Tuesday, July 31, 2007


AOF International Film Fest 2007
By Allison Jean Eaton

I’m no film critic (actually, I’m quite a novice), but I definitely enjoyed my time at this year’s Action on Film International Festival July 27-29. Once again taking place in sunny Long Beach, Calif., and again tied to a major martial arts tournament, known on the street collectively as the Long Beach Internationals, the festival’s third year was, according to proponents, its biggest and best yet.

I arrived Sunday, the final day of the fest, not knowing what to expect. Knowing I only had a couple of hours to peruse the scene, I politely scoured various folding tables piled high with fliers and movie posters for films I’d be able to catch in one of the nine theaters before heading out.

The first I ducked into was Razor Sharp, 25-minute short that, while full of impressive special effects and incredibly action-packed, was not my cup of tea. Directed by Marcus Perry, the story line goes something like this: a vixenish, professional white-collar thief’s next assignment is to rip off an exotic, state-of-the-art code cracker that, once in her possession, tests her morality and abilities as a corporate burglar. Did I mention this all takes place in a skyscraper? Oh, yes! If you like movies like Die Hard, then you should definitely check this one out.

Luckily, I was also able to catch Imperial Violet, which I would have missed save for a few members of the film crew/cast being caught in traffic and the short’s not starting at its scheduled time. Todd Violet has just turned 15 and his father recently walked out on he and his mom. Looking to the streets to find himself (or lose himself, depending upon how you look at it), he turns to dealing drugs.

I spoke briefly with Director Peter B. Siesennop, who won this year’s Best Director award. In fact, the 15-minute short walked away with two awards – the other for Outstanding Cast Performance. Shot in Los Angeles in a neighborhood near the airport, Siesennop, who studied film at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, said it took just six days to shoot and cost $40,000.

Although the short traverses a very heavy topic in just a matter of minutes, the storyline doesn’t seem rushed or overacted, and the main characters are kept simple so as to not detract from the adrenaline rush of drugs, guns and masked men running down alleyways with drugs and guns.

I was only able to stay for a bit, but I’d definitely say I’d return to this festival in future years. The set up was laid-back and the atmosphere, overall, very casual. If you’re looking for a spot where you can talk up a director and part of his or her crew three minutes before heading into another great flick, Action on Film is going to be your best bet.


RB Will be blogging about (Eventually):



Ford Ampitheatre

A subversive woman power group named the C(i)A is coming to teach you about strength and power. Directed by the fabulous Jamie Babbitt (I do really like her tv and film work) and created by her and Andrea Sperling. This film is funny. It wants you to look below the surface and see the real behind the gloss. This was the Awards Night Movie. It was brilliantly shot. This is the first feature produce by the Power Up film group. It is being released in September GO SEE IT! It has a great cast and has played festivals all over the country.



DGA Theatre 1

I love this series of films. You cannot call them just stand up comedy films because they are also real documentaries. The stories and insight that you get into the "subjects" or comedians is interspersed with fabulously funny stand up excerpts. Directed and produced by Andrea Meyerson (whom we interviewed, look on the Multimedia page) the Laughing Matters films are a testement to the strength and humor of the GLBT community. Bruce Vilanch and Alec Mapa stood out for me and I thougt I was going to pull a muscle from laughing so hard. I cannot wait to see what is next in this fantastic series that know Laughing Matters!

We Are Family
DGA Theatre 1

I am not going to go into detail on this. They did not give out any spoilers at all. Ken Olin moderated the cast. He was very funny, crass and witty. I have always loved him. Writer/creator Robbie Bates, showrunner Mark Perry and out actor and writer David Marshall Grant joined the panel and delivered lots of insight into the characters and storylines from last season. Sally Field (IFREAKED OUT), Matthew Rhys, Patricia Wettig, and Ron Rifkin rounded out the panel as the cast. The talked about how gay characters on the show are the norm. They are seen as the same as everyone else. I love this show. I think Sally better win the Emmy and I cannot wait til nect season!

Showcase Theatre

OK! There are lots of films that you can enjoy. There are lots of films you like and you have to find something to say about it. This is a film that I LOVE!!!! What an inspiration in the making of this film. Directed by Matthew Buzzel and written and starring Michele Mulroney and Micah Schraft as the hilarious rock duo trying to reinvent themselves artistically and personally. The songs were written by Michele and Micah too. They were elementary school music teachers who would sit around after school composing inappropriate childrens songs for fun. Tehy turned them into this film and thank you for taking it to this level. The film is narrated by Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live). Mink Stole makes a hilarious cameo. The tag at the end of the film says "No children were harmed in the making of this film" It does not have distribution yet but it will soon I hope. GO SEE THIS FILM I WILL SAY NO MORE!

Showcase Theatre

OK. I love the bad grainy sexploitation, Blackploitation films of the 70's. Apparently so does the illustrious Rupaul Charles who wrote this love letter to the genre. Directed by Mike Ruiz, this film tries hard to look like a 1970's bad film. It succeeds with fantastic results. I laughed and laughed and laughed. It was the perfect companion piece to see after Sunny and Share Love you. Rupaul was hilarious, as was the rest of the cast. And this movie has alot of penis. It is not for the faint of heart. LOL! Special agent and former supermodel of the world Starrbooty has to go undercover as a prostitute and she has to put out for real! Love it! She was there and looking fierce.


Monday, July 23, 2007


DGA Theatre 1


What a fun short about what it would be like if we all lived in a gay world and being straight was "different". It is no-where near a new idea and has been done many ways before. This was a well acted film and nicely shot. It has won awards at Frameline and is playing all kinds of festivals. It is an enjoyable romp. My neighbor is in it, Wil Bowers who does a fine job in his scenes with another friend of mine who I cast in a staged rerading of my company's pilot script. I had no idea they were in it and was pleasantly surprised. I will be talking to Wil soon and putting it in our news section.


Though I am not sure if she would remember me, but Calpurnia Adams the star of this film once knew me long long ago, in Nashville Tennessee. She is the person whom Soldiers Girl was written about. That was a fantastic film, this.... not so much. I understood and agreed with the short completely. However, I wish it had been said differently. If they are trying to show the range of this actress, they didn't quite accomplish the task at hand.


This was a short that I didn't quite get either. She really wanted to buy a cake and she went through quite alot in a dangerous place to get it. When she returns home, her mom is angry and you see that the cake was for her dead fathers birthday. Ok. The problem was the story itself. It meandered and never lived up t its expectations for me.


Two girls meet at a county fair and have a quick fling. Though the are infatuated it is not meant to be. It was an interesting idea fairly well done. I just wish that it had a little more character to it. I didn't quite feel anything for anyone and I really wanted to. The actresses weemed quite capable and it was shot quite well.


An extremely cute and beautiful film about a girl trying to find her identity and she cannot as long as she has the biggest lesbian faux pas of all a "rat-tail" haircut. It was very well acted, written and directed. One of the cutest shorts of the festival!


This is the most "Powerful" short I have seen. Dee is a director with alot of emotion in her work and she captured the stories of african american lesbians searching for her identity with an eye that can only be called brilliant. Power house performances from the actresses made this short a film that should be a feature!

Ford Ampitheatre

Directed and written by Russell P. Marleau, this film is a hilarious ride through teenage drama. Extremely reminiscent of a John Hughes film this made me remember why I love this genre so much. a fabulously funny script with excellent acting. I LOVE THIS MOVIE!

It is a foreign film (Belgium). That is in English with mainly American actors. Tad Hilgenbrink (American Pie: Band Camp & Epic Movie)and Brett Chuckerman (Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds) star in this movie. Tad is Chance Marquis an out gay junior in high school that is a new transfer to this odd international school. And Brett is the star soccer player who learns who he is because of his new friend.

This film is not really a love story as it is a coming of age film. A story about being yourself and never apologizing for it. This funny film will be in my collection as soon as I can get it!


Okay, I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t get it. And after it was over I was wishing it had only been 2 minutes long, because I was really not into it. It was like a bad episode of Charlie’s Angels… it there is such a thing. I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be tongue in cheek over the top or if it was trying to take itself seriously for the longest time. It reminded me of that landmark film starring Elizabeth Berkley and Gina Gershon. Only with less T&A and a whole lot more PENIS!!! Lots and lots of penis! Did I say it had penis in it? If you’re looking for the titillating taliwacker tour, director Robert Gaston delivers along with a story line about a twin who impersonates his twin brother to join forces with a female private investigator to track down his brother’s killer. The film has its moments and will definitely appeal to many a camp enthusiast.


Friday, July 20, 2007


Ford Ampitheatre

I am going to coment on this because I had so much fun I can barely speak today. And I have to go push alot of kids out of my way tonight to get the last Harry Potter book at midnight! LOL Just wanted to write that in the blog SO EXCITED!!!
Back to the event! Bill Condon was on hand to cheer us all on and welcome us to the gayest movie in history...... Dreamgirls! Now I had heard alot of rumors about who was attending. "Jennifer Hudson is confirmed!!!" I heard this 12 or 13 times as well as my favorite. Jennifer Hudson and Ms. Jennifer Holiday are both going to be there with the Gay Mens Chorus all on stage singing! I heard this more than once too. After all the rumors (none of course true) There was 1 special guest. And I personally think it was the coolest thing that could happen.

I have been dissapointed about the film not including my favorite song, PARTY. Well last night the incredibly beautiful and talented Loretta Devine walked out on stage wearing a polka dotted dress and matching flip flops (I am serious) and belted the hell out of that song. She was the person who originally sang it on Broadway and she sounds even better now in my opinion. It was the perfect begining to a wonderful evening.

Dreamgirls isn't the perfect movie to talk back too like Rocky Horror ..... or is it? It seemed to work quite well last night as people booed and hissed at Curtis. As the girls turned their wigs around backwards and as a loud throng of male voices screamed I am telling you I am not going and I am changing. What a wonderful surreal experience.



DGA Theatre 1

Okay I wasn’t a big fan of the original movie, there I said it. And the touring production of the Broadway hit seemed to be trying too hard… yeah I know, I should be ashamed of myself. So I wasn’t expecting much from the movie either, and I really didn’t feel like the previews were all that interesting—OMG! That’s OH MY GOD! for the shorthand impaired. From top to bottom, beginning to end, from “Good Morning Baltimore” to “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” this movie was non-stop magic! It clipped along at a pace like an action packed adventure movie. No excess, just brilliant, to the point storytelling with a lot of glitz, glam and oh, yes, lots of AquaDeath—as we affectionately refer to that stuff that magically makes everything stiff, erh, uhm, anyway... I see a Hairspray Sing-a-long at the Ford Amphitheatre in this movie’s near future.
John Travolta as a woman? Somehow you believed it. Michelle Pfeiffer was devilishly good. “Glad to have you back, babe!” Leave it to Mark Shankman to bridge Grease and Grease 2… Okay, you better know what that means. The entire cast was fantastic. The look of the movie was spectacular. This is one of those rare movies that I will see again, first run. If you haven’t seen it by now, GO!

Ford Ampitheatre
Feature Centerpiece

A wonderful script and story by Director, writer by Jonah Markowitz. Apparently this is the first feature that Here Films has made under their new feature film wing. There are alot of HERE tv and film productions in Outfest this year. This was a very pretty film with alot of charm. It falters in places but does a good job with the budding relationship romance of the lead character. This film had fine acting with an incredible performance by Brad Rowe as the love interest. I have absolutely no interest in surfing but this film captures it on film remarkably well. Go and see it when it gets released. There are a few storylines that kinda pop in and out of no where and are never heard from again. But while I was watching it I didn't really care. It's a nice smooth ride.




In his first feature, Alexis Dos Santos’s depiction of the teenage experience hits all the highpoints: hanging out with friends, singing in a garage band, experimenting sexually with girls (and boys), coping with the family, and sniffing glue! Through guerilla Super 8 handheld sequences, more singular, allegorical moments divulge inner struggles within each of the disaffected youths. The dry desert of Patagonia Argentina sets the stage for the kids’ boredom, exploration and meandering attention, orchestrated by a kick ass collection of Violent Femmes tunes.

Lez Be Friends

This is a riotously funny sitcom directed by Glenn Gaylord about a butch dyke named Ricca Pike and a sissy boy named Jamie - best friends who move to New York the day after the Stonewall riots looking for a place to live. This dynamic duo meet their destiny in the slutty bartender at the Stonewall Inn, Blake, who just so happens to have a vacancy at his place due to the recent breakup of his live in three-way. But Ricca’s gonna have to femme it up a bit to pass inspection with the landlord, Truman Dubois (played by Robert Michael Morris from The Comeback), who hates lesbians. It’s like Three’s Company for the queer set, complete with laugh tracks, authentic commercials from the 70’s and mid-scene product endorsements by the cast. This was the first two episodes of the series. Gaylord wanted to write a show about every gay guy who ever wanted a lesbian for a best friend and vice versa. The whole first season is in the can and he is shopping the show around trying to get it picked up (ahem, Here!, Logo, anyone???).


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Kristoffer say a movie at the HERE Theatre.....
And RB saw the Documentray showcase at the DGA.

Outing Riley had a wonderful short in front of it called....
Directed By Michael Bodie

This is his first film. He wrote, directed, edited and produced. I think it was his thesis film. A married man falls in love with the male page turner at a piano recital in a private home. His fantasies become more and more until finally he shouts out in mistake and turns it into a shocking reality. A very funny little film with alot of charm.

Showcase Theatre

This is the second film to be written and directed by Pete Jones. His first Stolen Summer was the winner of The Project Greenlight. I still think it was a smart script!
This film is very different and very similiar all at the same time. It takes place in Chicago with a very Irish-American Catholic family. Just one of the brothers happens to be gay, and the only person who knows in his family, is his sister. And she wants him to come out to all of his brothers and quit living a lie.

This film is refreshingly normal in it's family dynamics and comedy. The gay man is your everyday everyman with nothing hyper about him at all. This film unlike so many gay movies does not pander steroetypes to it's audience. It keeps itself grounded in reality and doe sso brilliantly.

It is a very touching and endearing story whose film quality is far above most gay films. I cannot believe that this movie will not get a release into theatres. Instead it will be out on DVD in October with distribution by Wolfe Video. INSANE! This film has been robbed of its theatrical release. A comedy that doesn't tie everything up in a nice little bow but keeps the ending real.

What an amazing cast. Nathan Fillion and Julie Pearl stand out in exceptional turns as the charcters family, and Pete Jones stars as our gay everyman. He is also quite good! Buy this movie and see it. It will also be on LOGO sometime soon.


Documentary Centerpiece
DGA Theatre 1

Review by RB coming soon.


International Male- Gay Shorts Program
Prince Music Theater
Monday, July 16, 2007

Shorts are always a mixed bag for me. I find it frustrating at times when I find a true gem mixed within a bunch of films that I couldn’t really give a shake about, you know? However, the International Male shorts program at the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival was one of those rare exceptions. It was a collection of films that were entertaining and well-made, each one of them a delightful escape … except one. But hey, in a program of six films, one 6 minute misstep is fine.

The above mentioned misstep is the German entry “Miss Popularity” which edits educational films of the 1950s to show layers of homoeroticism beneath the surface. In truth, I couldn’t find layers of anything but narrative confusion. I believe the piece works as performance art, providing intense images and thoughtful quotes. However, amidst an evening of strong narratives, this one did not shine.


Director Josh Kim provides us a four minute short entitled ‘The Police Box’’. The film, set in Hong Kong, is the story of a young girl who writes a letter to a police officer and places it in the box on his beat. However, one day, a young man catches a glimpse of what is going on and decides to play a trick of his own. This film is cute, and reminded me of an effective, albeit over-long, commercial. I do believe that the final joke in the film suffers slightly with American audiences because of cultural differences.

The strongest short of the bunch, is the Sweedish film “Lucky Blue”, the story of a young man’s sexual awakening one summer, thanks to the arrival of a young man to his neighborhood. It always helps when a gay coming of age story is cast with incredibly beautiful young actors. However, it should be noted that Tobias Bengtsson performance, as the lead Olle, is one of the finest I had seen at the festival. The film is a charmer and hopefully plays at a festival near you.

‘Groucho’ a 20 minute short from Spain, fairs much better. It is the story of a sixteen year old boy, whose fears of coming out to his parents are only compounded by the pending arrival of an incredibly hot American exchange student. The boy takes refuge in the apartment of his gay neighbors in hopes to avoid any change in his status quo. And then his parents arrive. This film is cute fare with wonderful performances by all the actors. The use of the Richard Linklater-inspired animation during the opening credits, may give the wrong-impression of the film, however. Be advised.

Beautifully shot, “A Prayer in January” is the story of the final encounter between two lovers. This eleven-minute short, by director Ofir Raul Grazier, is highly sensual. In fact, the way Grazier shoots the bread-making in the kitchen could greatly increase cookbook sales. Jamie Oliver, look out!

‘Outland’ will not be for everyone, and that is not a bad thing. This Australian short is the story of a sci-fi geek, desperately trying to keep his ‘fanboy-lifestyle-and-friends’ closeted from his hot date. I was charmed by this smiple story. My only complaint is the extreme ‘geekness’, for lack of a better term, of some of the characters. I didn’t think it was necessary and distracted from the overall charm of the short.




Director David Quantic, put together an interesting short about six gay men who have an obsession with one of today’s most popular daytime talk host. Okay, hint: Harpo spelled backwards… J. We know this individual has had an impact on people, and it’s interesting to see how her show has been an instrument of hope and change for people. This piece was much more comic in its presentation, but interestingly enough had some poignant moments.

This documentary, by Katherine Sender, took a look at televisions more recent representation of LGBT characters. Looking at sitcoms, such as “Will and Grace” and reality shows, such as “MTV’s – The Real World,” and premium cable shows like “Queer As Folk” and “The L Word.” Although, it was interesting to recap the goings on of TV these days, I feel like I’ve already seen this documentary. I kept wanting it to offer up something new that I can’t quite put my finger on. There’s such a plethora of information already explored in other documentaries of its kind and through special programming on TV, albeit it the TV shows tend to be heavily scripted. It was fun, though, to take the trip down memory lane.

Also Outfest had its inaugural showing of its first Legacy Project Film. Definitely go to www.outfest.org/legacy
Parting Glances premiered at the DGA with a star studded party and a sold out house.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Love and Other Disasters
Prince Music Theater

There is nothing disastrous about "Love and Other Disasters", a practically-perfect-in-every-way romantic comedy that played Sunday evening at PIGLFF. Written and directed by Alek Keshishian (of ‘With Honors’ and ‘Madonna’s Truth or Dare’ fame), "Disasters" is a highly energetic, completely entertaining tale that delighted the festival crowd Sunday night and had everyone singing its praises as they left the theater with an extra jump in their step.

This is the tale of ‘Jacks’ (Brittany Murphy), a high-fashion Vogue employee, with a ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ obsession, who does her best to better the lives of the others around her, while being content on going without love herself. Jacks’ latest project is playing matchmaker for her roommate Peter (‘Brothers and Sisters’ Matthew Rhys), an aspiring screenwriter whose chance encounter in a hotel lobby has him feeling smitten. When a handsome and charming photographer (Heroes’ Santiago Cabrera) enters the Vogue office, Jacks is convinced that he is gay and perfect for Peter. Little does she know that he really has the hots for Jacks and thus comedy ensues.

My summary does this movie no justice. It is so charming, so hopeful, so endearing, that I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying it. Brittany Murphy finally breaks away from the hum-drum roles that seemed to have plagued her career, and completely shines. Matthew Rhys continues to break down gay-character stereotypes by making Peter just as much an everyman as if it were a Jimmy Stewart role. And Santiago Cabrera has such presence when he is on screen, one can only wish that he did not fall victim to Sylar at the end of Heroes, just so we can watch him once a week this year too.

This is that rare gem of a movie that crosses over. It can play well with gay and straight audiences I hope to see it again when I return to LA. It’s just that good.

Prince Music Theater
Sunday, July 15, 2007

So, if Dennis Cooper and Eli Roth got together and decided to write an episode of "Degrassi", I have a feeling that the result would be quite similar to ‘2:37', an incredibly dark ensemble drama that tells the story of six high school students on the last day of one-of-their lives.

The suicide, which occurs at 2:37, opens the movie, and yet, the audience is unaware of which character actually has decided to ‘end-it-all’. The movie then jumps back to the beginning of the school day and we are taken through the individual lives and problems of each of the characters as the story slowly edges closer to the tragic event.

The movie borrows some from Gus Van Sant’s ‘Elephant’, but never in a way that you feel it is copying it. The story is truly compelling ...but I have to admit, some of the dark secrets these characters are carrying are SO dark not even Oprah could help them! And when these secrets are revealed on screen, some are graphic and incredibly uncomfortable.

And just when you thought you couldn’t squirm in your seat anymore, we finally reach the portion of the movie where the suicide is recreated on camera. ‘Graphic’ does not even begin to describe it, as the scene plays out in, what I believe is, real time.

None of this should detract from you seeing this motion picture. It is of the highest quality and will have you discussing it for days to come. ‘2:37' is making the festival rounds. It premiered at Cannes in 2006, where it received a 17 minute standing ovation.

Monday, July 16, 2007


What a day. I will be posting some pictures soon in our multimedia pages.

Now the films.......

Shorts Program
DGA Theatre 1

Directed By Trevor Anderson

What a fun little film about being at the fair and watching all the head bangers (hard rock people) walk around. It is the reminiscense of a ten year old boy and how he made his childhood fantasy come true as an adult. Cute. Also reviewed at Frameline. Look in our June posts.

Directed By Magnus Mork

What a wonderful film about falling in love with your best friend and the disastrous result it can cause on the friendship. A swedish film well written and filmed. Well acted too.

Directed By Michael Trull and Rick Ziegler

A cartoon about smoking pot, Lance bass's ass, and conservative massages from Foley. It is a hilarious piece of filmmaking. This film made the rounds on You Tube a few months ago. Apparently the directors have some cartoon series launching on LOGO soon.

Directed By Dave Snyder

This film seems very autobiographical. I do not know if it is. It reminded me in a way of early Cameron Crowe storytelling. Once again, what happens between two "straight" friends when one of them starts to feel more. A nioce bit of storytelling and filmmaking.

Directed By Dana Nechushtan and Remy van Heugten

What a hilarious film. It has all the social commentary that is neccesary without being preachy. Two men from Iran seek sanctuary in the Netherlands. One is a journalist who will be arrested and put to death as soon as he re-enters Iran and the other.... we never know why he can't go back. However when they meet they decide to play homosexual because tehy have to be let in dont they? What follows is a touching and funny piece of filmmaking. Extremely well written!

Directed By Amy Gebhardt

This was a very raw film about a photographer and two gang members she wants to photograph. It was about the breaking down of walls to get to the real inner person.

Directed by Rodney Sewell and Tobias Martin

Two male friends are on the phone together. They are talking about who is the better kisser and all of a sudden one of them grabs the other and kisses them for 41 seconds. This was actually a very nice film. Cute.

Directed By Karoly Esztergalyos
DGA Theatre 1

This will also get talked about by RB.
I thought this was a well made film. It was well acted and beautiful to look at. However, I did not believe it. The novelist was to smart to let himself get into this situation. He is to intelligent to not pick up on all the lies that he is catching the hustler in. After he broke it off and put himself through all that pain and regret he would never go back to it. I did not find the film believable or credible in its storyline. To many gaping plot holes. But! This film is shot so brilliantly that it is spectacular to look at!

DGA Theatre 1

Well, it was bound to happen. I got my picture taken with Vanessa Williams. She looks fabulous. I have 19 chins. LOL! The panel was very funny. From the show we had: America Ferrera, Creator Silvio Horta, Judith Light, Eric Mabius, Ana Ortiz, Writer Marco Pennette, Michael Urie and of course Vanessa Williams. It was moderated by David M. Halbfinger. This was sponsored by the New York Times Talks.
Yes they were all at the wedding of Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn Stamos. Yes, they appear to really love each other and their jobs. I will post an article on the website soon with pictures!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


OY VEY!!!! What a day! 7 Shorts, 1 Documentary, 2 Feature's 2 panels and a afterparty!

DGA Theatre 1

Directed by Stewart Schill

I am in love with this short. I admit it, I LOVE MUSICALS!!!! There now I have said it. The script and story idea is cute. It's not an original concept.... but! The script is just fine, the lyrics are fun and witty with some really fabulous obnoxious rythmes and the dancing is just perfect. This short is directed with a fantastic eye and has some fantastic shots. It looks slick and you would think it had a huge budget.... however they say the budget is not as big as it looks. I expect to see this short many more times at various festivals if I am lucky!

Directed by Jamie Travis

Wow! This is my favorite short so far! A heartbreaking story that made me laugh so hard I cried. It walks the wonderful line of horrible things and a laugh riot! The plot, Jamie's 9th birthday and he plans on hanging himself. He is that sad. Benjamin B. Smith plays Jamie like a seasoned pro! Wait he is I IMDB this kid and he has been acting since he was 2 years old. Not kidding. He is amazing. The entire cast is perfect. Special appreciation should be given to the Art Director of this movie. The style in every shot was awe inspiring. What a fantastic idea made into an even more fantastic movie!!!

Directed By Michaline Babich

This was a fairly emotional piece. Well directed and written. Excellent acting by the cast. An online hook up leads a youngf man looking for love to a house in the Hollywood Hills. We think something bad is going to happen to him, however they have lots of sex and wake up the next morning. He leaves upset when he discovers the man is already spoken for. His loneliness will go on. The man opens a door and we see that his lover is very sick and that he was the one that orchestrated this night. It really was a powerful moment.

Directed By Mark Christopher

You may not know this but this is the same director that launched Ryan Phillipe's star. this is the director of 54. This is not that movie however. At the Q&A Mark talked about shooting this movie on very cheap cameras. Even his cell phone. The story was very nice. He has said it is part of a bigger script at one time. And it feels like it. Going back home is always hard if you actually leave. And for a gay boy returning to God's country it really is a daunting experience. I thought the acting was great. I would love to see this as a feature.

Directed by Soman Chainani

OK THIS WAS TOO FUNNY! I love the mother in this movie. She gives a star making performance. As a mother hell bent for revenge on the bully abusing her son in school. The fight choreography was excellent. It was well written fabulously shot and well acted. I would love to see this expanded too.

Directed By Jason Bushman

An American film spoken in French and a first film for the director. A very nice debut!!! This was definitely the most explicit short I have seen at Outfest this year. The director also plays a main role and does a very nice job. This is a short about not being able to be content. None of the characters seem content with their life. they are looking or prowling in some cases for something more. It was shot nicely and with Paris as a background who could ask for more.

This was the best shorts program i have ever seen at OUTFEST. I loved every film in this program. Kimberly Yutani should be commended for programming such a strong program!

Directed By Matthew Barbato

I went into this knowing a little about the movie since we already talked about it at Day 2 of Frameline. However, I wanted to see it for myself. I thought that Alexis was either crazy or very brave for doing this documentary. Chronicling the process of going from male to female, this was a very emotional and personal film. At times to personal for the subject even.... and that is where the film left me wanting. I felt like Alexis ran from the difficulty and hey you agreed to do a documentary. And right when I was feeling this, she admitted it in the film. The person she was when she began the journey is very different (emotionally) than the person she is now. I understood her decisions and truly enjoyed the fact that she allowed me to go on this journey with her. It is not a film about being accepted it is a film about accepting yourself.

After the Doc, they had an afterparty at the Absolut Green room. Last year anyone with a ticket for the film could get in. Now it is passholders only.

Directed By Duncan Roy

This is such a polarizing film. I personally thought it was amazing and the camera work, editing and cinematography was breathtaking. As much art piece or installation as film. The story was well crafted and David Gallagher gave a fantastic performance as Dorian Gray. Far removed from his 7th Heaven character.

The film has been updated into today but holds true to Wilde's style and prose. This film has opened or closed almost all GLBT film festivals in the last few months. I thought that this was a powerful and dramatic piece. Watching Dorian's video prtrait go wrong was an image that was truly disturbing. This film is also playing Philly and Overture is watching it there too. I cannot wait to see what he has to say. I have been in many conversations about this film after the screening. People are talking about it quite alot. Which I believe is a very important thing!

Directed By Cyrus Amini

I have to admit. I am not always a fan of the shaky camera techniques used in Cinema Verite. This entire film is shot with inexpensive handheld video cameras. There was no lighting except what was there naturally (filmed almost entirely at night) and the dialogue was hard to understand at times. The plot was a little convulted and veered onto side roads occasionaly...... Yeah I know.... It sound like a bad movie. It also has rampant drug use, prostitution and at times it is pretty explicit! Sounds Better?

BUT! for what they had to work with this is a truly amazing film. The entire script was improv. The acting is fantastic. Merlin Gaspers will be a big star one day. His performance as a hustler just getting through the night was brilliant. Dorian Brockington as dot com was inspiring. The film is shot exceptionally well with the equipment they used.

This film is not for everyone. I had friends who were not fans, and the shaky camera gave one nasuea. But, I have also heard people talking non-stop about this film. I heard one person say it was the best film they have seen in years. I will not go that far. But I will be keeping my eye on this film. I expect to be hearing about it for quite some time.

Directed by Luther Mace

This was a very beautiful piece of filmmaking. Every aspect of this film was just right. The soundtrack was excellent, it was funny, touching and dealt with the fears that every single person has... being alone. Well written and fantastically shot, this was an excellent short. Luther Mace has been in Outfest for the last three years. I will be speaking to him and will post a short interview about the film and his process soon. This short is being distributed by Ariztical Entertainment. Apparently Luther is the reason the DL chronicles exists on HERE TV. I did not stay to see the DL Chronicles since it is a distributed TV show and not an independent film.... OK I Just wanted to go the party.

There were tons of gay celebrities and filmmakers at the Outfest (invite only) house party. The house was beautiful and jam packed with Doogie Howser and Reichen. I had a drink and it was off to bed.


RB Will be discussing 25 YEARS OF GAY STORYTELLING

25 Years of Gay Film Making
From Outfest’s website: Outfest looks back over its 25-year history through the thoughts, images and eyes of directors who have told our magnificent stories. How has LGBT filmmaking changed in the past quarter century? How are the challenges that pioneering directors faced different from those of directors today? What do directors hope to see change over the next 25 years? Join us for this prestigious DGA-sponsored event as we hear from directors who have forged queer images on the silver screen and who continue to challenge us with provocative and forward-looking perspectives on queer life.
Paris Barclay (“NYPD Blue”, “Lost”) served as moderator for this fascinating discussion. He is currently in his 3rd term as First VP of the DGA, the first openly gay exec and the first African-American to occupy his particular seat at the DGA. On the Panel were: Jane Anderson (THE PRIZE WINNER OF DEFIANCE, OHIO; NORMAL), Robert Cary (SAVE ME, IRA AND ABBY), C. Jay Cox (KISS THE BRIDE, LATTER DAYS), Arthur Hiller (MAKING LOVE, LOVE STORY), Tommy O’Haver (AN AMERICAN CRIME, BILLY’S HOLLYWOOD SCREEN KISS)
It seemed particularly important to attend this panel discussion as the earliest beginnings of OUTFEST began with a presentation by the Gay & Lesbian Media Coalition of the landmark film MAKING LOVE, starring Kate Jackson, Michael Ontkean and Harry Hamlin and directed by Arthur Hiller, one of the panelists.
I loved the endearing quality emanating from the panel. Jane is a veteran at this—I saw her last year on a similar panel; also remember seeing Robert and C. Jay. The honesty, humility and humor coming from these folk are refreshing. Uncensored, unbiased… well, that could be debated, but these people are purely interested in the filmmaking process still after having several projects in the can, they’re still excited about making films and the discovery and the collaboration. I advise anyone who is a true filmmaker or even an interested spectator at Outfest to take in one of these panel discussions. They are very enlightening and bring a sense of—Yeah, maybe I can do this (make a film). They go through the same things and they persevere. And with that I give you a truncated version of the first part of the discussion. Part II and Q&A will be part of a full write up you can find on our homepage in the coming days.
MAKING LOVE started the Outfest festival 25 years ago. It was the first movie shown. Arthur Hiller had gone to Fox to get them to look at making the movie, Sherrie Lansing then took it on and got the ball rolling. As Hiller conveyed, “It’s a story that’s wonderful and has something to say… a human being is a human being.”
The question arose: Has it been hard to get projects going with a gay theme?
Anderson: “It doesn’t matter what sexuality… It’s damn hard to make a film… It’s a brutal, brutal, brutal, brutal business.” The audience erupted in laughter—what she said was funny, and true.
Barclay asked Hiller if it was hard to get stars for MAKING LOVE?
Hiller: “The lead guys were nervous they would not work again…. They had hesitations.” He indicated they were nervous in particular with the dinner scene and that it took several takes to get it.

O’Haver was asked about his experience working with actors on BILLY’S HOLLYWOOD SCRENE KISS.
O’Haver indicated that most everyone who worked on it had never worked before or very little and seemed to be easy going with it.
C. Jay Cox said that a couple of gay actors turned down the roles in his movie because they didn’t want to portray gay characters—they thought it might stigmatize their career.
Cary mentioned that for him it was actually easier working with gay actors on gay subject matter; that it made for a more comfortable experience, because you’re basically on the same page and you don’t have to get them to that place they don’t understand. Gay actors get it and you understand one another.
Barclay directed remarks to both Anderson and Cary regarding their recent films that had a downturn at the end; that some movies like to wrap things up in a nice package at the end, but they chose not to go that route and why.
Cary on SAVE ME: “Sometimes our parents die without ever accepting us.” That’s the reality.
Anderson spoke of setting up scenes so “characters have the maximum growth and the maximum obstacles. They have more to push against because drama is tension… drama’s not pretty!” People go to their death bed with conviction either the bible is right or being gay is right. The conviction is the same—it’s the belief that is different. “This is humanity.”
Cox: One of his mentors taught him that “drama is about finding out what’s painful for your characters… comedy is about finding out what’s painful for your characters and making it more painful.”
And BILL CONDON in Discussion.

A Conversation with Bill Condon

Bill Condon (DREAMGIRLS, KINSEY, CHICAGO, GODS AND MONSTERS) was the recent recipient of the Outfest Achievement Award.

David Ansen (Newsweek Critic)

After a brief introduction, Ansen asked him about his most recent work before taking us on a history ride of Condon’s work, which began in the horror genre, segued into God’s and Monsters and to his most recent hits. Here’s a few highlights:

Condon said that “DREAMGIRLS is a movie that spoke equally to gay people and African-Americans.”

Ansen: Your best known movies are set in the past and show us where we came from to show us where we are.

Condon: “I enjoy a classical approach to film making… I get turned on by the style and period of films.”
Ansen mentioned that Condon had started out in horror films. Ansen said he would like to go back and see them after reading his reviews of them.

Condon on Ansen’s reviews of his films, said with a smile: “You were great. So kind.”

When asked about the difference in making horror films and comedies, Condon said “the basic ways of telling a story in film—they exist in a pure form in horror movies.”

Condon put together some clips of movies that have inspired him, were the early beginnings of gay cinema, or explored other parallels to the gay experience—1958 movie BELL BOOK AND CANDLE, a scene with Lauren Bacall from the Broadway musical APPLAUSE, Patty Duke singing “Lonely Little In Between” from the film BILLIE—perfume or track shoes, what’s a girl to do?; Lucille Ball and Bea Arthur from MAME as they set forth to transform Ms. Agnes Gooch from frump to fox; and others.
From APPLAUSE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71dRwNTN69I&mode=related&search=

Questions from the audience:

Q: What’s your favorite musical?
Condon: “Cabaret”

Q: Are there moments in DREAMGIRLS where you pay tribute to Michael Bennett (director of the original Broadway production)?

Condon said “the whole movie was a tribute to Michael Bennett. I tried to capture the spirit of what Bennett Did… just hope he’d like it more than A CHORUS LINE.”

Q: Musicals used to be filmed more proscenium style. Did you have to make extra efforts in not over cutting the film?

Condon indicated that he worked closely with the cameraman. The movie itself was designed for the camera. The way that you shoot musicals is you try to “duplicate the feeling and excitement of a live audience.”

Q: What was the evolution of the script for DREAMGIRLS?

Condon eluded to it being a one man show—with David Geffen on board he didn’t have to go through the traditional studio bureaucracy.

Q: If the movie went on to say the 90’s, 00’s, where would it go?

Condon said the movie ended in 1975, but maybe there would be “DREAMGIRLS-THE SEQUAL—they all meet up at Deena’s funeral…”