Thursday, June 27, 2013

Something Real (shorts)

Something Real” (shorts program)
Thursday, June 27, 1:45 pm @ Castro

“We’ll wear matching outfits
and shower with a friend.”
The Man That Got Away is the true-life story of the filmmaker’s great-uncle Jimmy, including his wartime service among the seamen and his stint in rehab as a quite literal Friend of Dorothy, through dance numbers to six original songs, filmed in a parking structure with only the barest of props to set the scenes. A couple of quotes: “This place is so gay, and not in the good way.” “It’s our doodly-wat’n doo-wah duty to leave home.” “This is the first day of the rest of your pathetic life, so give up all hope of escape.” The musical and dance performances are excellent and surprisingly effective at breathing life into a parking garage, but at 25+ minutes the film runs a bit long. Highly recommended.

IMDb pageTrevor Anderson on IMDb • Official websitetrailer (Vimeo) • full movie [only avail. in Canada] • soundtrack (iTunes / stream on CBC) • The Wet Secrets (director’s rock’n’roll band) •

Mark Bunyan: Very Nearly Almost Famous is the story of comedic cabaret singer Mark Bunyan, co-founder of the Pink Singers, stalwart of Gay’s The Word bookshop in London, Saint Mark of the Musical Tendency (Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence), and all around man about town. MB:VNAF is a delightful portrait of a talented and intrepid trailblazer. Highly recommended.

IMDb pageMark Bunyan’s website •

Something Real is a short film set in a gay bar, narrated by the inner dialogues of the men standing around in “a giant sea of worked-out hopelessness,” with music from Jeff Marx (Avenue Q) and Mervyn Warren. For example, we hear one of the men thinking, “I heard wearing a cockring makes you horny, but it’s just pulling my pubic hair.” Frameline describes this short as “celebrity-packed,” which is overselling it a bit: most of the people in the bar do have other film, TV, or stage credits, but easily the biggest name is Bruce Vilanch. Still and all, it’s an enjoyable exploration of the eternal question of the barflies: Despite the noise, can we find something real? Highly recommended.

IMDb pageGuy Shalem (director) website •

Open Letter explores the reaction on the Internet to hip-hop/R&B star Frank Ocean’s coming out letter. The African-American community in general, and the hip-hop community in particular, have deeply entrenched veins of homophobia, but also a small and growing chorus of voices of acceptance. Open Letter suffers from painfully low-budget production values, but has a good message worth spreading. Highly recommended.

IMDb pageFrank Ocean’s website •

Matt Alber (left) with cellos
Matt Alber with Strings Attached is the story of the musical collaboration of singer-songwriter Matt Alber with San Francisco’s Cello Street Quartet (@CelloStreetSF: Gretchen Claassen, Matthew Linaman, Adam Young, and Andres Vera; often seen playing on Castro Street). It includes videos of four staged performances, plus interviews with Alber and the cellists. The music is stellar, and the film cohesive and engaging. Highly recommended, a Must See.

IMDb pageOfficial websiteCello Street Quartet website

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