Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Another "DC Short" by accident, and then two more important foreign LGBT short films


Today, before a satellite performance of “Man and Superman” (Drama blog), the host Angelika theater showed “Espana Is Different”, by Salvador Guera, from DC Shorts.  Somewhere in a modern Spanish city, a teenager gives another boy a ride on his bicycle, and the image winds up in an art gallery.
  
I added two more gay films to the mix for the day.
  
In “Violine” (Germany, or “Violin”, by Roman Ilyushenko, 11 min), a young violinist (Johannes Huth) brings home a trick to his apartment in former East Germany (so it looks).  There is an out-of-tune piano (like in “Wozzeck”) and a violin, which Johnannes plays.  He tries to give his more athletic-looking guest (Hannes Sell) a lesson.  It turns intimate, before there is an unfortunate interruption.
  
  
The main film for the day is the Swiss short “Prora” (23 min, Switzerland, in German, French and Polish, it sounds).  Jan (Tom Gramenz) explores the ruins of Prora, a former Nazi camp and later East German communist detention center on the Baltic Sea.  He meets another college-age kid Matthieu (Swen Gippa), and the boys explore the dangerous ruins together.  They become intimate, and then Matthieu has second-thoughts about what has happened, and they fight, leading Jan to be slightly injured.  But then they reconcile, keeping all the boundless energy of youth just before brains are fully grown (that takes to about age 25).  The youtube link is here, and official site is here 

I watched it again in Aug. 2018, barely remembering the scene.  Here are my comments now.

Jan (Tom Gramenz) seems to be the lead. As the film opens, he sits on a concrete structure overlooking the Baltic Sea in northern Germany, near some abandoned long row apartment buildings. We see he has a stitched wound on his otherwise hairy thigh.  His supposedly straight friend Matthieu (Swin Gippa) from France arrives as they play in the ruins, littered with graffiti and broken dangerous glass. Each speaks his own language. Matthieu starts making fun of the Nazi symbols in the building, and the boys realize this was a Nazi concentration camp or at least a military facility during WWII. They start some rough play, and soon Tom seduces Matthieu.  Then Matthieu has the expected reaction to realizing he has enjoyed gay intimacy, and Tom gets cut by the glass in the scuffle.  We don’t know how Tom gets out of the building for medical help.
A few days later, they meet on the beach, and seem about to start a relationship.

These are athletic, very cis young men, sort of the ilk of “Judas Kiss”.  

Picture: Fort Washington, MD, ruins comparable to Prora. 

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