Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Not to Be Missed at Frameline34

The 34th San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival

Rainbow flags are already flying high along the Market Street, the San Francisco Pride is fast approaching. So does Frameline34. Even there is still about a week to go before Frameline34 begins, some films are already sold out and on rush-only status.

Based on the limited films I have seen, besides films I mentioned in "Gaysian Features at Frameline34" and "Gaysian Shorts at Frameline34," here are few more that are worth seeing.

  • Undertow (Contracorriente | Peru/Colombia/France/Germany 2009 | in Spanish | 100 min.)

    One of the Centerpiece films is Peruvian director Javier Fuentes-León's immensely emotional feature debut "Undertow." In a religious and homophobic fishing village on the gorgeous beach in Peru, Miguel (Cristian Mercado) and his wife Mariela(Tatiana Astengo) are expecting a baby while Miguel is carrying on an affair with an openly gay out-of-town painter Santiago (Manolo Cardona). Miguel is devastated when he is confronted by the reality that he cannot have both lovers like in the good old time. His emotional journey to reach his destination is remarkably genuine and profoundly moving.


    With superb performances and an engrossing story, the film wins the Audience Award in the Dramatic World Cinema category at this year's Sundance Film Festival. I am sure this film will touch more hearts and bring out more tears at Frameline34.

  • I Killed My Mother (J'ai tué ma mère | Canada 2009 | in French | 96 min.)

    Winning numerous awards around the globe and selected as Canada's entry for the Academy Awards last year, now 21-year-old writer/director Xavier Dolan's remarkable feature debut "I Killed My Mother" is one of the Showcase films at Frameline34.

    The protagonist of this semi-autobiographical film is a 16-year-old Hubert (Xavier Dolan), who is tormented by the alienated relationship with his divorced mother (Anne Dorval). After his mom finds out that he is gay, he is sent to boarding school. The tension between him and his mother gets intensified.

    With plenty humor and deep affection, this charming film beautifully depicts the love/hate relationship between a teenager and his mom, who both lack necessary skills to effectively communicate with each other. While we watch their quarrels with a smirk, we also feel their unshakable love to each other that is deeply rooted inside these characters.

  • All Boys (Poikien bisnes | Finland/Denmark 2009 | in Finnish/English/Czech/German | 72 min.)

    Young Eastern Europeans boys have been immensely popular in the gay porn market in the recent years. They are only considered to be young if they are under 20. What are the stories about these boys and those producers and directors? While the documentary "All Boys" is not quite hit the mark to explore the truth behind those glamorous pornographic shots, it tells a chilling and poignant story about a once hot Czech porn star Ruda, who is now homeless and wasting away at garbage dumps, and an American porn producer Dan Komar, who exploits these young boys.

    All Boys

    It becomes a harsh reality that only the poorest and most vulnerable young boys become porn stars, and they get paid really cheap when these movies are made overseas. When I look through Ruba's "most beautiful blue eyes," as Komar claims in the film, I see a big sign saying: "Thank you for shopping at Wal-mart."

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