QFest 2010

Schedule | Reviews

Fell Between The Cracks

  • Fierce and Funny — It was a call between clean clothes and making the first movie. I thought of the audience first!
  • Deliver Us From Evil – Decided to end the night on the high of excellent period British lesbian bodice ripping.

Reviews: Features | Shorts | Ratings Guide

Rating Features Shorts
Excellent (5/5) 2 3
Very Good (4/5) 10 4
Good (3/5) 9 2
Fair (2/5) 8 1
Poor (1/5) 3  0
TOTAL 32 10
Average Rating 3.0 3.9

Feature Film Reviews

Excellent (5/5)

  • The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister – English Lesbian bodice-ripping period piece has the secret formula from real-life coded diary. — Last year’s Affinity was my best in fest, and this year Diaries is the film to beat after weekend 1.
  • Undertow – Moving, well-told story from Peru with simple people in complex situations. Avoids easy outs. Gets pace just right.

Very Good (4/5)

  • Children of God – Explores familiar themes in Bahamian context. Seems rushed/unfinished as story lines wrap up. More, please.
  • Eyes Wide Open – Strong setting, mood, cultural insight. Robbed of 5 by slow middle, weak motive; lead never ACTED alive.
  • La Mission – Different POVs–ethnic, protagonist, setting–make up for (perhaps deliberate) slow parts of coming-to-terms tale.
  • My Normal – Mirror universe TheSecretary meets ThePlayer, this film keeps fetish as plot point, not gimmick. Nicely done.
  • Out of Annapolis – Well-told stories of 11 who attended USNA before, during Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Hoping for After epilogue soon.
  • Piggies – No happy ending in well-acted Polish Faustian downfall, but nothing THAT controversial; no explicit tag required.
  • Strapped – Magnetic lead and great supporting cast make this film engrossing; set in an apartment building gayer than The Ben!
  • The String – Surprisingly fun and crafty romance set in Tunisia. Light, well-paced, some eye candy, and even a little ululation!
  • You Should Meet My Son – Perfect first act, then muddled with too many characters, too little interaction between mother & aunt.
  • William S. Burroughs – Great docu about a cultural vanguard plagued by tragedies random & engineered. Much like Burroughs himself.

Good (3/5)

  • Bear City – Gets going after getting one-liners, bear jargon out of the way; score always distracts. Familiar NYC places/faces.
  • Dearest Mother – Longish confessional tale takes oh-so-Spanish quirky turns–but a rap over the closing credits? Really?
  • From Beginning To End – Lush, sexy, slow (not glacial), complicated mess lost its 4 because of plot and editing deficiencies. — Why was FBtE a mess? OH: “They were brothers.” “Half-brothers.” “That’s splitting hairs.” Gets ‘most talked about afterwards’ award.
  • Handsome Harry – Good concept, but grainy video & some unnamed missing element undermine this coming-to-terms road-trip.
  • Is It Just Me? – No Roxanne. Pulls together enough to forgive a clunky first half. Worth seeing a 2nd effort from those involved.
  • Leo’s Room – Strong performance by Frodo-eyes lead earns a slim 3 despite glacial pace, corny soundtrack, messy plot.
  • Role/Play – Well-meaning, interesting story with fest-familiar cast stumbles on plot pivots, too many one-liners, la-la music.
  • RoboGeisha – Unevenly funny–defibrillator not needed–but delivers on what title promises. Even buildings spurt fake blood! It lost some of its wackiness punch BECAUSE it did what I expected. Survive Style 5+ was a constant “OMG, what next?” event.
  • You Can’t Have It All – Fine opening-night fare rom-com shot locally harkens back to 90s coming out films. Starts slow but picks up.

Fair (2/5)

  • Alex & Leo German wackiness couldn’t rescue the mostly-unlikable characters in this film. They didn’t deserve happy endings.
  • Deleted Scenes – Title’s more gimmick than effective device; still, avoids complete narrative mess. Lots of sex–maybe too much.
  • Fashion Victim – French (not in a good way) farce fails at comedy and social commentary with flare, like lipstick on a pig.
  • Flight of the Cardinal – Overwrought score, weak plot undermine this alleged thriller. Rent Deathtrap with Caine & Reeve instead.
  • Howl – Despite mesmerizing Franco and Hamm, the animation and poem itself left me cold and eager to get on the road.
  • Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay! – Well-meaning but flat and throwback-ish, like leads never locking lips. Audience laughed more than I did.
  • Release – This UK Oz-ish mixed bag–corny, touching, goofy, brutal, unlikely, creepy–self-destructs in finale like Shank.
  • Shut Up & Kiss Me – A few good ideas are lost in consistently poor execution. I haven’t seen that much fake brick since the 70s!

 Poor (1/5)

  • Four-Faced Liar – DawsonsCreek goes to NYU with trite music, boring plot, unlikeable characters and “experimentation”. Snoozed. At one point, the trite rom-commy chime/xylophone music started playing during a love scene. You can’t make mood with pop music of “heartfelt” singer-songwriter dreck, but you can certainly destroy it.
  • Plan B – Glacial pace, horrible editing, strange shots, bad hair, XYLOPHONES. Oh, Argentina, don’t cry–just snore.
  • Seeing Heaven – Lacking in every respect, many in the audience laughed inappropriately and fled for the exit to avoid the Q&A.

Short Film Reviews

Excellent (5/5)

  • After – Tragedy interrupts fantasy in this no-dialog poem-inspired short. Arty but in a good way.
  • BedFellows – Brilliant what-if hook-up fairy tale and only appropriate use of xylophone this year.
  • Does Not Depend On – No dialog and music-video-like visuals collide tell engaging story of two hassidic youths coming to terms.

Very Good (4/5)

  • 13 Or So Minutes – Bare bones compared to the rest, but compelling with good dialog, acting, chemistry for a short.
  • On The Way To The Video Store – Interesting and funny, but I dislike telephone call as narrative device and Marie’s voice.
  • The Defenders – Inventive retort to Prop 8: “How’d you feel if someone put your marriage to a vote?” http://is.gd/dvTvl
  • You Can’t Curry Love – Bollywood-inspired sweet little traveller love story whose rough editing edges robbed it of a 5.

Good (3/5)

  • Last Call – Weakest short wasn’t all that bad; good idea and competent execution but not quite as satisfying.
  • Never Too Late – Fest trailer creator responds to Prop 8 via old movie clips with new dialog. Maybe too long for the form.

Fair (2/5)

  • The Yellow Tent – More creepy than cute when two guys revisit childhood in a yellow tent set up in the spare room.

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