Saturday, June 29, 2013

I Come from a Land Down Under (shorts)

I Come from a Land Down Under” (shorts program)
Saturday, June 29, 11:00 am @ Castro
  • Summer Suit, dir. Rebecca Peniston-Bird, 2013, Australia, 15 min. 
  • Gorilla, dir. Tim Marshall, 2012, Australia, 13 min. 
  • dik, dir. Christopher Stollery, 2012, Australia, 9 min. 
  • Kitty, dir. Cindy Dodkins, 2012, Australia, 6 min. 
  • Queen of the Desert, dir. Alex Kelly, 2012, Australia, 28 min. 

Robbie, helping at her
father’s petrol station
Summer Suit is the story of Robbie, a ten-year-old tomboy in a small town north of Melbourne in the summer of 1987. Robbie occasionally has epileptic seizures, making her feel like a freak. One day, she discovers a discarded boy’s suit in her brother’s closet, and she dons it almost like a magic suit of armour. With her suit (a little the worse for wear) to bolster her confidence, she helps her father at his petrol station. A charming story, well told; Highly Recommended.

Summer Suit • IMDb page

Sean and Joel, with
a gorilla in their midst
Gorilla is the story of Sean and Joel, a couple on a nice quiet camping trip, just the two of them. Suddenly, a woman named Anna arrives, and then later puts on a gorilla costume for no apparent reason. Discussion ensues, none of it making much of any sense at all. As far as I could tell, this was a sight gag that never found its motivation for inflating to a 13-minute short film. Not recommended.

Gorilla • IMDb page

Read my review of dik here.

Kitty is the story of an effeminate boy who will go to almost any lengths to be accepted by his sister and her friends. The girls push the envelope, finally giving him a dare that could bring his world crashing down. His desperate longing to be accepted as one of the girls is palpable, as is the sense of foreboding that he may be about to be forced back into the closet for boy drag until he’s quite a bit older. Well done, Recommended.

Kitty • IMDb page

A frock on a rock — she’s
armed and dangerous fabulous!
Queen of the Desert is the true story of Star Lady, a Melbourne-area superhero activist whose drag began taking a more feminine turn from sci-fi hero man to fluorescent gender outlaw. She now takes her show on the road, to some of the most remote settlements of the Australian outback, doing hair salons for the locals, but not merely doing their hair, also teaching some of the local kids how to do hair. We meet up with Star Lady in Areyonga, an Anangu town about 200 km west of Alice Springs (but 4½ hours drive on the dusty dirt roads), population 300. You might expect that the indigenous people would be wary of a wildly dressed transgender white person, but Star Lady is quickly accepted, and even allowed to blur some of the strict gender lines of the traditional culture, as it becomes clear that she is truly there to help and to give. The local kids are a bit shy around the camera sometimes, but they, too, are drawn in by Star Lady’s magnetic superpowers. It’s a fascinating story from all sides, making for an excellent documentary, both fun and informative. Highly Recommended, a Must See.

Available on DVD in PAL (Australia, Europe) or NTSC (North America, Japan) format

Queen of the Desert • IMDb pageOfficial websiteStar Lady’s website •

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