I am mostly caught up to seeing the narrative and documentaries for Frameline, the San Francisco LGBTQ film festival. Sorry about the late report, but it’s not too late to catch some of the short film programs. I haven’t seen all of the short films, but the ones I’ve seen were amazing. Here’s some you can still catch.
June 26- Worldly Affairs
This collection contains several films that I wish were full length features.
- It starts off with “Tremulo,” about a young barber’s assistant that gets more than he bargained for when a sexy army recruit catches his eye. The fact that both Mexican men are hot is the least of the reason to catch this film. It’s sultry and sexy and reminds us how sensual it is when you get your haircut. Director Roberto Fiesco covers a lot of ground in this 20 minute story – and even has a few plot twists.
- “Sebastian” should also be a full length feature as two men met in Canada and spend their last moments together before one needs to return home to Argentina. We’ve all had those moments – are we smitten or really in love. Director Rickey Bryant keeps us guessing throughout the film, which adds a lot of tension to the sweet plot.
- “I Do” is also comically tense and, without saying much, proves why sometimes you don’t need/want an audience when you’re sharing in public things that should be private. Note to director Felipe Cabral: the subtitles in white on a white background are very hard to read.
(There’s a fourth film in this collection I wasn’t able to screen so didn’t want the filmmaker feel it was left off for a reason).
June 27 – Score! Queers in Sports
There are so many sports-oriented LGBTQ titles this year – and many of the bigger stories are in the smaller films.
- “Caged” pits bullies against an openly gay athlete, who gets more support than just from LGBT friendly classmates. Some supporters also have their own secrets that just may come out in this 13 minute film.
- “Laundry Mood” has gotten some attention from the sexy locker room scene. But far from superficial, the movie has a homophobic coach who tries to get his gay top player to leave the team, even though the outcome could ruin the team.
- “True Wheel” is full of great information even though its only nine minutes. It’s a great lesson in solidarity that focuses on Fender Bender, a woman/queer/trans bike collective in Detroit that has helped shape the community through bicycling.
- “Gold Star” is a sexy story of two basketball players who seem to have a past, but leave us wanting them to deal with the issues as they play an innocent game of hoops.
- “Female Masculinity Appreciation Society” continues exploring the roles we’re labeled as explored in the documentary “The Same Difference.” Here, though, they make a fun evening of it by coming in Dapper wear to an arm wrestling competition.
- “Stella Walsh” is 15 minutes of intriguing. She was one of the first female iconic Olympians with gold medals and ribbons galore. When she was murdered at a relatively young age, a whole new controversy brewed as her sexual identity was uncovered as being “ambiguous.” Captivating throughout, there’s a whole movie here.
June 28 – Fun in Boys Shorts
Fun is right in this riotous and ingenious collection of short films aimed at gay men.
- “Pop Up Porno: M4M” is about a hook-up site that is told like a children’s story. Literally. It’s one of the most creative films I’ve seen and is perfect at 3 minutes. Kudos director Stephen Dunn.
- “Open Relationship” goes in a fun direction as a Spanish couple weigh the idea of having an open relationship and the rules associated with it.
- “The Little Deputy” brings back last year’s short filmmaker Trevor Anderson in another winner about going back and re-shooting the portrait with his father at one of those amusement park western photo booths. One problems he encounters is he is no longer the little boy in the picture. But that’s not the only hurdle.
- “One Year Lease” is simply amazing and quite a riot and undoubted based on truth. A couple movies into a cute New York apartment only to get CONSTANT NON-STOP voice mails from the landlord about things that really shouldn’t matter to them. Either the voice over actress is the greatest of all time or these were real voice mails that likely haunted director Brian Bolster in the same real life situation.
- “Mini Supreme” is a movie I am so proud of as I have admired the work of writer/director/actor Michael Phillis, a local here in San Francisco. Down on his lucky, he decides to go in drag and enter a beauty contest to win the cash prize. The interesting spin is this is a children’s beauty contest and his character is an adult man.
June 28 – Fun in Girls Shorts
Women get a chance to make us laugh with short films aimed towards a more lesbian and lesbian-friendly audience.
- “Carina” takes us on a fantasy trip in the mind of a young girl who believes that her new teacher is the sexy pin-up girl from her dad’s magazine. Talk about wanting to be teacher’s pet.
- “Be Here Nowish: Episode 2” brings together characters from the web series in an episode in which a one night stand refuses to leave, which is a comical way to continue the stereotype that lesbians don’t have second dates…they just move in. But tongue is definitely in the comical cheek here.
- “Whatever We Want to Be” is one of those charming films when you learn about someone in one night and wonder how they fit into your life and what might become of you when the sun rises on a new day. Definitely too short but a great watch to say the least.
Unfortunately, I’ve missed a few of the short film collections, but movies always a life beyond the one time you could have seen it at Frameline. Seek out these titles.
Joshua Grannell’s “Cherry Bomb” actually takes the most famous scene of “The Witches of Eastwick” and parodies it in the way he did as his alter ego Peaches Christ in a screening of the film. If you recall the cherry scene in the movie, I need not say more except put it in the hands of sick and twisted filmmaker and you have three minutes of film that would make John Waters proud.
“Followers” from Tim Marshall in the UK has a young man who seems to have a older woman interested in him. His body may be hot, but it turns out that isn’t the reason she seems enamored.
“F*ggot” actually could also be a full length feature instead of this 18 minute film from Mexico about a adolescent gay boy who is so stuck in the closet because he is told that gay leads to AIDS. Sadly, this likely happens a lot in real life and not just the movies.
“Hole” also depicts a disabled man whose lusts and desires seem to go unnoticed by those who care for him.
“Showboy” should win the award for Best Short as everything about it is on a higher plateau. Well written, photographed and acted, this exception 15 minute film from Samuel Leighton-Dore takes a snapshot out of the life of quiet Julian, who isn’t playing soccer like his dad suspects but instead performing drag, to the knowledge of some not so ardent admirers. Lucas Pittaway is amazing in the lead role.
Some of these movies are available online and some have a big festival life ahead. Seek them out at Frameline at www.frameline.org.