QFest 2009, Pt. 1

>> Monday, July 13, 2009

Ever since I've been living in Philadelphia, I've been attending the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival or PIGLFF (pronounce Pig-Leaf) for short. This year, they have change their name to QFest. Quite non-descriptive and uninspiring. Meh.

While the name changed, I'm glad that maybe due to the bad economy, the prices had stayed the same. So I grabbed a booklet and selected the films that I'm interested in seeing like any other year. I bought a 10-movie pack and shared some with the boyfriend. This year's film are not really as stellar or as sexy as the years before and after a discussion with my friend DC, it turns out a lot of movies showing are not exactly fresh, you can rent most of them in the video store already. I wonder if the change of organization has affected the film selection committee.

The first few movies I've seen seems to have a fondness to surprise endings and a theme about the hazards of being closeted:

Autopsy is a French film about a married detective whose sexuality is awakened by a handsome pathologist. While he's investigating a murder case of a gay professor, he falls deeper and deeper in love with the pathologist and watches while his relationship with his wife and child deteriorate.

I'm a fan of murder suspense, so I quite like it. Also I find the main actor looks quite a bit like a younger more attractive Hugh Laurie. No so fond of the ending but quite solid. To my horror, it was actually a made for TV movie that was broadcasted in 2007, can't we get more recent pictures? B-

In British film Shank, Cal is a gangbanger seeks to satisfy his homosexual urges by having random sex with strangers but then tries to forget his encounters with drugs and violence. After one too many gay bashing incidents, he defended a French exchange student Olivier from his own gang and caused them to turn against him. As he starts to accept who he is and begins a relationship with Olivier, Cal must find a way to break away from his pasts and start anew.

Um... first of all, Wayne Virgo, the actor who played Cal is gorgeous and there are more nudity in the film than I thought. Other than the awkward music and vibe contrasts in the beginning between Cal and Olivier and the tipping point in the movie being a bit too much, I quite enjoyed the film. C+

Make The Yuletide Gay is a teenage comedy about how two college student lovers spend their X'mas break. Nathan's wealthy and distant parents are going to a cruise for X'mas and left him alone, so he decided to surprise his boyfriend Olaf by visiting him at his home. The problem is Olaf hasn't come out to his wacky Swedish parents. While Olaf is struggling to come out, Nathan is struggling to find a place he truly belongs.

Make The Yuletide Gay meant to be a lighthearted comedy but it started of a little rickety with the over-the-top accents and marijauna jokes. However, the viewers soon warmed up to the likable characters. There are points in the movie where it is a little bit overtly dramatized at the point of unnecessary but I left the theater with a general feeling that the movie itself was quite cute. C

With Make The Yuletide Gay, there was also a short film called The Windows which featured 3 windows side-by-side peering into 3 very similar rooms with 3 different guys playing peek-a-boo. Honestly, they were the very same room other than the selection of beddings and the pictures hanging on the wall. The guys while started clothed, with the openings and closings of curtains showed us mock candid moments of their lives in various half dressed degrees, ending with them in full monty pleasuring themselves and ejaculating on the windows. While it seems to be harmless cheeky fun, I don't quite get it. Not to sound prude but if I wanted porn, I'd be online, what is the purpose of showing us blatant smut in a film festival? C- (Not because I didn't enjoy it, but then it doesn't even have a storyline and it caused a 30 minutes technical difficulty delay.)

Other than The Windows, I also went to see a short film program entitled Out On The Edge which featured 4 shorts. I thought the edge in the title to be sexy or racy, who knew it would take such a horrid turn. I guess I have selective reading, or the writer knows how to draw people in, I should have read the program more carefully.

German short film Cowboy is about a supposedly straight real estate agent drove out to the country to solicit land owners to sell their properties to him. One day, he passed by an abandoned compound and saw a young mechanic fixing farm equipment. Tantalized by the young man, the real estate agent came back to the compound for passionate sex, but he wasn't allowed to leave. C

It almost doesn't matter where this film is produced since Bitch was only 2 minutes long with no dialogue. Small gestures pack a big punch, but where is it punching? You're left with your own interpretations. It's not on YouTube, but it might as well be. C+

A young black man is taking care of his addict mother and seeks to contract HIV so he can finally feel something. The Young and Evil is the story about a bug chaser who believes he has no future to begin with. D

In the beginning of the program, our hosts warned us that there were viewers fainted from watching this one before. Weak Species is a story about two gay high school teen. Steve is a player who sleeps with the boys and leave them hanging, his next target is the school's football star. George has low self esteem and cruises the parks, looking for older men to abuse him. Both of them looking for love in all the wrong places. D

I usually enjoy short films but actually all 4 of these short films turned out to be quite gory. While Cowboy started out quite sexy, it ended quite mysteriously. I have still no clue why they wanted to keep the real estate agent in the compound. Bitch's ending credits were longer than the film itself, I gave it a higher score just because I find the ridiculousness of it hilarious and I'm sure they intended it to be that way. The Young and Evil was unclear and it seems to imitate some sort of education production. Since I don't understand the psychology of bugchasers, I'll just leave that one alone. Weak Species was unable to convey its message if there was one, it's a little bit gore for gore's sake. After watching it, I much rather watch the smut that is The Windows, even with its 30 minutes wait.

My LA friend gave me two tickets of movies that he won't be able to go to, so I have 5 more movies to go now. I'll report back on the movies next week.

  © Blogger template Romantico by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP