Women Shorts: Ladies Night Reel Affirmations 16: Washington DC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Date: Monday, 10/16/2006
Time: 9:00 pm

Venue: E Street Cinema
Tickets: $9 Buy tickets online

Type: Collection of short films

Metro Weekly Rating: (4 out of 5)

by Will O'Bryan

THE LADIES NIGHT shorts program offers a global range of love, sex, comedy, drama and even some quaint special effects. Hi Maya ( ) is a Swiss short that maintains a Swiss sense of propriety as two elderly ladies pick up where they left off after running into each other at a beauty salon decades later. Don't look for Nitrate Kisses here. This is not an exploration into the sex lives of seniors, but into a rekindling of companionship, possibly with benefits. Not poignant, but pretty.

Three Little Words ( ), four cute American minutes. If you've a drop of ''limerence'' left, it should put a smile on your face. Gueule de Princesse ( ) is a somewhat pointless retelling of the ''frog prince'' story from France, though it does offer one instance of the aforementioned special effects.

From Spain, Esther ( ) is visually entertaining -- if you like hot women in underwear exploring one another -- while a well-written narration attempts to explain the human condition when it comes to finding love. Depending on a viewer's sensibilities, Combien? ( ) is either erotic or disturbing. Lesbians in the audience will likely spend the eight minutes of this French short thanking their lucky stars that they get their libidinal satisfaction from the ladies. Similarly, the two-minute Blindfolded ( ) from Spain will either disturb you or tickle you.

Open ( ), a 13-minute American short, is one of the more substantial films of the lineup. With jumbled chronology, it examines the blurry landscape that sits between monogamous and ''open.'' It doesn't provide any answers, but it does seem pretty realistic. Funny, sad and provocative in such a short time! Anonymous, 1855 ( ) at two minutes, is really just an amusing intermission from Canada. It's also the second instance of special effects --this time in animation.

The longest film on the menu, and the finale, is Terrorist She Freaks of Texas ( ). Employing a style that parodies the upstanding educational films of yesteryear, this 25-minute short immediately seems to be treading an overused path in its sarcastic mockery of ''American values.'' Then again, when you think that Terrorist She Freaks comes from the same state where dildos are, in a sense, illegal, any ''values'' mockery seems completely warranted. If ever there was a state that needed a film showing one punk dyke sucking another punk dyke's silicone phallus, it's Texas. Filmmakers Holly Lewis and bug davidson deliver. The end result may be not much more than lesbian-porn-lite accompanied by goofy narration warning the country about ''Gays: A Violent People'' and similar homo threats, but it's definitely a good time. And the music ain't bad, either. Yee haw! -- WOB

More information

Film Links:
· Reel Affirmations details
· Official film site
· Rotten Tomatoes

Festival Venue:
Landmark's E Street Cinema
555 11th Street, NW; Washington, DC 20004. (202) 452-7672. (map)
Near Metro Center 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 Landmark's E Street Cinema (555 11th Street, NW); or Lambda Rising (1625 Connecticut Avenue, NW, WDC).

For more info visit the official Reel Affirmations website.