Reel Affirmations 2005
Review by Sean Bugg
Rating: (4 out of 5)
Monday, 10/17/2005, 7:00 PM
Shorts presentation, $6 at Lincoln Theatre
French with English subtitles
SOMETIMES IT’S IMPORTANT to look at ourselves through the eyes of our straight families, to better understand both them and us. The ”All in the ‘Family”’ shorts program features 10 films that take just that approach, to varying degrees of success.
In Kissing Tigers (), a young French kickboxer, Mario, shares a trailer park home with his mother, sister and brother. One evening, Mario and his friends drive to the local cruising area to gawk at the fags, and he sees his brother. Things do not go well afterward. An effective and creative use of lighting, particularly in the cruise park, help make this an atmospheric, if a bit disturbing, story.
Mama’s Boy () is about every mother’s nightmare. Or, more accurately, nightmares, as every little thing triggers a spasm of worry from a Norwegian single mom who thinks her son may be gay — and takes radical steps to confirm her suspicion. Funny, sweet and with a nice twist.
Grandma escapes from her retirement home in Sweden and appears at the door of her cute gay grandson in Harlem in Mormor’s Visit (). It’s a cute little movie, as she announces she wants to stay in New York now that she knows her grandson’s secret. ”Why wouldn’t I want to be free too?” she asks. Why not, indeed.
My Uncle Mario () follows a young Israeli boy who’s just beginning to explore his same-sex attractions when his gay uncle visits from Italy. Mama isn’t quite so pleased with the visit, even more so when Uncle Mario presents her son with a skintight, shimmery Versace shirt. An interesting story of family dynamics, but with an ending that’s perhaps unintentionally unsettling as the barely pubescent boy goes cruising the gay strip in his new shirt.
Another mother makes a surprise trip from Cairo to Canada in Cairo Calling () to visit her son — along with a full selection of hometown brides she hopes will catch his eye. Of course, Ahmed already has a boyfriend, so things won’t go as mother planned.
Proposal () is a slight comedy about a young man asking a supportive family for permission to marry their son. Poor Girl () is pregnant, her gay roommate wants to be a father, her parents are having an open relationship, and everyone is just being so very, very French.
Between the Boys () is an odd, incestuous vignette about two, um, close brothers. Pookie () is a strange story about two gay men and their baby pineapple. Don’t ask. And Homolulu () is just a quick, forgettable exercise in tableturning on gay marriage.