Thursday, June 04, 2009

Frameline 33 (SF LGBT Film Festival, 2009) - Fun in Girls Shorts

Frameline33: San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, the world’s premiere showcase for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cinema, runs June 18-28, 2009, with screenings in San Francisco at the historic Castro Theatre, Roxie Theater and the Victoria Theatre, and in Berkeley at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood. Tickets are available via the website 24 hours a day, via fax, or in person at the Frameline Festival Box Office Counter.

Films in this program of short subjects are listed in order as presented via screener and subject to change. It screens twice: Saturday, June 20, 1:45 PM and Sunday, June 28, 11:30 AM, both at the Castro Theatre. This collection is a group of comedies about, by, for lesbians and includes:

GIRL TALK (dir. Jennifer Smith, USA, 2008, 7 Min.) A nice little bit of an O'Henry twist on this little episode involving gossipy high school girls. The girls are tough, but don't cross into the stereotypes that have so dominated the genre lately. (Also, it features exceptionally appropriate animated title sequences by Nathan Courtney and company.)

FALLING FOR CAROLINE (dir. Christine Chew, Canada, 2009, 20 min.) Christine Chew has cast a trio of wonderful comediennes, (Yanna Baiser (nerd), Denise (Caroline)Mader Shannon Currie (friend) even if the actual physical chemistry between them seemed a bit lacking to me. "To win the girl of her dreams [sweetly played by Denise Mader], a klutzy young woman [played with klutzy panache by Yanna Baiser] must overcome a wardrobe malfunction and the bad lesbian habit of overprocessing", that she vents to her manager and friend, played by Shannon Currie]." It is a bit stagebound, however, there are some laugh out loud sight gags during that ever treacherous "second date"! Yes, the pair is awkwardly matched, but sweet to each other, which only made it more endearing.

SHAFTED (dirs. Allegra Hirschman, April Hirschman, USA, 2009, 10 min.) It's a quirky little comedy involving the property rights of sex toys after a lesbian break up. The femme lesbian Lindsay finds that her ex has taken all of her sex toys and she seeks restitution when she learns "that it is commonly accepted that femmes get "the shaft" when it comes to post-breakup sexual property." The pacing is a bit off and there is a very odd bit about dildo recycling (I think? - I almost wanted to stop and rewind on that one!). So, criminal activity becomes involved, which lends itself to some fun butch-femme dynamics, in that sort of homage to CELL BLOCK H way! Oh, and the end titles and song (uncredited) are a hoot!

I'VE GOT YOU (dir. Camrin Pitts, USA, 2008, 5 min.) A sincere and sweet music video with Melange’ Lavonne, expressing her wishes, dreams and the idealistic world she will create when she will have children. It is one of the most impressive, positive and crafted with such approachability to the "mainstream masses" I would LOVE to see her expand her activism! It is fun and surprisingly gentle, yet quite affirmative about what love can be found in an "alternative family". Her lyrics are nearly spectacular! (I HOPE she is at the screening!)

WHEN THE TIME'S RIGHT (dir. Linda Andersson, USA, 2008, 11 min.) Accompanied by a fabulous soundtrack by Jayla, a woman finds herself in a time traveling twilight zone as a clock seems to become a metaphor for her tendency of just checking in on her relationship, where she wants to know the ending before taking the big step. Ah, how time can fly if you're not engaged!

LITTLE MUTINIES (dirs. Angie Powers, Elizabeth Stark, USA, 2007, 20 min.) I am afraid that this piece just did not gel for me. A family living out of a trailer, the mother (Guinivere Turner) used to be a child prodigy of some sort, has a lot of baggage to sort through in the twenty minutes of screen time. I almost felt that the quirky photography, editing and pacing indicated this might be a 'pitch film' for a feature that would (hopefully) fully explore the characters and their relationships. One of the daughters would like to run away, but is bound to the family baggage, so it would seem. I think the cast needed more time to develop the bonds that this quirky family needs to tap into for an effective drama. They just did do not seem to have the chemistry for the climax it must support.

DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS (dirs. Tricia Cooke, Carrie Schrader, USA, 2008, 7 min.) Some excellent pacing and performances from a well balanced ensemble, with another O'Henry twist to it, only emphasizes that city dykes could open THEIR minds up as much as they think that our "country cousins" need to. "A comic morality tale about two cocky young lesbians who bite off more than they can chew in a Texas roadside diner."

COUNTERTRANSFERENCE (dir. Madeleine Olnek, USA, 2008, 16 min.) We follow a terribly sheepish and awkward woman in therapy, played by Deb Margolin who could well be THE female Buster Keaton or Woody Allen! This is a fabulously edited and shot, and apparently improvised script! I could have watched another hours worth of Ms. Margolin's exceptional work and director Madeleine Olnek's choice of "hiding" all of the characters who are Margolin's foils and obstacles is near brilliant. Probably the best piece I have seen from this fest, yet!

U-HAUL RAP Dir. Bob Koherr, USA, 2008, 6 min.) Based on the joke, “What does a lesbian bring on a second date? A U-Haul,” this music video by Amy Turner and Kathryn Lounsbery, displays a near "Saunders and French" chemistry in their execution. It is bouncy, bright and a joy to behold in all of its brief six minutes!

Maxxxxx says
re COUNTERTRANSFERENCE: "What's your name?"

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