Oskar's Friends Reel Affirmations 13: Washington DC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Date: Saturday, 10/23/2004
Time: 2:00 pm

Venue: Lincoln Theatre
Tickets: $9 (buy online now)

Type: Feature presentation
Language: Italian with English subtitles

Metro Weekly Rating: (2 out of 5)

by Randy Shulman

Oskar's Friends

ANYONE WITH A hankering to gaze lustfully at handsome Italian men of all ages, from the lithe and willowy to the masculine and buff, should delight in the eye-candy on display throughout this 2002 Italian television pilot. Those seeking something deeper, however, should look elsewhere, as Francesco D'Alessio's story of a young gay man and his young gay pals is pretty much run-of-the-mill young gay soap territory.

The pilot is littered with an abundance of storylines -- all of which are set-ups for the weeks of episodes that might have come had the series been picked up by Italian television. The individual narratives follow paths of romantic entanglements, but none of the storylines congeal in a meaningful way. The whole thing is as choppy as bruscetta and much, much less flavorful.

D'Alessio, who also stars as the central character of Marcello -- a lanky, affable guy whose dreams of a fantasy man appear to come true in the show's "cliffhanger" finale -- offers up competent if unexceptional direction. He shows some flair when presenting Marcello's dreams (which include heavy-footed ballerinas), though there is one extreme low angle shot that causes one to wonder if a cameraman hadn't suffered a stroke on the set and toppled over.

One thing you can say for the Italians -- they wrote the book on how to argue. The frequent shouting jags in Oskar's Friends are loud and passionate, not to mention excessive. It's enough to make you want to shout "Basta!"

More information

Film Links:
· Reel Affirmations details

Festival Venue:
Lincoln Theatre
1215 U Street, NW; Washington, DC 20009. (202) 328-6000. (map)
Directly across from Green Line Metro / U Street-Cardozo station.

You may buy your tickets or passes in advance: Online at BoxOfficeTickets.com or by phone at (800) 494-TIXS (494-8497). Or you may visit the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U Street, NW, WDC); the DCJCC (1529 16th Street, NW, WDC); Lambda Rising (1625 Connecticut Avenue, NW, WDC); or Universal Gear (1601 17th Street, NW, WDC).

For more info visit the official Reel Affirmations website.