Saturday, June 27, 2009

Frameline 33 (SF LGBT Film Festival, 2009) - Day 11 (Closing Night)

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.

ANOTHERWORLD (dir. Fabiomassimo Lozzi, Italy, 106 Mins.) Though simply described as 43 monologues about being gay in Italy may seem, the impact of the film was breathtaking. Even though a great majority of the pieces are dramatic, if not severe (based on interviews pulled from Antonio Veneziani and Riccardo Reim’s books Pornocuore and I Mignotti), Lozzi’s affirming personal climax was sincerely moving. It is an exceptionally theatrical piece, as it was workshopped on stage, however it breaks free from being stagebound by director Lozzi's imaginative production design and exceptional editing. Not to mention, the 50+ actors are all gorgeous - there isn't a dawg in the pack! During the Q&A, Lozzi explained that it was a hugely popular project for actors in Rome and that a great many of the performers are television and film stars who wanted to lend their voices to this piece about the cultural and self-imposed oppression of being gay in the Roman Catholic controlled country. Though the material can be exceptionally difficult at points, and the format of all those monologues can seem intimidating, I found it to be a rewarding experience!

The Official Closing Night program began with a K.C. Adams and Jennifer Morris love-fest for each other and with the audience, which was fully deserved. Mr. Adams appeared even more nervous tonight than during the Opening Night Ceremony. However, that boyish nervousness was actually sort of endearing by the end of this year's fest. Ms. Morris handled the majority of the evening as the pro that she is, as she introduced Wendy Jo Carlton, the director of tonight's film, as well as special guest, Rosie O'Donnell, who was there to support Sharon Gless and give a nifty closing night bit of a stand-up routine. She came off warm and charming and not at all the bulldog that some television producers would have her portrayed. Ah, if only the film had been her equal...

Despite Sharon Gless' great performance, HANNAH FREE (dir. Wendy Jo Carlton, USA, 2009, 90 Mins.) never breaks free from its stagebound roots. In fact, the succession of monologues became tedious, particularly after having just witnessed the film before and how dramatically and cinematically a script could be opened up, even though maintaining the core material. The story here focuses on the last few days of life of a lesbian couple, who are separated by the next-of-kin of one of their families. The conflict there is oversimplified and "preached to the choir" as it were, provoking preanticipated cheers, boos and hisses. Of course, that said, perhaps I am just a bit too cynical, as there were weepy eyes around me by the end. I was just not only NOT moved, but actually a bit annoyed by how over simplification of the speech, the cinematic tehnique and conflict of the drama.

Maxxxxx says
re ANOTHERWORLD: "I love you!"

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

1 comment:

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