Men Shorts: Natural Selection Reel Affirmations 16: Washington DC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Date: Saturday, 10/21/2006
Time: 4:00 pm

Venue: Lincoln Theatre
Tickets: $9 Buy tickets online

Type: Collection of short films

Metro Weekly Rating: (3 out of 5)

by Sean Bugg

EVERY GAY RELATIONSHIP has its strong and weak points, although the ''Natural Selection'' shorts programs tends toward the latter. Hey, the worse the relationship, the better the drama, right?

The Underminer ( ), a short version of Mike Albo's book, explicates just how vicious your best friend can be. Or is it being vicious to yourself? Either way, everyone will recognize the friend who always has an unkind word to say.

In Proteus Point ( ), curly-headed straight guy Jason may be wavering between orientations. His fiancÚ is annoyed with the attention he pays to his gay best friend, and demands that the third wheel be disinvited from their camping trip. In between are a few funny moments -- an elementary school play based on The Seventh Seal among them -- but mostly it's telling a story through lots of pensive, drawn-out stares and gazes.

When credit collection officer Dwayne calls his latest deadbeat in Rugburn ( ), he gets more than he bargained for: his deadbeat ex, Jeff. Things start off rather interestingly, but the concept doesn't have a lot of flesh on it, and it plays out for too long.

Hard Parts ( ) is a story of three people: a straight woman, her gay best friend, and her ex-husband. Of course, her husband's secretly dating her best friend. Oh, and her new fiancÚ is as flaming as they come. As she tries to guide him through the act of cunnilingus, he pops up, alarmed, ''I think you have a wart.'' She replies, ''That's my clitoris.'' The rest isn't quite as funny, but everybody learns a very important lesson about life and love. So, that's okay then.

Seeing You in Circles ( ) is another threesome, all gay this time, but focusing on a man who brings his cute new boyfriend to a birthday dinner for his ex-boyfriend. Because things like that always work out to the emotional benefit of everyone involved. Well acted, but not as compelling as you would hope.

The big surprise of the program is Hustler WP ( ), about a cute, racist, skinhead hustler and his big, black and gay best friend. Did I mention they both live in Chelsea? Of course they do. It sounds really offensive -- and it actually kind of is -- but the bubbleheaded innocuousness of the racism and the obvious affection they both have for each other make this a deeply weird and enjoyable little comedy. -- SB

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 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.