Thursday, June 01, 2017

Fun in Boys Shorts (2017)

Fun in Boys Shorts, short films, total runtime 70 min.
Saturday, June 17, 11:00am, Castro Theatre
Sunday, June 25, 1:30pm, Castro Theatre

• Britney-holics Anonymous: A Spear-itual Awakening, dir. Jerell Rosales, 2015 USA , 10 min. 👌
Britney-holics Anonymous
I’ll begin with a caveat: I’m not a super fan of Britney Spears, more of a take-it-or-leave-it occasional listener. Thus I’m sure that there were many references I missed, beyond the obvious “Oops, I did it again” line. The story takes place in a support group for over-the-top fans, each of whom takes a Britney name, including the main character (in the plaid shirt) who is not sure he’s in the right place. The context is a bit muddled, with some of the group looking like high school kids while others are clearly adults.  Britney-holics is a cute little short, but at ten minutes it ran a bit long for my tastes. Recommended for Britney Spears fans. • IMDb page
(note: Britney-holics also appears in the “Bi Candy” shorts program)

• Picking Up, dir. Nicholas Christo, 2016 Australia, 13 min.👏 US Premiere
Picking Up
Nathan (pictured, seated) goes to a gay bar but has no luck even striking up a conversation until closing time, when he chats up the drag queen who performed that evening. They go home, not for a wild tryst, but for a little makeup and fashion leading to Nathan’s transformation into something we suspect he had been dreaming about for quite some time. There are a few twists and turns (but at least on screen, no kai kai) between the two. It’s a cute glimpse of what seems to be a deeply liberating moment for Nathan. My only complaint is that some threads of the plot, particularly around the friend we see very briefly at the beginning, seem random or even extraneous. Highly recommended. • IMDb page

• HayGood Eats, dir. Hazart, 2016 USA, 5 min.👏 World Premiere
HayGood Eats
A husband-and-wife catering business makes a tv commercial, or at least tries several times, with the commercial, the business, and the marriage (of convenience?) seemingly unraveling before our very eyes. The innuendos 🍆 get progressively less subtle, but most of them are cleverly woven into the script. It's a well-done short, tasty and sweet, with just a soupçon of fruity substance. Highly recommended. • IMDB page

• Cake, dir. Jacintho Muinos, 2015 Australia, 16 min. 💖 Bay Area Premiere
Cake
Guy (pictured, left) and Andrew (right) have a nice hookup, tangentially involving the rubber shirt Guy is wearing underneath the t-shirt, at Andrew’s house. The next morning, as Guy is getting ready to leave, Andrew’s nanna shows up with a cake! This one-night stand is destined to turn out very differently than either of them expected. The short feels a little unsteady at the beginning, but definitely gets its footing. Fine performances and a mix of lighthearted banter and authentic connections make this a MUST SEE. • IMDb page

• Rusalka, dirs. Wes Hurley & Nathan Miller, 2016 USA, 9 min. 👌 World Premiere
Rusalka
Rusalka (руса́лка) is a Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, etc.) word often translated as “mermaid,” but is specifically a water nymph who lives in rivers and lakes as opposed to the open sea. It’s also the name of an opera by Antonín Dvořák, from which the score of this short film is drawn. The story line, both of the opera and of the short film, is a fairy tale along similar lines to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, but the short has a distinctly modern queer take on the traditional story, as you can tell from the still photo. (Note: the rusalka does not appear in this photo.) There is no dialogue at all in the film, with the story conveyed through the visuals and the music with just a little pantomime. The conceit works to a point, but left me feeling unsatisfied. The visuals are beautiful, but felt a bit remote with no audio other than the musical score. Recommended. • IMDb page

• Curmudgeons, dir. Danny DeVito, 2016 USA, 17 min., 💖 US Premiere
watch on Vimeo • Twitter: @CurmudgeonsFilmIMDb page

Curmudgeons
An octogenarian (David Margulies) in an “assisted living” facility gets a visit from his granddaughter, and then a young man stops by with a surprise. The Frameline guide describes him as a “potty mouth,” but honestly, if you’ve stopped counting your age on your fingers, you probably won’t be shocked. It’s a sweet story with a 21st-century twist, beautifully written, acted, and directed. The poignancy of the film is only magnified by the knowledge that David Margulies passed away not long after filming; the short is dedicated to him. Definitely a MUST SEE.

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