Metro Weekly

Best of the Fest

Reel Affirmations 2004

Review by Randy Shulman

Rating: starstarstarstar (4 out of 5)

Sunday, 10/17/2004, 9:00 PM
Shorts presentation, $9 at Lincoln Theatre

Best of the Fest

BEST OF THE Fest offers the usual hodgepodge of shorts, some of which play elsewhere in the festival (and are reviewed in those programs), but most are so resolutely mediocre, you can’t help but wonder: if these are the best of the fest, just how bad were the worst, the ones that never even stood a chance at a screening?

No matter, we chew on what we’re served, and here we’re offered a buffet whose selections include Straight, No Chaser () , an amusing if awkward trifle about a straight Jewish divorcee who inherits his drag-queen uncle’s gay bar. The fact that star Bronson Pinchot acts with calm restraint is the movie’s greatest flaw. Blessing () is an effective, poignant tale of a dying Mormon patriarch and his tacit acceptance of his gay son.

Blue-Eyed Moon () is a nine-minute animated Bulgarian entry in which objects perpetually morph into various women’s body parts. All you can do is marvel at the transformations and think, “Damn, they must have great drugs in Bulgaria.”

Best of the Fest

The Frog Princess () is a cute, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it throwaway, while Just For Leather () is a stiff, silly nod to the leather community, who surely deserve better representation than this.

The finest of the bunch by far are Guinevere Turner’s Hummer (), a frisky, winning tale of lesbian lust, and Far West (), a sweet and swift story of gay French teen who, visiting his grandfather’s farm, learns to be himself. Both films are as touching and playful as they are graceful and eloquent.

Best of the Fest
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Randy Shulman is Metro Weekly's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at rshulman@metroweekly.com.