Thursday, June 24, 2010

Frameline 34 (SF Intl. LGBT Film Festival) - Day 8

This year’s internationally renowned showcase for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) cinema runs June 17-27, with San Francisco screenings at the historic Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street), Roxie Theater (3117 16th Street) and the Victoria Theatre (2961 16th Street), and in Berkeley at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood (2966 College Avenue).Tickets for Frameline34 are on sale  through

With only one "live" screening and a pair of previews, this was a remarkably easy day, though the films themselves were not that easy to view, considering that the features seemed focused on straight boys in love. First, the screening:

Plan B (dir. Marco Berger, Argentina, 2009, 103 Mins.) The Victoria Theatre was sold out for this modern day, small scale "Dangerous Liaisons" from Argentina.  A man tries to win back his ex-girlfriend by seducing her new boyfriend and thus breaking them up.  As you can imagine, complications ensue, though this is far from being a farce. The primary audience attraction appeared to be watching two straight guys fall in love. However, this bromance that crosses the line is played out with such somber technique as to drain nearly any joy one can get from it. Marco Berger uses a very deliberate pace and has shot and edited nearly the entirety of the film in anchored master shots.  I can only think of two scenes in which there were any cutaways to reactions and objects at all. The static visuals do give the film a more naturalistic approach and I am thankful that it was not photographed with hand held digital cameras. The performances are nuanced and detailed enough to withstand the scrutiny of Berger's portraiture technique. The two men may lack a certain chemistry, but then the script has handed them such emotional, physical and sexual hurdles that it takes nearly the entire film before the characters are allowed to relax with each other. It could be argued that Berger's static technique prolongs the wait until the climatic moment.  However, for my taste, that longing was nearly insufferable, regardless how easy his cast might be on the eyes.

All Boys (dir. Markku Heikkinen, Finland/Denmark, 2009, 72 Mins.) Oh my gawd, this is a BLEAK documentary about the Eastern Europe gay porn industry, particularly in Czechoslovakia. The film would suggest that the boys are basically used up between ages 18 (yeah, I'm thinking they were 16!) and 20, before being thrown back out onto the streets. The film is nearly as exploitative of its subjects as it claims the industry is of the boys, itself. There is no joy in late teenage porn from Czhechoslovakia!

Also screening today was the Transtastic!  program of short subjects, which I previewed earlier.

Maxxxxx says re PLAN B: "Is it bedtime?"

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

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