Q the reel

Posted on 02 Jun 2010 at 3:37pm

With everything from a gay Bollywood short to lots of eye candy and the year’s most divisive gay film, Fort Worth’s Q Cinema turns 12 with style

Q CINEMA 12
All films screen at the
Rose Marine Theatre, 1440 N. Main St., Fort Worth.
Through June 6. Qcinema.org

BOYS — AND GIRLS — ON FILM | ‘Ticked Off Trannies with Knives,’ above, is the best-known of the films screening at this year’s Q Cinema, but there are many other offerings, including the romantic comedy ‘Is It Just Me?,’ first below.

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The twelfth edition of Q Cinema, Fort Worth’s Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, wants to show you everything about LGBT except how to pronounce it. Eight features and 15 shorts unspool through Sunday at the Rose Marine Theater in Fort Worth.

While there’s always a chance you could be among the first to discover the next Brokeback Mountain, few if any of the films are likely to get a commercial release. For most, it’s your only chance to see them on the big screen before they’re released on DVD, cable, Video on Demand or online streaming. For others it’s your only chance to see them, period.

Even if the movie’s not so hot the communal viewing will make the experience more pleasurable, if only from a "misery loves company" perspective.
At least they can’t be much worse than Sex and the City 2, which cost fives times more to make than all the festival films combined.


— Steve Warren

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FEATURES

The Four-Faced Liar
The only primarily bisexual feature is this comedy that played at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Four twentysomething New Yorkers — a straight engaged couple and gay man and lesbian who are roommates — explore their conflicting feelings. If the central image of the film — the four of them in bed — harkens to the counter-culture warhorse Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, this updated version seems modern and authentic, if not exactly groundbreaking.

Ticked Off Trannies with Knives
The controversy about this film from local filmmaker Israel Luna threatened to overshadow the work itself, but this tribute to blaxploitation films of the 1970s is exactly what it means to be:  Gritty, intense, empowering … and a little dumb.

Several drag performers meet some men at a club and agree to join them for some after-hours fun. When the encounter turns violent — with brutal, gothic deaths — leaving some of the girls dead, a survivor and her friends plot a grisly if completely unbelievable revenge.

The Dallas locales and cast members (Krystal Summers, Jenna Skyy, Richard Curtin and a host of others) could be enough to check this out in its local-festival premiere — Summers in particular delivers a compelling performance as the victimized Bubbles — but Luna’s pared-down, tongue-in-cheek style makes the most of a small budget with a fun, campy screenplay and forays into silliness between the carnage. He also tells an undeniably pro-feminist tale a la Kill Bill — maybe not Betty Friedan, but satisfying nonetheless.

It Is Just Me?
Blaine (Nicholas Downs) is the writer of a Sex and the City-esque gay blog about dating woes that amuses everyone except him. As with most cuddly boy-meets-boy movies, Blaine’s not looking for sex but true love — only it seems he can’t even get another man to ask him on a date … until he meets Xander (David Loren), a cowboy from Dallas, in an online chatroom.

That’s just one of the many clichés the script hawks, which also include a sassy, supportive fag hag, an oversexed roommate and Blaine himself, who’s so whiny and self-pitying, you kinda know why he can’t get a date. (If he went to the gym and improved his attitude, it might make him more attractive to, say, everyone.)
But if stereotypes predominate, it’s nice that the tone is effervescent, with appealing performances by Adam Huss as Blaine’s hunky roommate and Loren, whose flirty, sunny personality fuels a lot of its winning ways.

Children of God
Like Crash, the various plots that make up Children of God wind their way together, all spinning from the hub of gay relationships in the Bahamas. In one, an introverted art student (Johnny Ferro) explores his repressed feelings for a young man, Romeo (Stephen Tyrone Williams). Romeo is out except to his immediate family, who worry he might not be dating women because he’s on drugs. Meanwhile, a hateful politician spews homophobia in the media while trolling for unsafe sex in gay bars and infecting his wife with VD. And there’s more.

While methodically paced and with a meandering focus — its main plot threads run largely parallel until finally intersecting— Children of God is a lovely and thoughtful film about the gay experience in the Caribbean culture that scores both in visual sensuousness and provocative intelligence.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

SHORTS
You Can’t Curry Love
The Bollywood craze is explored with a gay twist in this short. Two handsome young Desis — one a native Indian, one an Aussie-born Londoner who’s never been to his homeland — have a fling when the Brit is sent to Mumbai temporarily for work. Will it last? Hey, is this a comedy? Fluffy, shallow nonsense with the beauty of a travelogue hosted by walking man candy.

Door Prize
A Midwestern housewife (Beth Grant) visits her closeted gay son and meets a trans man (Zsa Zsa Gershick) outside a bathroom and has an unexpectedly pleasant exchange. It’s brief and enjoyable but not as poignant as it hopes.

Communication
This Aussie tale about a college professor who flirted with a devout Jewish student before dying unexpectedly has too big of an arc for the emotional content to play out effectively. Told in flashback, it fails to portray any context.

— A.W.J.



••••••• SCHEDULE •••••••

FEATURES

New Left Media
Two college students explore the political landscape before they get too jaded or discouraged.
June 4 at 7 p.m.

Role/Play
TCU alum Rob Williams (whose Make the Yuletide Gay screened in the past year at Q Cinema and OutTakes Dallas) and his stars (also a real-life couple) will be present for a work-in-progress screening that will give you a little input into the final product. And who doesn’t enjoy a little input?
June 4 at 8:30 p.m.

Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride
Many documentaries show the birth of the movement in one country at a time. This one visits several (including some of the most dangerous) but was assembled in Canada (one of the safest).
June 5 at 1 p.m.

The Four-Faced Liar
A tale of bisexual flirtation is centered in a Manhattan bar (see review).
June 5 at 5 p.m.

Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives
Dallas filmmaker Israel Luna worked with a local cast and crew to make this transsexual homage to slasher flicks (see review).
June 6 at 3:30 p.m., preceded at 2 p.m. by a talkback session with cast and crew
Is It Just Me? Mistaken identity romcom ensues when a plain guy emails his hot roomie’s pic to a potential date (see review).
June 6 at 5:30 p.m.

Children of God
Fighting homophobia amid beautiful beaches and ugly attitudes in the Bahamas. Closing night film (see review).
June 6 at 7:30 p.m.

SHORT FILMS

Our Shorts Are Showing. Those with short attention spans will appreciate seeing six or seven films for one admission. If you don’t like one it’s over in a few minutes. Also, this is how some of the best directors hone their craft.

Program I includes Chico’s Angels, A Coming Out Homecoming, Door Prize (see review), I Hate Josh, Gogo Reject, Would Jesus Discriminate?, You Can’t Curry Love (see review).
June 5 at 3 p.m.

Program II includes Amateur, Communication (see review), Dyke Dollar, Everyone is Having Sex … But Ryan, Queer Pet Adventures, Revelations.
June 6 at 12:30 p.m.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 04, 2010.

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