searching for love, but getting involved in bondage, instead. What is up with these depressed Argentinian film makers?! This was in the same vein as "Pin Boy," "Extrano" and probably a couple of others that I've tried to forget. It's really sort of sad that a film that featured as much S&M as this did could still be this slow and dull. Of course, it didn't start until 11:00 PM, so that didn't help matters much either. Oh, and let's not forget to mention the 'white on white' subtitle debacle. People began to groan and just get up and leave as it was becoming difficult to even read what was being said. I thought about leaving early, too, but kept dozing off and was unable to get up. I should have though. I got a $75 parking ticket for being 4" into somebody's driveway. BLECH!

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