Reel Affirmations 2006
Review by Nancy Legato
Rating: (5 out of 5)
Friday, 10/20/2006, 5:00 PM
Shorts presentation, $0 at Lincoln Theatre
GENERALLY SPEAKING, one shouldn’t get one’s shorts in a bunch over a bunch of shorts. Earnest programming efforts aside, any selection of shorts will have its strong points and weak seams, but it’s hard to get a consistent level of quality.
Happily, Animated Youth comes awfully close to being an exciting exception to this rule. Pei-Ying Lee’s lyrical and technically gorgeous Dreaming Is for Moonrise ( ) is haunting in its presentation of a woman transcending obstacles and ultimately finding her rewards in a night sky dreamland.
Roewan Crowe employs stop-action filming to hilarious effect in Queer Grit ( ), a light-hearted retelling of how one woman with true grit finds her way from ”prairie law” to queer love. Rebecca Heller restyles the old lesbian-as-fish-lover joke to enjoyable effect in Sushi ( ). With Heller at the helm, a light thriller-suspense-cum-horror vibe leavens an after-school special satire as a woman comes out to her parents — as a sushi lover.
Petra Rossi’s Falling ( ) plays on the old idea of opposites attracting with a whimsical animation of two women — one who lives on the ceiling and one who lives on the floor — literally falling in love. Drag King Movie ( ) by Jennifer Markowitz is a likeably palate-cleansing two-minute intermezzo on what it takes to make a drag king video.
Kai Ling Xue’s layers her narrative in the tilted ( ), splicing 16mm medical footage from the 1970s with her voice-over tale of difference and homophobia. Klya Tomlin’s amusing and cheering Katie & Kasey ( ) cleverly encapsulates a coming-out story into one conversation at a bookstore (and Luzandra Diaz’s sexy voice and sultry lips are pretty inspiring, too.)
Animated Youth‘s one yawner is Justine Morris’s Can You Take It? ( ) No. No I can’t. As pretty as Francesca Fowler’s little heart-shaped face is, I can’t take one more minute of suspended pseudo-tension watching her eyes tilt at the girl she wants and thinks maybe she can have. Despite the title, not all these shorts are animated, but they are all youthful in spirit while demonstrating an amazing maturity. — NL