Thursday, June 22, 2006

30th San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, aka Frameline 30: Day 7

I made it a comparatively short day today, as it is really hot here in San Francisco and I want to sleep and stuff. Four programs: one documentary and two programs consisting of a total of twelve short subjects and finishing the night with "one of the most shocking sex scenes in recent memory!" So, I'll start with the documentary and then move on to the list of shorts.

"WITH YOU!" (dir Yaniv Dabach 2006 USA 68 min video) This profiled the Gotham Knights, NYC's gay rugby club. You know, the film fest had a couple of rugby docs last year. I think there is just about so much you can say about gay rugby teams, er, clubs. I think the subject has been exhausted. That is, unless you are a true devotee, I suppose. With that brief recap, I move on to the dozen shorts, preferential order, of course.

"MOCKINGBIRD" (dir Joe Tunmer 2005 UK 14 min 35mm) In just its fourteen short minutes, this was a transcendental experience for me. The film is gorgeous to look at, designed by Douglas Slocombe (the name seems familiar, but...) and photographed by Simon Starling. The music supervision was extraordinary. The performances by William Houston and Eliza Darby as the (drag queen) dyeing father and daughter were gentle and lovely. I was simply swept away and LOVED this and MUST find a copy and HAVE IT!!

"TRIPLE MINORITY" (dir Amber Sharp 2005 USA 15 min video) This was beautifully performed, in spite of a somewhat flawed script. It portrays a lesbian daughter's conflict with her Southern Baptist minister father. Though the script bordered on stereotypes, Ruth Ricks, Selma Pinkard and Mark Berry give extraordinary performances as the family unit. Unfortunately, Kathleen Davison has the odd-man-out task as the daughter's partner and the script does not work her in very well. However, it is worth a see, if it pops up on LOGO or somewhere...

Speaking of mothers and daughters, "ROOM NUMBER 3" (dir Navarutt Roongaroon 2004 Thailand 22 min video) was sort of 'routine' though the climax was wonderfully photographed.

Now, there were a number of 'ok' shorts that I am just too fried to really remark on. But for the record, here they are: "BROOKLYN'S BRIDGE TO JORDAN" (dir Tina Mabry 2005 USA 20 min video), "PLAYTIME" (dir Arwel Gruffydd 2004 UK 10 min 35mm), "OUT NOW" (dir Sven J. Matten 2005 Germany 21 min 35mm), "HOMO HIGH SCHOOL" (dir Jonathon Rivait 2005 Canada 16 min video) and "SISSY FRENCHFRY" (dir JC Oliva 2005 USA 28 min video) which did have the benefit of featuring Leslie Jordan, who was present, though mostly to promote his current play, as it has an extension for another month.

For one reason or another, I disliked the following and am listing them here only as a matter of record: "THE DAY I DIED" (dir Maryam Keshavarz 2006 USA 11 min 35mm), " MONSOON ST., '77" (dir Minda Martin 2005 USA 12 min video), "BOYS GRAMMAR" (dir Dean Francis 2005 Australia 8 min video) which I saw at the SF Indiefest earlier this year and disliked it then, and especially "SCHOOL BOY ART" (dir Erica Cho 2004 USA 12 min video) which I actually hissed at and then some cranky queen behind me told me to get over myself! grrrrr...

"TWO DRIFTERS" (dir Joao Pedro Rodrigues 2005 Portugal 101 min 35mm) Described in the program as "ending with one of the most shocking sex scenes in recent memory" and featuring "many male characters in the film at ease with nudity", I was expecting a nice, sleazy time! What the film is actually about is a woman suffering from manic-depression to the point that she incurs a hysterical pregnancy. The 'shocking sex scene' was laughable. The "many [nude] male characters" actually were only two, and each of them had one very brief scene, which were hardly remarkable. Now, to critique the film itself (outside of the con job that the programmers did in the festival catalogue), one has to remark on the nearly ferocious performance by Ana Cristina De Oliveira as 'Odete', which is the film's actual title in it's native language release. Her performance is so 'out there' that it could be regarded as 'shocking' but only in the sense that none of the other characters had her committed. I was very disappointed by this, as were the couple of dozen audience members who walked out.


Maxxxxx said...

re "With You!": "Time for shower!"
re "Mockinbird": "Such a pretty bird!"
re "Two Drifters": "Shhhhhhit!"

rick said...

i think your descriptions of the audience are as fun as the movies themselves.

Jay said...

speak your mind!! i love it!!! but i disagree with two reviews: room number 3 which had one of the most unrealistic endings ever and triple minority was very well done...the script was beautifully written!!

Jay, the Angry Little Man said...

Hey Jay,
I'd agree about the resolution of "Room Number 3". The ending was terrible, but I thought the photography during the 'big reveal' was exceptional. Re "Triple Minority" I LOVED the debating biblical passages section, but the script, or perhaps it was the direction, seemed stiff. :)

Thanks for reading! woo hoo!

Ruth Ricks said...

Thanks for your comment on the movie! I appreciate you and your commenters kind words.