Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Two Girls Against The Rain (2012)

WHO: Sopheak Sao directed this.

WHAT: I've only seen a few brief online clips of this short-as-it-is documentary, but from what I've seen it looks like a sincere portrait of two lesbians in Cambodia who have been a couple since the days of the Khmer Rouge, in the face of family and societal pressure for them to deny their identities.

WHERE/WHEN: Screens tonight only at 7PM at the Victoria Theatre, as part of a Frameline festival.

WHY: I went to three Frameline screenings over the weekend, all at the Castro Theatre. Briefly, I enjoyed But I'm A Cheerleader but was perhaps hoping for a bit more depth to it, especially after seeing how rich I found the preceding short film by its director Jamie Babbit, Sleeping Beauties. Big Joy: the Adventures of James Broughton, however, was about all I could ask for in a documentary about an experimental filmmaker. The interviews with friends and family were fascinating and often poignant. The archival footage (both from his films and from the contextualizing era) was generously excerpted, and some of it was in the "deep cuts" category (I suppose I could quibble a bit about some of the image quality and identification labels, but this honestly felt minor). I felt like no major aspect of Broughton's life was glossed over, and though I've read a fair bit about his filmmaking and far less about his poetry, I learned quite a bit about both. 

Finally, though I don't feel like naming A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge a new personal favorite (I'll grant it superiority over the film it sequelizes), I was thrilled to finally see Pecahes Christ's Midnight Mass return to its proper witching-hour time slot, and was dazzled by the creativity and panache of her slickly-designed and choreographed pre-show performance, which filled the Castro stage perfectly; I'd previously only seen her stage shows at the too-snug Bridge and Victoria Theatres, and while more enjoyably homespun, they could never quite reach the arch outrageousness of this weekend's winking performance. Oh, and the interview with Mark Patton was pretty good too.

There's still almost a full week of Frameline screenings left in the festival, but I feel remiss not having already linked to the previews by Tony An and Adam Hartzell of some of the many Asian-made films in this year's program, most of which still have at least one screening. After several years of relatively slim selections of LGBT films from East Asia, this year's program has multiple films from several countries across the Pacific Rim from us, including South Korea, Thialand Cambodia mainland China and Taiwan, and a film apiece from Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and even the festival's first-ever selection from the (less East, more inland) country of Nepal.

 Two Girls Against the Rain screens on a program called Between Ring And Pendant, named for a Hong Kong short in the program, which is described by Frameline thusly:
This stellar collection of Asian & Pacific Islander shorts take us on a journey across the Pacific Rim and back to the Bay Area with fearless tomboys, aspiring pop divas, and some deeply complicated familial bonds.
HOW: Digital presentation of a digitally-produced doc. The only remaining film in this year's Frameline festival program expected to screen on film is The Shower, a Chilean film from 2010 screening in tomorrow night's program Tu Recuerdo.

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