Metro Weekly

Home Grown Shorts

Reel Affirmations 2005

Review by Randy Shulman

Rating: starstar (2 out of 5)

Monday, 10/17/2005, 6:00 PM
Shorts presentation, $0 at Cecile Goldman Theater at the DCJCC

THANK GOODNESS there’s no charge to see these small, brave attempts at filmmaking. Then again, you still have to spend an hour of your life at them — and unless you’re friends with the filmmakers, or have nothing better to do on a Monday night at 6 p.m., you might consider watching the evening news instead.

First of all, the following must be asked: Did we really need a Brian the Gnome Slayer 2 () — wasn’t last year’s first brush with Brian enough? Clearly, budding filmmakers Brian Tosko Bello — who does a Carrie takeoff this time around, complete with a bucket of blood — and Flip Vanevski (who has mastered the art of cheesy computer effects) seem to think so. Unfunny, senseless camp without a cause, it’s 11 minutes of pure hell.

Day of Silence () is a noble effort, as Elizabeth Fuhrman, a teacher at a local high school, records the impact of the Day of Silence — a day in which the student body’s Gay-Straight Alliance go mum for a day in hopes of teaching tolerance, an action meant to foster ”safer schools regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” It’s a little jumbled, and could use a touch more clarity (half the kids interviewed barely get out a coherent sentence — a little scary in and of itself), and it really didn’t need the addition of a speech by the school’s GSA president tacked on the end, but it’s a good try.

The ”futuristic” protection () doesn’t really do anything with its eight minutes, other than make you wonder if the protagonist — a smoker trying to resist the urges of ”mind-controlling” vending machines — is a man or a woman. I vote man. But I’ve been wrong before.

Finally, there’s The Fabulous Price is Right (), a buoyant home movie about a gaggle of local gay guys who chronicle their journey to L.A. to try for a spot on The Price is Right. ”If we could all design our own Showcase Showdowns,” says one bystander in the queue to the studio soundstage, ”we’d all be a lot happier.” Amen.

Although it wasn’t available for review, the program’s big ticket draw is a work-in-progress screening of Mistaken Identity — a film by Sarah Kellogg, former director of Reel Affirmations. In it, says Kellogg, ”two drag queens start a major slapfest during the Pride Festival and quicker than you can say Cher’s Farewell Tour, the cops have rounded up the combatants, including a police van full of gay characters and unsuspecting tourists Herbert and Darlene, a straight couple from Indiana.” Promise there are no gnome slayers involved and we’ll be there with our ruby reds on.

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Home Grown Shorts
Randy Shulman is Metro Weekly's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at

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