Thursday, June 22, 2006

30th San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, aka Frameline 30: Day 6

Well. After yesterday's 'intermission' of sorts, I was just physically unable to get myself out of the apartment in back into that theater for the first two features of the day. I, however, never lacking in my sense of duty to YOU, Gentle Reader, did get in there for four features.

"SUN KISSED" (dir Patrick McGuinn 2006 USA 92 min 35mm) Something happened here that has NEVER happened at the festival ever before. As the end credits scrolled and the houselights went up, you could hear a pin drop. There was one small hiss. And then the chatting began. And this was possibly the most talked about film of the day. Neither I, nor the festival program, nor the website, gives any hint as to what the film is REALLY about! Let me just say that it is something of a mind-fuck. Though it starts off looking like a cheesy mid-70's porn flick, it becomes oh so much more. The performances are terrible. I was seriously considering walking out during the first 15 minutes. But then the screenplay began its non-linear twist and turn. And then... well, then the ART began! Yeah, I would consider the screenplay art. There was no question that the dubious production values and the totally covert script pissed a lot of people off. However, there were just as many, myself included, who spent the time between flicks discussing and untangling what we had just seen. In the end, I would say it was truly fascinating, though difficult.

"A VERY SERIOUS PERSON" (dir Charles Busch 2006 USA 92 min 35mm) This was 180 degrees from what we just saw! Charles Busch makes his film directorial debut, in a script he wrote, starring himself. He has created a fabulous character for himself, playing a Danish male nurse attending to the ailing Polly Bergen. It is more dramatic than what we may be used to from him. However, as he explained during the Q&A (of course he was present!), he wants to explore a more mature artistic vision in his life now. And he has made a pretty wonderful start with this film. The only hesitation I had was with the direction and/or casting of P.J. Verhoest as Bergen's OBNOXIOUS grandson. He really was something out of "The Bad Seed" which Busch may have done on purpose. It just disrupts the tone of the piece. However, Busch commands any scene he is in, so all is not lost!

"I JUST WANTED TO BE SOMEBODY" (dir Jay Rosenblatt 2006 USA 10 min video) This fascinating anti-valentine to Anita Bryant serves as something of a reminder that as far as the Gay Rights movement has come, there is still a lot of work to be done, as the 'values' and language that Bryant espoused is still heard today. Rosenblatt had access to an impressive amount of home-movie footage of Bryant, and the Florida Orange Juice commercials were a jolt of a flashback! During his introduction (he did not stay for a Q&A), he mentioned that he wanted to make a feature length version, but simply did not have the funds. I wish he did (go to his website and support him!) and I hope he does an extended version! Which was the opposite reaction I had to the feature length documentary that accompanied this.

"SMALL TOWN GAY BAR" (dir Malcolm Ingram 2005 USA 81 min video) Kevin "Clerks" Smith produced this documentary by his gay doppleganger. It profiles a number of gay bars in North East Mississippi small (and we're talking populations of 16,000 max!) towns. Extensively. Though I can sort of understand some of the tangents he goes on (a long interview with Rev. Fred Phelps, since he was born there, for instance), he spends a bit too much time on them. Though I am generally against narration, in this case a few brief words about why he has strayed from the subject at hand would suffice, instead of turning it into a subplot. Also, he doesn't seem to want to end the film. There were a number of 'false endings' that lasted a good part of five minutes. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but it is. During the Q&A, Malcolm Ingram talked. A lot. In fact, the idea of what it must be like when he and Kevin Smith are in the same room is sort of frightening!

"THE KINSEY SICKS: I WANNA BE A REPUBLICAN" (dir Ken Bielenberg 2006 USA 90 min video) finished the evening in FABULOUS fashion! It's a concert movie of the Dragapella Beauty Shop Quartet's "I Wanna Be A Republican" concert. And it's like being there! I love them and I love this and I wish it had been ready (the director just finished editing it on Friday!!) for Opening Night, because it is SO festive! Since the guys started in San Francisco, it would have been the PERFECT flick for a party night! The director and the guys were there for a Q&A, seeing as this was its "World Premiere". They're just about as fun out of drag (and a lot hunkier!) than in full dress. 'Rachel' just cracks me up!!

There! I'm all caught up now (3:30 a.m.?!).

1 comment:

Maxxxxx said...

re "Sun Kissed": "What'ja doing?"
re "A Very Serious Person": "Ooooo!"
re "I Just Wanted to Be Somebody": hisses
re "Small Town Gay Bar": "Is it bedtime?"
re "The Kinsey Sicks...": "Doobie doobie doo-ooo!"