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In Like Outfest 

Our critics' guide to the best of the fest's closing weekend.

Wednesday, Jul 15 2009
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AND THEN CAME LOLA (USA)
Imitation is usually the sincerest form of plagiarism, but in the case of this delightful low-budget comedy it’s a lot more than that. The film “sampled” is Run Lola Run, German director Tom Tykwer’s postmodern action thriller in which a bright-red-headed girl’s mad dash across Berlin to deliver a cache of cash is related three times with three different outcomes. In And Then Came Lola, directors Ellen Seidler and Megan Siler detail the far less melodramatic sprint of a spirited lesbian (Ashleigh Sumner) across San Francisco to deliver photographs to her current girlfriend (Jill Bennett), who needs them for an important business deal. “Current” is the operative term with Lola, who has other women in her past and her present as well (including Angelyna Martinez as a hilariously imposing meter maid). Ashleigh Sumner is a delightfully harried, yet determined center of the action, and the film offers a love letter to the city of San Francisco and its LGBT inhabitants with great style. (DGA, Fri., July 17, 7:15 p.m.) (David Ehrenstein)

BOY (Philippines)
The latest from Filipino filmmaker Auraeus Solito (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros), Boy, is such a surprise. It’s a very straightforward story of an “out” young man (Aeious Asin) looking for love in gay night clubs that feature both drag queens and go-go boys. Why this seemingly smart youth finds himself drawn to the tackiest of such clubs isn’t spelled out by the filmmaker. But when he brings a dancer (Aries Pena) home for a tryst, claiming to his mother (Madeleine Nicolas) that he’s a schoolmate, other matters rise to the surface. It all comes to an eerily low-key climax in which Mom waxes nostalgic about the Ferdinand Marcos regime — an era her son regards with ice-cold contempt. Clearly there are matters here of particular interest to domestic audiences that won’t resonate as sharply with U.S. viewers. But whether you catch all its nuances or not, Boy is a fascinatingly subtly tense slice of gay life in a country quite different from ours. (Fairfax, Fri., July 17, 9:30 p.m.) (David Ehrenstein)

 

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PORNOGRAPHY (USA)
This crazily ambitious debut thriller from writer-director David Kittredge has a complicated structure and a what-the-hell-did-that-mean? ending, but it’s also intelligent and well-acted. In an overly long prologue, gay porn star Mark Anton (Jared Grey) is paid 40 grand to sit for an interview with a man he never sees. Years later, a writer (Matthew Montgomery) working on a history of porn begins to investigate the rumored murder of Anton, who may be haunting the writer (literally). Later still, a present-day porn star (Pete Scherer) begins dreaming of events we’ve seen in the first two parts of the film. Despite its awkward structure, Pornography marks Kittredge as filmmaker with a strong mind and a gift for drawing full-bodied performances from his actors. That’s especially true of Montgomery, an L.A.-based actor who reportedly doesn’t have an agent, but who’s stolen the show in several gay indies, including Socket and Long-Term Relationships. Someone needs to take this guy to lunch. (Fairfax, Sat., July 18, 9:45 p.m.) (Chuck Wilson)

 

SHOW ME LOVE (Sweden)
It feels like cheating to shout about a film that’s 10 years old, but Show Me Love is, as it was in 1998, an Outfest gem. Screening as part of a 20th anniversary salute to the brave and important distributor Strand Releasing, this story of two Swedish teenage girls (Rebecka Liljeberg and Alexandra Dahlstrom) in love is quirky one minute and mean the next, and as such is utterly true to the abrupt highs and lows of being a teen — gay, straight or otherwise. For his first film, writer-director Lukas Moodysson (Lilya-4-Ever, Together) made a movie that famously outgrossed Titanic on its native turf, and which lives long in one’s memory — now, 10 years from now, and forever. (DGA, Fri., July 17, 9:45 p.m.) (CW)

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