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last update 11.Apr.09
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london l&g film festival From the BFI's 23rd London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Mar.09
The Window   4/5  
dir-scr Philippe Gosselin, Ronald Regina
with Philippe Gosselin, Roger D Klein, Major Mugrage
08/US 6m
klein, goselin and mugrage
the window This witty and very funny short features three frames - each looks into the window of a nearly identical room. Each has a man living inside, and as it progresses, we see them peering out the window, getting dressed and undressed, sleeping. Soon, all three shed their inhibitions until they are doing hilarious stripteases and acting out for their neighbours. It's like a peep show triptych. And their increasingly silly poses and dances are genuinely funny, right to the, erm, explosive finale. It's also vividly well shot, full of colour and energy, sharply edited and acted out with loads of personality. And while it's purely silly and gratuitous, there's also a bit of subtext to keep us engaged, as it plays with issues of both voyeurism and exhibitionism.
27.Mar.09 llgff
Mr_Right_22   3.5/5  
dir-scr Reza Rameri
with Philipp Denzel, Luc Feit, Michael Baral, Friedemann Thiele, Johannes Richard Voelkel, Benjamin Cantu
07/Germany 12m
Clever and entertaining, this English-language short from Germany begins with a webchat in which two guys agree to meet up. Adam (Denzel) has sent his photo, but has no idea what Dave looks like, so when he gets to the bar he is unnerved by the thought of who will show up. If anyone. As the designated time passes, he begins to imagine various scary encounters, woken from his daydreams by a helpful, leathery waiter (Feit). Nicely shot and full of sharp observations, the film accurately captures the feeling of a first blind date, and Denzel is a superb everyman for us to identify with. Although at 12 minutes, it's perhaps about twice as long as it needs to be.
29.Mar.09 llgff
Sidney Turtlebaum   4.5/5
dir Tristram Shapeero
scr Raphael Smith
with Derek Jacobi, Rupert Evans, Romy Baskerville, Lin Blakley, Francesca Marie Claire, Margaret Stallard, Saul Issroff, Katie Lyons
08/UK 19m
jacobi and evans
sidney turtlebaum Produced like a big-budget film, this emotional short follows a cranky but impeccably turned out older gentleman who continually surprises us with warmth, humour, bitterness and devious charm. And he's wonderfully well-played by Jacobi, with tiny touches of attitude and emotion. We meet him when he attends the North London funeral of someone he clearly doesn't know, comforts the widow and picks her pocket. He uses the cash to pay a young escort, Gabriel (Evans), and then invites him to go for a walk. What begins to grow into a kind of mentor-student relationship between two men in "the business of survival" soon starts spinning into something very different. The cast is so strong, and it's directed and edited with such skill, that it makes us hope we'll get to see the further misadventures of Sidney. It's also viciously hilarious, as well as charming, cruel and haunting.
29.Mar.09 llgff
Dan’s Big Hands   4/5
dir-scr Jack Curtis Dubowsky
with Daniel Koehler
08/US 4m
koehler's hands
This is a music video for Dubowsky's witty song, an ode to a man's magic hands. We see two guys singing in harmony in near blackness, surrounded by candles, with glimpses of said hands. The lyrics repeat the phrase, "I want to get lost in Dan's big hands," but as the song continues it becomes clear that they mean rather more than it seems, as irony descends over the song and we begin to hear references to sex and violence ("hit me hard") and a tone that suggests an odd mix of joy and pain. The overall result is blackly hilarious. It's warm and moody and strangely creepy. And extremely clever.
27.Mar.09 llgff
Screening Party 4/5
dir Chil Kong
scr Dennis Hensley
with Dennis Hensley, Erin Quill, Tony Tripoli, Ossie Beck, Nora Burns, Felix Pire, Todd Christian Hunter, Chil Kong
08/US 25m
screening party
screening party Clearly the pilot for a proposed TV comedy, this hilarious short gathers together a group of friends (and a couple of interlopers) to watch Pretty Woman, during which they make hilarious observations, act out the key scenes and generally pack the screen with references to other films. It's a great idea, and hugely entertaining, mainly because each person on screen is such a vividly silly character. Most amusing are Burns' Dr Beaverman, offering psychological observations on the feminist issues in the film, and Quill's Lauren, who really would rather not play Julia Roberts in the recreation scenes. It genuinely makes you want to see what this group of goofy comics would do to other favourites.
29.Mar.09 llgff
My Cock Is a Dildo   3/5   Min Kuk Ar en Dildo
dir-scr Ester Martin Bergsmark, Emanuel Nyberg
with Ester Martin Bergsmark, Emanuel Nyberg
07/Sweden 15m
min kuk ar en dildo
An experimental film that essentially suggests that you can use your friends as sex toys, this is a quirky, cheeky, often squirm-inducing collage of clips and images. We see shots of food, scissors trimming body hair, guys sitting on sofas and lots of body-part close-ups. There's also rather a lot of sexual imagery, and an exploration of bodies coming together in various angles, all while using the video camera as part of the sex play. It's an odd film, and for all the sex on display, it's not remotely sexy. But it does capture an attitude of curiosity, and there's a lot of energy on display.
27.Mar.09 llgff
The Chef’s Letter   4/5
dir-scr Sybil Mair
with Jonathan Firth, Ray Fearon, Layke Anderson, Lauren Steventon
08/UK 14m
the chef's letter Shot in a lush, cinematic style, this slight little story is packed with telling glances and suggestive situations, even as it keeps any overt explanations of the plot hidden from us. It centres on a restaurant chef (Firth) who writes a strong letter to his sous chef (Fearon), then watches him closely all day, waiting for him to read it. As the hours pass, the chef becomes obsessed with how the sous chef interacts with two younger workers in the kitchen (Anderson and Steventon). It's a mixture of flirtation and hints of something bigger that makes everything boil over. Filmmaker Mair cleverly tells us everything we need to know through visual clues; it's subtext-o-rama as these people kneed, chop and whisk, while we become increasingly anxious to see what's up between them. This cleverly echoes the chef's own anxiety, and with few words, the film has an extremely moving final act. A lovely little film.
5.Apr.09 llgff
Three Summers 4/5   Tre Somre
dir Carlos Oliveira
scr Morten Kirkskov, Carlos Oliveira
with Morten Kirkskov, Simon Munk, Stine Schroder Jensen, Carsten Bjornlund, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, Sarah Boberg
06/Denmark 28m
munk and kirkskov
Sexy and daring, this Danish short looks at key events over three summers. First is a dinner party Jorgen (Kirkskov) throws for his neighbours, at which the 14-year-old Thomas (Munk) privately confesses that he's gay. Jorgen replies with his own secret: that he's planning to leave his wife (Boberg). The next summer, Jorgen and Thomas meet again and, over rather a lot of alcohol, spend the night together. So of course, when Jorgen throws a party the following summer to introduce his new girlfriend, he's terrified about what Thomas might say. The film plays out with terrific visual style and witty characters who are strongly written and played by Kirkskov and Munk. Director Oliveira creates a jazzy tone that makes terrific use of the evening sunshine and expressive faces, perfectly conveying the moods of the characters. And most remarkable is the relaxed approach to such a controversial subject; instead of being preachy or strident, the film centres on the awkwardness of the situation. Only in Scandinavia would this kind of story feel so offhanded and natural.
5.Apr.09 llgff
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