Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gay Shorts: Hook, Line and Grindr

My second screening at the festival was radically different from the first one.  It was a series of five shorts whose common theme was gay people and looking for a connection (the festival is showing a number of shorts showing many different orientations and genders, not just gay men, by the way):

Tap Tap Tap (Canada, 2013)

Using anti-gay Republican Senator Larry Craig's arrest in 2007 in a Minneapolis airport washroom for lewd behaviour as an excuse, this short presents a slightly amusing tap routine (Senator Craig tapped with his foot while sitting in a washroom stall to signal his interest in sex).  A bit funny, a bit entertaining, just the right length.

Short (Kort; The Netherlands, 2013)

This one was far more interesting, as it talked about a 17 year-old guy who hooks up online and travels to meet his date, realizing only once in the car that his night's hook up is not quite what he expected from the neck below.  We never get to know what exactly transpires after they have some fun drinking, dancing and smoking from a water pipe, but I liked this short for all the questions it raises about self-(mis)representation, discrimination, and embracing of the moment and of people.

Grind (USA, 2013)

A musical about hooking up via mobile apps, this had my eyes rolling up far more than physiologically healthy.   It was well produced, even funny, and it came with eye candy, but that didn't make the situations and dialogues less unbearable to me.  At first.  And then... a twist.  A chilling, sociopathological twist.  So, I stood corrected, and I liked it, eye rolling and all.   And just a reminder - you never know who you're meeting.  Creepy.

The Disgustings (USA, 2013)

Twelve minutes of watching mean, horrible, superficial, self-centred, clichéd a'holes.  May we all be spared of ever meeting people like this!  But the catch is they show the title at the end, not at the beginning, and that (what an apt title!) wrapped the short nicely.  Let's say it was like a long, annoying joke, but with a fun punch line.  

Ronny & I (USA, 2013)

This was a sweet short, about a young man who acknowledges his love for his best buddy, and his best buddy who accepts that love.  What I liked was that the sexuality of the buddy (or bro) is never clearly dealt with, and that the only thing that's clear is that he's completely accepting of his friend, and that he loves him.  The insistence of making the short as though filmed by the protagonists with their smartphones is strange.  But who knows, maybe there's people filming themselves almost day and night doing anything and everything.  Still, a sweet bromance where what matters is closeness and intimacy.

Watching shorts is usually quite a gamble, because you never know what you'll get in the mix.  But despite my complaints above, I think this was a good choice for my second screening.  And looking forward to the rest!

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