Sunday, June 19, 2005

29th SF Intl. LGBT Film Fest - Day 3

I'm pooped (in more ways than one!) and just couldn't get through all 6 programs today. Just 5, starting at the Castro (with markosf ) for the animated shorts ("Queermation"). In order of preference:

"Powerplay" (dir Greg Lawson 2003 Netherlands 4 min 35mm) was one of the shortest but most witty pieces in the group! Animated S&M basically, but it was FUNNY!!

"Listen" (dir Susan Justin 2004 Canada 3 min video) reminded me of one of Don Hertzfedlt's Bitter Films. Line drawn and sort of snarky episode of a mother and daughter talking, yet 'puncturing' each others thought balloons... hee hee...

"Bikini" (dir Lasse Persson 2004 Sweden 7 min 35mm) was a colorful and funny little ditty of a guy coming out in drag on a beach to the tune of "Itsy Bitsy, Teeny Weeny, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini"!

"Christopher & Gordy" and "Lonely 15" (dirs Frank Mosvold & Tom Petter Hansen 2004 Norway 5 min and 3 min 35mm) I remember liking these two, but I don't remember why, now... They're by the same director team (Mosvold was present), and have a great style and look to them. I remember them being pretty witty, too. But I just can't put my finger on why... It was so long ago...

"Granny Queer - The Late Bloomers" (dir Jacinda Klouwens 2004 Australia 7 min video) A pair of animated (think Warner Brothers) granny lesbians. Hilarity was attempted, yet did not ensue.

These two were just pretty amateurish: "Sigmund Freud: Professional Psychoanalyst" (dirs Kami Chisholm & Jennifer Gilomen 2005 USA 7 min video) Finger puppets! Freudian finger puppets?!! "Falling" (dir Petra Rossi 2004 Finland & Wales 4 min video) A lesbian relationship that can't get off the ceiling. har.

These two thought they were 'art': "Dreaming is for Moonrise" (dir Pei Ying Lee 2004 Taiwan 7 min video) Pretty and I appreciated her technique (animated lead shavings), however, dull. "With What Shall I Wash" (dir Maria Trenor 2003 Spain 11 min 35mm) was much more successful, though even more abstract. Something having to do with cult gay artists of this century.

I slept through this one: "John and Michael" (dir Shira Avni 2005 Canada 11 min 35mm), a pair of down syndrome gay guys??? Dunno...

With that tediousness out of the way, which I assume Mark was thrilled to be released from, the next program was the Oscar nominated documentary:

"Twist of Faith" (dir Kirby Dick 2005 USA 87 min video) An intensely intimate documentary about how a man (and his family) deal with the sexual abuse he was subjected to by a priest, twenty years earlier. There are some extraordinary moments, as the director allowed the family to video themselves during some of their most personal moments. The family is quite amazing, really. The film is from HBO and will begin broadcasting next week. I was then joined by Sue Jean for:

"My Brother Nikhil" (dir Onir 2005 India 120 min 35mm in Hindi with English subtitles) Set in the late '80's, a state champion swimmer tests HIV+ and he is basically arrested and his family ostracized from society. Apparently, this over-the-top melodrama is quite a HUGE step for an Indian film, "as the first Hindi movie to take on the twin taboos of homosexuality and HIV." However, there was just too much dreck and cheap sentiment for me. The performers are all 'Bollywood Lovely' to look at and it is shot in widescreen, which is always pleasant. However, it reminded me of a BAD 1970 made for tv movie, frankly. In fact, since the entire thing is told in flashback as a memoriam to Nikhil, I didn't stay to finish it. (I'll have to ask Sue Jean if it ended any less maudlin, considering that we had been waiting for his death scene for nearly two hours!) I only had 15 minutes to run to the Victoria Theatre for:

"Poster Boy" (dir Zak Tucker 2004 USA 98 min 35mm) Yet ANOTHER frustrating feature! It came so close to being so good, but... The editing and direction were terrible! The cast was terrific! Michael Lerner plays a Republican Senator from North Carolina, whose son is gay and in the closet. Karen Allen plays the Senator's wife and gives it a good whirl! The son and his latest trick/boyfriend/activist are cute enough, too. However, the script would try to pull a "Citizen Ruth" on us and place the son's sexuality and coming out in the middle of a political struggle that just isn't characterized enough. (It made me appreciate Swoozie Kurtz's work in "Citizen Ruth" even more!) The pacing of the film just killed whatever emotional momentum it almost built, time and again. It uses the conceit of the son being interviewed by a reporter after having come out at his father's re-election rally, and continues to break whatever pace and continuity the plot had by cutting back to the interview. Such a shame, because the cast really is quite good.

Finally, the last program of the day (though I had planned on going to a 6th one, but just could NOT do it!) was a collection of 5 short subjects featuring gay guys and lesbians - together! Yes! In the same films!! Can you imagine that?! It only pointed out how segregated these things can be. In order of preference, though I use that term quite lightly here - in fact, there is no preference. They were all fair to mediocre for one reason or another, so I'll just list them here as a matter of record:

"Pants? Skirt? Lipstick?" (dir Shelley Barry 2005 USA 15 min video); "Kansas City Here I Come" (dir J.T. O’Neal 2004 Canada 15 min video); "Beyond Lovely" (dir Hilary Goldberg 2005 USA 11 min video); "Those Were The Gays" (dir Nancy Kissam 2004 USA 17 min video); "What Remains Human" (dir Maureen Bradley 2005 Canada 25 min video)

I should have popped over to the Castro from that for the 10:30 pm "Peaches Christ's Tranilogy of Terror" but... No. More. Amateur. Video. EVER!!!! Actually, Peaches Christ's stuff (which I've seen two out of the three parts of her 'Tranilogy of Terror' at the Bridge Theater midnight movies) is pretty funny! Yes, it's done for about $100 each, but it still has a wicked and fierce humor about it! I just wanted to go home, though...

Tomorrow, starting at noon....

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