Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mystery Date (2012 shorts program)

Mystery Date (shorts program)
Saturday 6/16, 9:15pm @ Roxie, MYST16R
Silver Stiletto, dir. Luke Mayze, 2011, Australia, 15 min.  [trailer]
Sólo un detalle (Just One Detail), dir. Giovanni Maccelli, 2010, Spain, 3 min., in Spanish with English subtitles  [watch (w/o subtitles)]
Regrets, dir. Michelle Pollino, 2011, USA, 11 min.  [trailer]
The Rookie and the Runner, dir. Augie Robles, 2012, USA, 11 min. 
My Night with Andrew Cunanan, dir. Devin Kordt-Thomas, 2011, USA, 11 min.  [trailer]
Turno de Noche (Night Shift), dir. Carlos Ruano, 2011, Spain, 17 min., in Spanish with English subtitles 
La Victoria de Úrsula (Ursula’s Victory), dirs. Julio Martí & Nacho Ruipérez, 2011, Spain, 17 min., in Spanish with English subtitles  [trailer]

Silver Stiletto
Silver Stiletto
“Guns don’t kill people, bad fashion kills people!” Certainly some of my drag queen friends would agree, and the revenge fantasy in Silver Stiletto is viscerally satisfying, as a series of murders revolving around the Rat & Handbag bar seem to point to some queer bashers getting their come-uppance. Well done, recommended. (Caution: contains explicit violence.)

Sólo un detalle
Sólo un detalle (Just One Detail
or It’s Just a Detail)
In Sólo un detalle (which the Frameline program translates as It’s Just a Detail, but that I think was translated as Just One Detail in the film as screened), a woman returns home to do a bit of housekeeping: stuffing plastic bags of fresh body parts into a suitcase. There’s a bit of a surprise waiting for her in the kitchen, though, complicating her task. Sólo un detalle, however you translate it, is cute and funny, short and sweet, definitely worth seeing. Highly recommended.

(The link above to watch Sólo un detalle shows the entire short, but in the original Spanish without subtitles. If you find a link to the subtitled version, please let me know in the comments section.)

In Regrets, the protagonist (Matt Lundy, shown in the still photo) wakes up in a stranger’s bed. He doesn’t remember much from the night before, including how he got there. His host (Peter Patrikios) offers him a shower and clean clothes, but then leaves. The main character tries to work out the mystery, as the whole situation begins to seem ominous: did he come home with a serial killer?? The setup of the mystery is great, and the atmospherics are eerie, but the ending was weird and unsatisfying. Recommended.

The Rookie and the Runner
The Rookie and the Runner
The Rookie and the Runner shows a man running through the park, exchanging meaningful glances with a couple of other men. It seems that running isn’t the primary form of exercise on his mind. He flirts with a man in a car, and then goes off into the bushes with another runner, but the second man turns out to be not quite what he was looking for. The film deftly captures the excitement of outdoor cruising, and the surprise ending was very well executed. Highly recommended.

My Night with Andrew Cunanan
My Night with Andrew Cunanan
My Night with Andrew Cunanan is a meditation on what might have been. The filmmaker met future serial killer Andrew Cunanan in a bar, shortly before his murder spree began in the spring of 1997. The film explores a couple of scenarios of what might have happened had he taken Cunanan home that night. More broadly, it touches on the question of how well do you really know the guy you met in a bar (or on Grindr)? It’s pretty well done, although it falls short of capturing the depth of the horrors he narrowly missed. Recommended.

Turno de noche (Night Shift)
Turno de noche (Night Shift)
Turno de noche (Night Shift) is the story of a window dresser who chats up the night security guard in the department store whose windows he is working on. It turns out that our window dresser has a secret, though: he has a phobia of mannequins, much to the guard ’s amusement. When the window dresser has to go to the basement to get a replacement part for a damaged dummy, things get more than a little creepy. Unfortunately, the film didn’t really go anywhere particularly interesting with the creepiness. Recommended.

La Victoria de Úrsula
La Victoria de Úrsula (Ursula’s Victory)
The literal translation of the title La Victoria de Úrsula is Ursula’s Victory, but unfortunately a subtle twist is lost in the English, although it would be a spoiler for me to tell you more than that.... We start with a young woman smashing the lock on a metal gate, breaking into a cemetery on a stormy night. She is carrying a small suitcase along with a shovel, but she doesn’t seem to be an ordinary grave-robber. The groundskeeper catches her and makes her tell her story, with flashbacks to slowly bring the mystery into focus. Exquisitely well made in every detail, a must-see. Highly recommended, especially for gender non-conformists. (Caution: contains some violent scenes.)

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