Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Boy Culture

boy culture.jpg

Sunday, June 15th, 9:15 p.m. Harvard Exit
Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

Please take advantage of Seattle getting this great film a second time. This review was originally written for its screening at SIFF.

Here's my problem with most gay dramas; they usually fall into one of four categories Coming Out, Dying of Aids, The Loves and Travails of a Group of Friends and Hustlers. Granted Boy Culture technically falls into Hustlers, but within the first five minutes of the film it satirizes this fact in a wittily self-reflexive way.

Admirably, director and co-screenwriter Q. Allan Brocka was able to incorporate several of these self-parodying jokes; as well as use clich├ęd gay film scenarios like the gay man secretly in love with best friend; and the usual stock homosexual characters- older mentor, hustler with the heart of gold, and humorous sluttish twink with secret depths; and still manage to come up with an original smart and insightful drama about three dimensional characters behaving in a realistic manner. In other words, he gives us the best of both worlds and challenges the audience to look at gay interrelationships as they are in the real world. Plus, impressively, he makes Seattle, where the film is set, look like Seattle-there are days when it doesn't rain and there are locations other than the Space Needle.
Brocka also wisely cast the wonderful character actor Patrick Bauchau, whom you've seen a half a dozen times playing the wise mentor to numerous heroes, as, well, the wise mentor to the high paid hustler/hero of this piece the self-named X. Bauchau's character, Gregory, gives X, (insightfully played by Derek Magyar) much needed lessons in human connection and risk taking which in addition to living with his two roommates, Blowey Joey (the twink and X's surrogate son) and Andrew (X's potential love interest) may or may not lead him successfully down the rocky path to romance. Gregory winds up not being quite what he seem which again pays tribute to the cleverness of the screenplay and direction.

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