Friday, April 15, 2011

Festing with the Best of 'Em

Nashville has a pretty damned good film festival (NaFF for you anagram addicts), and every year I go apeshit trying to see as many movies as possible. I read the synopses and scan the schedules, planning my method of attack with an eye for maximum celluloid exploitation. Sadly, this year I only have plans to attend three screenings for reasons both good (too many conflicting social engagements) and bad (very tight budget).

Last night I attended the opening night screening of Weekend, a British film about two men who, after a one-night stand, find themselves spending the majority of the next two days in each other's company. They drink, screw, talk and do a LOT of recreational drugs. In their short time together, despite having very different approaches to life, they become very close.

The film was shot in a primarily hand-held camera/cinema verite style, and that, coupled with the very solid acting by the two leads, made the movie seem more like a documentary than a narrative film. I found myself having very visceral reactions to what was happening, as if they were real people making bad decisions right in front of me. This speaks strongly to the quality writing, which was very solid and never brought attention to itself - something that is especially important when it comes to this sort of film.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the movie's refreshing approach to the sex, specifically gay sex. The filmmakers did not shy away from showing any aspect, from pit-licking at the beginning to wiping up at the end. Everything was just ... there. It always seems that movies will sidle up to showing gay sex, but there's still a great deal of mystery to it, provided by a convenient bed sheet or creative shot framing. It's like the character Glen says: "Oh, we don't want to scare the straights!" Fuck 'em. We're here. We're queer. And we have sex. More films need to adopt this take-no-prisoners approach. Perhaps then big movie stars would finally be able to justify how much money they make.

One last thing: I'm in love with Chris New, who played Glen. He's the one with the tape recorder in the trailer, which you'll find below. I found him on Twitter today and complimented him on his stellar performance, and he responded almost immediately, thanking me and wishing me well. Isn't that sweet? Yup. Insta-boner.

Fun Fact for folks who scrolled past the video: Remember when I mentioned they show the guys wiping up afterward? Yeah, well, the lady behind me was absolutely scandalized by the sudden appearance of fluids. She gasped once loudly and then quietly at least four more times. I hope someone got her a paper bag to breathe into after the movie.

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