Reel Affirmations 2005
Review by Sean Bugg
Rating: (4 out of 5)
Thursday, 10/20/2005, 9:30 PM
Shorts presentation, $9 at Lincoln Theatre
FIRST TIMES AREN’T always the best times, at least until they gain the benefit of hindsight and nostalgia, two things that permeate this shorts program of first gay forays.
The casual eroticism of teenage boys is at the center of Dare (), in which young social outcast Bud suddenly finds himself in the enviable position of swimming alone with the most popular boy in school, Johnny. Anti-smoking activists may cringe, but what is it that makes smoking bad boys so hot? Anyway, Dare will probably be a nostalgia trip for many — I know it was for me.
Nightswimming () isn’t quite as happily nostalgic, though it’s certainly as familiar. When two friends break down in the woods on their way to a concert — why a country trail is a short cut to New York, I don’t know, but just go with it — a surprising moment of intimacy has long-term repercussions on their plans for life.
Last Full Show () is about a rich Filipino teenager, Crispin, who becomes involved with an older man at cruisy movie theater. As the relationship progresses, people on both sides try to end it. The ending scene of an emotionally distraught Crispin sitting alone in the theater is heartbreaking, but more than necessary. What doesn’t kill us, and all that.
In Shining the Ball () the newest cricket player on the team falls for the vice-captain (and Orlando Bloom-lookalike) Arny. And Arny falls for him, aggressively, and things get out of control, leading to a bittersweet ending. In Playtime (), a young teacher encounters a vicious little homophobe in his class, then forgets the Armistead Maupin Principle of gay film, which states that when a main gay character goes to a rest stop for sex, his sex partner will shortly be revealed to have important connections with another character previously introduced.
Spin () drops in on a teen beer blast where a round of spin the bottle ”jokingly” sends the host and his new male friend to the bathroom for two minutes in heaven. Running Without Sound () follows a deaf teen who has a crush on his hearing running partner. Oranges () presents another social outcast teen boy, this time in Australia, whose bicycle accident leads to an afternoon of self discovery.
Finally, two animated films round out the selections, the annoying Lonely ’15’ () and the pro-gay claymation public service announcement George’s Date ().