Monday, June 08, 2009

Frameline 33 (SF LGBT Film Festival, 2009) - Worldly Affairs

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.

The films in this program of various narrative short subjects from around the world. It screens once: Friday, June 26, 3:15 PM, at the Castro Theatre. The program is listed in order as presented via screener and subject to change and includes:

RAW LOVE (AMOR CRUDO) (Dirs. Juan Chappa, Marin Deus, Argentina, 2009, 16 mins.) This is a vaguely typical gay teenager coming of age story, but set in Argentina. It is extremely similar to EDGE OF SEVENTEEN, but even more naively innocent, in action, yet more mature in its emotional communication between the two boys. The one who is yearning is wonderfully performed and his musings are hauntingly photographed.

SOMEBODY IS WATCHING US (dir. Maxine Desmons, Canada, 2009, 11 min.) What is being primarily billed as a piece about sexual paranoia in a public bathroom, actually goes into much more obscure and convoluted territory. Our characters are students of English as a Second Language in a classroom in Canada. The performers (Michael Young and Jonathan Muzlera) display a great deal of sexual tension throughout, but what that has to do with the recurring Icarus story underneath it, is unclear to me.

TEDDY (dir. Christopher Banks, New Zealand, 2009, 13 min.) Though treading treacherously close to maudlin, somehow, Christopher Banks is able to keep his cast from tripping into melodrama. The process of resolution and letting go are remarkably told in the short thirteen minumtes of this short. The ending is a bit of a sell out, but the performances are so genuine that it is quite forgivable. Plus, I'm a bit bitter and jaded for "cheap sentiment"!

BABY SHARK (dir. Pascal-Alex Vincent, France, 2005, 15 min.) Considering that this is only fifteen minutes long, Pascal-Alex Vincent (who is also represented this year with GIVE ME YOUR HAND) has PACKED the time with three acts of teenage sexual angst and ennui. It opens with racously enough with a LOUD punk soundtrack as a boy is skateboarding. The handheld camerawork at this point was pretty annoying for these first few minutes, too. Then, without warning we cut to a boy and girl, who might be post coitus, playing xBox and completely BORED. The skateboarder enters (there hasn't been ANY dialogue yet!) and, well, let's just say "action ensues"! And that is just the first of three sequences! The second sequence is comparatively complacent about being a high school outsider. The third sequence would almost seem to be the short version of GIVE ME YOUR HAND, as it is nearly identical in the actual seed of the plot. I loved GIVE ME YOUR HAND, so I was surprised to come back to my notes to realize this is the same director, as it is no where near the subliminal tone or pace of the feature. Vincent is a director to watch!

THE SAINT (dir. Elfe Uluc, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2008, 17 min.) It is sort of an odd piece in which an older ex-drag queen (is there such a thing as an "ex" drag queen?) is running around in the ghettos sharing anything and everything he finds, has and is, including himself. The film portrays as a near religious figure, ergo the title. There is some Fellini-esque pathos, however, Zahin Celik gives an incredible performance, within the time given and the setting he is placed against. The film is also remarkable considering where it was produced! Oh, and the score includes a lot of Antonin Dvorak! woo hoo!

MOTHER KNOWS BEST (Dir. Bardi Gudmundsson, Iceland, 2009, 21 min.) A man is living with his overbearing single mother in Reykjavík. She is fabulously played by Helga Braga jonsdottir, who somehow avoids falling into any caricature or melodrama and actually let us feel for HER, more than her son. She plays the role with so much wisdom, she knows more about her son, than HE does himself. It is a trip of a performance! (I wish the final two songs had been subtitled!!)

Maxxxxx says
re BABY SHARK: "Maxxxxxx! SHUT UP!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i just bumped into your blog and saw this article from you :)
so you´ve seen the icelandic movie Mother Knows Best? Im so glad you liked it!!
i play guðni geir´s boyfriend - rósi the stupid blond ;)
i havent seen the movie after it was finished but i hope it is good! :)
if you have facebook it would be fun if you added me :) my name is davíð nóel
cheers!! and thanks for the comments on the movie !!
love, david noel