SEX AND THE SINGLE MALE

Monday, Oct. 21, 9 p.m.
Lincoln Theatre, $9

trangletrangletrangle

One of the most popular programs each year, the Sex & the Single Male collection of short films is an annual grab bag of quality, consistently running the gamut from execrable to extraordinary, often so quickly it could give an audience whiplash. Here are some of the best reasons to buy tickets for this year’s outing, along with the films that offer the best opportunities to go get popcorn, smoke a cigarette, relieve a bladder, or simply leave.



Gaydar

There are three films in Sex & the Single Male that you should see — and they add up to a mere twenty-seven minutes of the program’s 115 minute running time.

The shortest, and the standout, is Lucky Bugger (trangletrangletrangletrangletrangle), a three-minute vignette about a young boy who wanders along a beach and finds two young men in a passionate embrace. Without words, this beautifully shot piece tells a story that takes just a moment, but implies a lifetime of resonance.

Gaydar (trangletrangletrangletrangle) takes the anecdotal gay intuition and makes it literal, as a man finds a Gaydar gun at a yard sale and proceeds to divine the true orientation of the people around him, and his lesbian cat Mrs. Fluff-n-Fold. A funny story about the necessity of ambiguity in life, with the added bonus of Charles Nelson Reilly. It’s a much better film about the perils of gaydar than Quacks Like a Duck (trangletrangletrangle).

Two Big Fags (trangletrangletrangletrangle) rounds out the top three with an evisceration of gay circuit and gym culture in a sharp, funny four minute conversation between two hilariously vapid party boys. Sad part is, we’ve all probably overheard or taken part of this conversation more times than any of us would want to admit.

Completely opposite Two Big Fags are the tedious 25 minutes that make up Going West (trangle), a film that takes aim at the same target but misses spectacularly. A young gay guy arrives in the big city and finds himself working for the Gay Liberation Army, a consumerist affair run by a Dan Pallota stand-in. Among the many mixed messages to come out of this didactic waste of time is that all those big butch gay boys are actually just crying faggot pussies on the inside. So much for the sticking up for the pansies among us.



Lucky Bugger

Australia checks in with two bad films and one mediocre. High Street Love Story (trangle) uses homosexuality as a punchline to a bizarrely violent dénouement. Sucker (trangletrangle) is not as bad, but someone should have pointed out to the filmmakers that if you want to make the big vampire finale an actual surprise, you might want to name the film something other than Sucker, for God’s sake. The mercifully non-violent Wash Dark Colors Separately (trangletrangletrangle) follows a young Filipino on a bathhouse trip where his white trick asks stupid questions like, "Do you speak Asian?" It’s fine up to a point, but it begs the question of why he’s having sex with stupid white guys in bathhouses.

Bumping Heads (trangletrangletrangle) is mildly diverting, watching a middle-aged gay man pursue an early-twenties gay boy (who wants to be a hat maker, no less!), and the hurtful interaction that ensues. Most likely, you’ll want to scream at the screen, "Wake up and smell the twinkie! He don’t want you!"

Finally, you have two Brazilian HIV prevention commercials that you get to pay to see. Fantasy (trangle) implies it’s unsafe to even fantasize about sex without a condom, so wear latex when you’re jerking it just to keep in the habit. Exhibitionism (trangletrangle) is a restroom vignette of sexual freakishness. Boring.

Also playing are Misguided Piss (trangle), Tango Para Dos (trangletrangletrangle), and Hotbod.com (not previewed). — SB