Saturday, June 27, 2009

Frameline 33 (SF LGBT Film Festival, 2009) - Day 10

Frameline 33: 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.

POP STAR ON ICE (dirs. David Barba, James Pellerito, USA, 2008, 85 Mins.) After K.C. Price (most ably, and in a sort of studly manner, for 11AM on a Saturday) introduced the exceptionally soft spoken directors of this documentary about champion ice skater Johnny Weir, it became clear that that there were FANS in the house! In fact, a third of the house decided to give it a standing ovation, at the end. Hm. Well. I can only appreciate the work, skill and talent that it takes to do what he does. Weir also displays a quick wit and a formidable debate style. However, I am not quite sure why he might be considered a "gay icon" as he declines to discuss the matter, regardless of how obviously 'gay' he is. That aspect of his life is not readily addressed in the film, which presupposes that the audience already knows and accepts an unspoken fact. That's a tricky road for a documentary. By ignoring that little tidbit, the film could be seen as exploring the relationship between coach and athlete and where it led. However, even in some of the "coaching scenes", both Weir and coach Priscilla Hill, seem very camera-aware, and it treads into the chicken-or-the-egg world of 'reality' programming. (In fact, there is a television series following him in production.) As he is as much an entertainer as a competitor, realty gets blurred.

FRUIT FLY (dir. H.P. Mendoza, USA, 2008, 94 Mins.) Director, producer, writer, songwriter and actor H.P. Mendoza is a dynamo. I do not know how he does it and still maintains such a sweet persona, without appearing to be a total control freak. Anyway, his latest musical may not be quite as magical as COLMA: THE MUSICAL. However, Mendoza's maturity as a film maker serves this material well! It is leaner and sharper, the characters are more focused and he has given it an ending that winks at wisdom. The performers and characters are older and wiser, too, which sets the piece off as a good companion work to COLMA. Mendoza is now on "my list" of cult figures and I can not wait for another two years for his next effort!

The afternoon was broken up with the shorts program, DYKES DELIGHT, which I previewed earlier.

MR. RIGHT (dirs. Jacqui Morris, David Morris, UK, 2008, 94 Mins.) Briefly, I just got board with this first of the two 'Pink Saturday' films (Pink Saturday, being the street parTAY that explodes outside the Castro on the night before Gay Pride Day), and, in full disclosure, walked out about half way. The film starts with a woman complaining about dating a gay man, and it never seemed to stop complaining about gay men in general. There was what seemed like endless chatter amongst the four couples (three gay and one straight), in a THIRTYSOMETHING goes QUEER AS FOLK way. It felt shallow and bitter and I was in more of a mood to people watch than watch people snipe at each other on screen.

Maxxxxx says
re FRUIT FLY: "Dooby dooby dooo-oooo!"

You can contact Maxxxxx or myself here: JayCBird@AOL.COM

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