GB’s brings back its always super popular film club screenings THIS Sunday, June 29th at National College, Linking Road, Bandra from 1.30 to 8.00 pm. As always we have an afternoon of great films interspersed with chai and samosa breaks. The event is FREE. All we ask is that you respect the space and others watching the films.
The films screened are excellent quality original DVDs (no downloads) which are purchased for us by friends from abroad. We also try to showcase local film making talent. The films are a mix of serious dramas, documentaries, short films and, always, a fun last film to send you home laughing.
This time the films are:
1.30 pm : Any Day Now
2.00 pm : Short films, starting with Acceptance by Karn Gupta
6.00 pm : Date and Switch
1) Any Day Now
Stories about gay men adopting kids are common now, but this film, based on a true story, is set in the 1970s when gay rights were only starting to become visible and prejudices against gays was very strong.
Alan Cumming, the openly gay American actor, plays Rudy Donatello a drag queen artist who is not scared of standing up for himself, whether its in dealing with the police, his landlord or the lady next door, who’s a junkie with a son with Down’s Syndrome (what used to be called being retarded). When Rudy finds Marco, the son, hungry and abandoned by his mother, he takes care of him, bonds with the kid and decides to stand up for him too.
To help him do this he demands help from Paul (played by the handsome Garret Dillahunt), a closeted lawyer who he met at the club where he performs just the night before. Rudy bowls Paul over and before they quite realise it, they are taking care of Marco full time. They love the kid and he loves them back, but they are still a gay couple (even if they keep that secret) at a time when gay men were seen as predators on kids.
It is worth noting that anyone who actually sees how the men care for the kid, like the teacher at Marco’s school, realise what they are doing and are supportive. But this doesn’t matter at all to the judges and lawyers the case ends up with. The film becomes a court film, with Paul laying his reputation on the line and losing his job, and it almost seems like they might win – but then a heartbreaking twist takes place.
The film does not end well for Marco and this ending is all the more powerful for being done in a muted way. Cumming’s performance is in your face and over the top (in a good way) but the film is more like Dillahunt’s buttoned down character, yet this does not diminish its impact.
At the end Rudy sings Bob Dylan’s lines: “Any day now. Any day now. Any day now… I shall be released” And you know it may not actually be the next day, and what happens may not be total, and may never make up for the losses, yet in the end this trauma will bring change.
2) Short films, starting with Acceptance
(The first film in this package is fixed, but the next 2-3 might change)
We’re always happy when we can showcase local talent and this time the second segment’s package of short films will kick off with Acceptance, directed by Karn Gupta. It features Nakshatra Bagwe, who many of us know very well, doing a very cool and convincing transgender role. The film contrasts the acceptance that she has managed to get with her partner to the problems a gay couple is facing simply because they don’t have the same level of personal acceptance.
Trailer of the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Do1pbqDTzk
Campaign “Acceptance in times of #377 ” link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqD7RHnUXXE
Interview Link: http://www.gaylaxymag.com/articles/current-affairs/acceptance-and-377-an-interview-with-director-karn-gupta/
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/acceptancemovie
IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3579504/
– Time Off
Eytan Fox is well known for his gay films set in Israel like Yossi and Jagger, The Bubble, Walk on Water and Yossi, some of which we have shown. But this is his much less known first film. Fox often looks at issues involving being gay and in the military and this film is set in an Israeli troop that has the day off in Jerusalem. Most of them just look for stuff to eat or try and connect with their girlfriends, but one young soldier becomes interested in following his handsome lieutenant to find out what he’s doing. Most of the time this lieutenant is particularly harsh to this young soldier, but perhaps this, and the soldier’s curiosity, reflects some kind of link between them. Nothing very much happens in the film, yet its oddly involving and you can see why it shows that Fox would go on to become an acclaimed filmmaker.
– Just Friends
A Korean film, and also sort of in a military setting, but instead of Fox’s low key realism and soldiers strumming guitars, this film happily throws in a dose of K-pop (music). One young man is visiting his lover who is doing his military service, but their reunion is interrupted by the mother of the young soldier. Various twists occur right down to one in the last frame of the film.
3) Date and Switch
Two American high school students who are best friends from childhood. Who are about the graduate from high school. Who are virgins but desperate not to be. Who have problems connecting with girls (at least ones who will sleep with them). Who have the senior prom coming up and don’t know what to do.
These are the recipes for what seem like a million American movies and even the fact that one of the guys turns out to be gay is a twist that we have all seen before. So it is little short of miraculous that Date and Switch breathes some life into this tired old formula in unexpected ways.
Like the fact that the gay guy is not the regular twink (or nerd), but just a regular dude, maybe not in great shape, but not traumatised about it. For once, in fact, the gay guy is actually the more grounded and less manic guy. He’s a regular dude, while its his straight friend who is going nuts.
But not really about him being gay. Far from being uncomfortable about it, the straight friend decides being the best friend of a gay guy means supporting him in everything like taking him to gay clubs and trying to hook him up with guys. Or researching gay Web porn to find out what his friend likes about gay sex, even if that creates a total misunderstanding with his own father.
Date and Switch has so many hilarious scenes, and the actors are so good and its aim seems so obviously to be only to make us laugh like crazy, that its easy to overlook what a mildly path breaking film this is. For example, for a film that’s nominally about coming out I can hardly remember much depiction of homophobia – all those usual scenes of gay guys being humiliated or taunted just seem to be almost irrelevant in the film.
Another film I recently previewed for these screenings (which we may show next time) describes itself as a post-gay film, where the filmmaker wanted to show a world where gay relationships were simply treated as normally as straight ones. Date and Switch may be a better example but not by trying to pretend all the confusions of sexuality don’t exist.
The film’s message is that being a horny high school student is going to be a pain whether you are gay or straight and that life will be confusing and often very comic, even if you’re the butt of the joke, but in the end things will probably work out. That’s the sort of equality we can all hope for.