Saturday, June 25, 2011

Please May I Have Another?

International Mr. Leather contestants
in the doc. Crowned and Bound.
Please May I Have Another?” (shorts program)
Sat. 6/18, 9:00 p.m. @ Victoria

Black Rose Tango, dir. Richard Kimmel, 2010 USA, 12 min. 
Brotherly Love, dir. Kinky Lez, 2010 USA, 14 min. 
Crowned & Bound, dir. Jeffrey Thomas McHale, 2010 USA, 21 min.
feti(sh)ame, dir. Kevin Simmonds, 2011 USA, 25 min. 
Spring, dir. Hong Khaou, 2011 UK, 13 min. 
Transsexual Dominatrix, dir. Shawna Virago, 2011 USA, 3 min. 
Black Rose Tango
Brotherly Love
Transsexual Dominatrix
(photo: Sarah Derragon)
Crowned and Bound

In Black Rose Tango, we are subjected to a dreadful soundtrack to accompany disjointed images and a narrative that makes no sense. There’s supposedly a story line in there somewhere, but, having seen the film, I remain skeptical. Not Recommended.

In Brotherly Love, we’re along for the ride as a young lesbian has her first “little brother” S&M scene. It’s heartfelt and authentic, but a little clumsy in the filming. Recommended.

In Crowned and Bound, we tag along for the 2010 International Mr. Leather competition in Chicago. We get to know a few of the contestants and see some of the full weekend, culminating in the crowning of the new IML, with a winner who breaks new ground for the competition in a couple of respects. Good, worth seeing, but lags in a few spots. Recommended.

In feti(sh)ame, we see re-enactments of the fetishes of a number of gay men, set to poetry. It ran long, and the effort to contextualize the fetishes as facets of normal sexuality also managed to sap them of their erotic energy. No recommendation.

In Spring, a 20-year-old college student has met up at a cafe with a top for his first experience of S&M, bondage, and dominance-and-submission. He is understandably nervous, asking directly how he can trust the older man. The top tells him that he thinks it’s hot that it’s the boy’s first time, but that he’s in good hands. He also tells him that feeling too safe might spoil the erotic thrill of the experience. They go back to the top’s flat and begin their scene, clearly with little or no discussion of the parameters and boundaries of that scene. Soon, the boy is made to stand on tiptoe and blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back and a noose round his neck. If he stands flat on his feet, the noose will tighten around his neck, asphyxiating him within minutes. It is profoundly and inexcusably irresponsible of the top to place a complete newbie in a position in which his life is literally in danger — where not merely the top’s action but his failure to act quickly enough could result in the bottom’s death — without taking adequate steps to assure the bottom that he will indeed survive the encounter. Of course, the bottom does survive, physically unscathed, but the reckless negligence of the top and the filmmaker’s tacit acceptance of it irredeemably ruin the film. Please boycott this film.

Transsexual Dominatrix is a music video by musician and performance artist Shawna Virago about the joys of being a transsexual dominatrix. As Shawna puts it, “I do it for the leather, I do it for the power, I do it for the pleasure of $250 an hour.” It’s a well-made video for a pretty good song, and fun besides. Highly recommended.

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