Starting Over

Friday, March 30, 2007

Oh Happy Day

Monday night at the LLGFF was dedicated to the premiere of Oh Happy Day a charming, very funny, feel good, romantic comedy.
The first feature length movie by British director Ian Poitier, Oh Happy Day was sexy, fun, and well made with great one liners, strong characterisation and great performances. It depicts ambitious advertising agency worker Jonathan who meets a smooth talking American, David, at an awards party and ends up spending the night with him. The chemistry between them is obvious but hampered when its revealed that David is the new representative of a pharmaceutical client (selling a happiness drug!) of the agencies and sleeping with clients is strictly forbidden. The romantic tension really works, and is ably helped along by strong family and work relationships both helping and hindering the potential romance.
What I really liked too is that the inter-racial relationship is acknowledged (and with a classic comic turn) but doesn't dominate or overwhelm the film - its just a part, and only one part, of Jonathan's character. It seems real. It's all lovely and middle-class but thats the genre isn't it, and I'm eagerly awaiting more from Ian - bring it on!

The film was preceded by the short film Private Life, an atmospheric, quirky and light-hearted look at 1950s lesbian and gay life 'up North'. This was a hard act to follow - following the relationship between two women separated by class and social attitudes in a funny and romantic way.

In short - two happy films about happy homosexuals - hurrah!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pink Narcissus

The BFI's re-issue of James Bidgood's Pink Narcissus is a richly saturated self-indulgent journey of sexual fantasy.

A seminal film of its time (originally released in 1971) parts may seem slightly dated and crude in terms of production values - but for a film largely shot in a single room in the late 1960s it seems surprisingly modern. Its not surprising that Pierre et Giles cite Pink Narcissus as an influence on their work - with its vivid imagery and beautiful boys.

Pink Narcissus stars Bobby Kendall as a beautiful young man in a series of self-obsessed scenes depicting some very memorable gay fantasies including motorbikes, matadors, harems, urinals and leathermen and some stunning street scenes depicting New York as a playround of the fascinating and fantastic. Its an exciting film well worth its re-issue and a pleasure to see, even on a Sunday evening feeling somewhat tired from a hectic night before.

Crazy Boys

Started off the London Lesbian & Gay Film festival with a programme of shorts - entitled Crazy Boys and described as rude, funny, and rude and funny.

I liked Wayne Yung's Miss Popularity a short and funky 6 minutes montage of 1950s American information film stock/archival footage overlaid with ironic and funny subtitles. Also winning my vote was Mister Nude Punk America with naked boys (some in rabbit or clown costumes) pracing energetically about and getting turned on among clouds of feathers, cheap looking bedrooms and much else. With a great 70s feel Donatien Veismann produces an absurd and joyful experience (and McDonald's will never look quite the same again).
My personal highlight though was Australian director John Richards' Outland - a first date movie hampered by trying to keep the new man away from your sci-fi nerdiness (and the fanatic friends who just happen to pop over). Outland really succeeds not just with a great script but actors with a flair for comic timing and delivery - its a blast, very funny and a joy.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Gilbert and George

Also on at Tate Modern is the fantastic Gilbert and George retrospective
The first thing you notice is that as you come up the stairs is that the exhibition is there already - it takes up the entire floor (usually the temporary exhibitions take a half each) PLUS the foyer PLUS the coffee bar area - so even goven there are a lot of large scale works this is a BIG exhibition. And its GREAT.
There's a really exciting range of works from their early postal works and works on paper to the more recognisable pieces. I was surprised that there was little video/film based work and missed "Gordons makes me drunk" but the work there was gave a really good overview (and many pieces from Europe and the States) - some of it stronger than others. So yes - a must see for anyone in or visiting London and so much fun too watching peoples reactions to the more explicit work ("I'm glad we didn't bring Ethel" and the group of teenage boys reading the escort ads).

Carsten Holler - Test Site

Carsten Holler recent filled Tate Modern's Turbine Hall with his installation Test Site - I said "the SLIDES - they were fun! They seemed short but thats just because you were going so fast - and the higher ones provide a bumpy ride - my facial cheeks were still vibrating at the end. Visually they don't make much of an impact in the space of the turbine hall but they really create this atmosphere of pleasure and transform the space in terms of how people interact with each other and with the Gallery as a space."

Check out

for images - but it doesn't beat being there.

I'm back

I kind of just lost energy to keep updating this - too busy doing stuff to write about it - abject shame nevertheless I'm back and starting over, starting over.