Film FestivalShort Film Reviews 03

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On this page - LLGFF SHORTS: FREUNDE THE WHIZ KIDS | HARD FAT | LUNCH |
MISS HELL | MODEL | PHINEAS SLIPPED |
SAME DIFFERENCE | SMOKE RINGS | THERE

Back to the SHADOWS FILM FEST page last update 16.Apr.03

back to the top LLGFF SHORT FILMS
Selected short films shown at the British Film Institute's 17th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2-16 April 2003.
Any chance to see short films on a big screen should be siezed upon!
REVIEWS BY RICH CLINE
johannes and marco FREUNDE, THE WHIZ KIDS
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Jan Kruger; with Martin Keifer, Marlon Kittel 02/Germany 21m 4 out of 5 stars
This surreal short gets under the skin as it examinations an awkward friendship between two teen boys. Johannes is a nervous, shy kid who becomes friends with the edgy and sexy Marco. Johannes is quite clearly in love (or maybe lust) with Marco, who has a reputation as a ladies' man. But as Marco taunts Johannes, he begins to wonder if he might have a chance after all. But this is anything but a straightforward telling of teen romance; it's shot from Johannes' perspective--confused, unfocussed, maddenningly just out of reach. We're never quite sure what's happening here, and it even seems at times that Marco might be a figment of Johannes' imagination. This is clever, insinuating filmmaking that isn't remotely simplistic or easy. Kruger is definitely a filmmaker to watch. 11.Mar.03 llgff
rick before and after (yes, really!) HARD FAT
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Frederic Moffet; with Rick, CMBigDog 02/US 23m 3 out of 5 stars
This short documentary looks at the fetish of "gainers" who put on excessive weight simply because it makes them feel sexier. It's extremely difficult for non-gainers to identify with Rick, the subject of the film, despite his genuine insistence that he much prefers his new bulky body to his old lean self. While it's fairly fascinating, the filmmakers never really get beyond the surface of the subject, relying on a rather tired internet motif to lead us through, plus a very strange fantasy conclusion. 9.Mar.03 llgff
SMOKE RINGS
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Ian Jarvis; with Joseph Couture 02/US 2m 4 out of 5 stars
This is so short and to the point (as it were) that it takes your breath away! It's all so simple -- kind of like a mini-talent show, as Couture blows smoke rings at the camera before informing us of his own particular spin on it. Which he then demonstrates for us, hilariously. Yes, it is pretty cool, eh. (I'm still chuckling about this.) 19.Mar.03 llgff
beware miss hell! MISS HELL
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Mr Cross with Jayson Marston, Michell Carr, Bernard Elsmere, Ronna Frumpkin, Pierre, Pork Chop 01/US 5m 2 out of 5 stars
Zany short about a skinhead escort hanging out on a back street in L.A. who gets picked up by a John Waters-like full-figured woman with a beehive hairdo and a car with huge fins. It all goes horribly wrong from here, although we're not very clear on what happens. The film style is bouncy and goofy, with intentionally bad dubbing and cartoonish costumes. Colourful, strange and forgettable. 15.Apr.03 llgff
phineas slipped PHINEAS SLIPPED
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Keri Oakie; with Stormy Henry Knight, Greg Gregerson, Phil Holes, Jacob Laurent, Brad Schelden, Ari Fay-Long, Zee Mandra 02/US 15m 3 out of 5 stars
The idea behind this comical short is terrific, as is some of the production style, but it's just too clunky and goofy to really work. It's set in a boy's school, in a literature class where the teacher is talking about a book while the boys' minds drift to thoughts of sex. Everything that's said stirs fantasy imagery--wrestling, rowing, locker rooms, a sailor scenario, a teacher-student thing, and lots of sexual activity. It's all in black and white, but the classroom footage is video while most of the fantasies have a terrific film graininess to them. But it's accompanied by very cheesy music, features actors far older than they should be (legal reasons no doubt) and drifts into porn at the end. Pity, because the premise--examining the wandering teen mind--is fantastic! 8.Mar.03 llgff
romeo times two SAME DIFFERENCE
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Harry Richards; with Romeo, Bianca Bonomi, Nigel Shipp, Chris Piper 02/UK 11m 3 out of 5 stars
This bright and very well-produced short centres on 18-year-old twins Noel and Leon (both played by Romeo), who are very different young men. Leon is the popular kid, the star rugby player pursued by the girls. While Noel is nervous and shy and obviously hiding the secret that he's gay, even though at least one girl is after him as well. It's also quite clear that the fun-loving Leon doesn't suspect a thing, so the revelation at their birthday party is quite a shock. The twin effects are extremely good, and the film has a bright and breezy tone to it that draws us in. Pity that it ends so abruptly, without ever really dealing with the huge issues it raises. 12.Mar.03 llgff
back to the top LLGFF: THREE BY PIERRE YVES CLOUIN
These shorts were made by the surreal and experimental French filmmaker Pierre Yves Clouin, who also had two odd shorts at last year's festival. Shown at the British Film Institute's 17th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2-16 April 2003.
REVIEWS BY RICH CLINE
there THERE
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Pierre Yves Clouin 02/US 3m 3out of 5 stars
This single take seems utterly random, like most of Clouin's films, but it has a serious sting in its tale as it tracks up an evening street in Paris, where the pavement is full of cafe tables and boistrous people. Then at the end we stop, the sound fades, and we retrace our steps to where we might have seen something rather shocking. The film catches you off guard with its simple yet pointed way of expressing something very important. 8.Mar.03 llgff
MODEL
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Pierre Yves Clouin 01/Fr 3m 2 out of 5 stars
Strange short film that doesn't really make sense but somehow generates a feeling of furtive and dangerous lust, as it features just a few images, filmed surreptitiously, of guys fumbling sexually out of view of the general public. The camera catches them--either in pairs or on their own--only because it knows where to look. The images are all illicit, sneaky, through bars, around corners or extremely close so no one knows someone's filming. Half of the short is in split screen, it's completely silent, and features one title in the middle: "in jail now". So there. 8.Mar.03 llgff
lunch LUNCH
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Pierre Yves Clouin 02/Fr 7m 1 out of 5 stars
This self-consciously arty short obviously has a point but I missed it. It opens with a black and white crawl down a filthy tunnel lined with rubbish, then it cuts to colour images of a bunch of muscly men standing in a group, dancing, watching something. The camera caresses their bare chests, they flash their bums at each other, it goes on and on. Then we see the rubbish again. Oh and along the way we catch a glimpse of a butterfly sitting on a toe ... or perhaps another appendage. What it's about--and what the title means--is anyone's guess. 8.Mar.03 llgff
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ALSO: 11'09"01 | THE ANIMATRIX

2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall


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