Wednesday, September 02, 2015

"Nomansland", powerful drama confrontation for a man who loses partner to AIDS, leads off Men's Shorts at Reel Affirmations

The Men’s Shorts program at Reel Affirmations 2015 played late Saturday afternoon and was a rather long program (114 minutes).

The leadoff film, “Nomansland” (2013, Denmark), directed by Karsten Geisnae and written by Flemming Klem, runs 36 minutes, is the most significant of the lot, and has the substance of a feature.  Gerard Bidstrup plays a brooding young hunk who learns his former boyfriend has died of AIDS. When he tries to attend the “family-only” funeral, he is rebuffed (quite vigorously, in the chapel).  The plot set-up has some similarity to “Tom at the Farm” (Aug. 17).   Copenhagen never has looked bleaker or more bleached than in this wide-screen film.

The second biggest film was “I Do” (“Aceito”, 20 minutes), by Felipe Cabral, a comedy in which Junior (played by the director) plots to propose marriage on Rio de Janeiro’s beach.  The over-exposed photography and lightweight gags wear out their welcome.

Then there is “”, by Francisco Lupini Basagoiti (Venezuela), at 17 minutes, a bar-room comedy about hypocrisy after Antonio (Miguel Belmonte) catches a boyfriend misbehaving in the toilet.

Open Relationship” (“Relacion abierta”. 2014, Spain, 13 min) by Carlos Ocho is a dramedy about two men negotiating the terms of an open relationship.

Mum” (2013, USA, 11 minutes, by Alex Bohs) explores a relationship among the hearing-impaired, and features some underwater work.

Das Phallometer” (Canada, 7 minutes, shows a man seeking asylum from Iran in the Czech Republic, being forced to undergo penile plethysmography when shown images to prove he is gay.  This test is actually used in the US and other countries in “treating” sex offenders in prison, so the idea isn’t funny.


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