Saturday, May 17, 2008

Were the World Mine

Take an archetypal all-male private high school. The "airy-fairy but wise and magical" English teacher chooses Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream for the class play. The class "fag" is cast as Puck, the mischievous hobgoblin also known as Robin Goodfellow. So far, we're in familiar cinematic territory. But Were the World Mine does a superb job weaving The Bard in with original plot twists, particularly the pairings that Timothy/Puck (Tanner Cohen) creates with his fairy magic love potion. The serious moments are treated seriously, but even there you can't help feeling that the cast genuinely had fun playing their roles. The singing — confirmed, no off-screen voice doubles — is superb, and the choreography of the rugby players is worth the ticket price just for starters. The director was at the screening of this, the Canadian premiere, and all I can tell you is, I'm eager to see the next Tom Gustafson film. I can't find any mention of this film at Frameline, but I certainly hope it makes it to the big screen in San Francisco, one way or another, and then to cable and DVD. (Update: Were the World Mine screened twice in Frameline32, to enthusiastic audiences.) MUST SEE

Were the World Mine, dir. Tom Gustafson, USA 2008, 91 min. video

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