Reel Affirmations 2006
Review by Randy Shulman
Rating: (3 out of 5)
Thursday, 10/19/2006, 5:00 PM
Shorts presentation, $0 at Lincoln Theatre
YOUTHFUL ENDEAVORS comprise this collection of five seductively-charged, internationally-flavored shorts. Things commence with the ragtag, relatively aimless Rid Off ( ), in which three punks — two guys, one girl — never quite make it to a concert and instead find that three-way kissing has a certain, how you say, boner-producing appeal? Otherwise, Huy Chau’s film is 12 minutes of blah.
Davy & Stu ( ) ain’t much better, though it does culminate in an intensely blissful moment between two Scottish lads who spend much of their time tromping around a murky bog talking about ”minty chewing gum” and Jenny Greenteeth, a witch who eats little boys. Through it all, they allude to, but don’t act upon, an apparent attraction. Until the final moment, at which point the romantic dam breaks — albeit in a lyrical, tasteful way.
Things perk up significantly with David ( ), a Mexican entry about a young mute boy who seduces a much older gentleman. There’s an endearing sweetness to the story — not to mention a kind of inappropriate creepiness — but the performances are strong and the lovemaking scene is stunningly ferocious and feral. Out Now ( ) finds us in Germany, as a gay high schooler deals with his emerging gay inclinations, all the while dodging the school ruffians. The lesson he learns — that hypocrites abound behind every closet door — is rather mundane, but artfully presented.
The series wraps up with Summer ( ), a rapture of a short film in which two teens on a forest stroll get into a playful rough and tumble that leads to an ill-fated kiss. Expertly acted, and written with sheer, heartbreaking (and heartwarming) honesty, it’s a prize worth waiting for. The final line, uttered by one of the boys, doesn’t pull your heart strings, it strums them, producing a lasting, reverberating melancholy note. — RS