Film/DVD

DVD Shorts: June 2008

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LivingEndThe Living End: Remixed and Remastered
The film that ushered in the “new queer cinema,” with its raw feel and unapologetic violence, stands out on its own. From the first frame — “F–k the World” spray-painted on a wall — to Luke having sex with Jon (both are HIV-positive) on the beach while holding a gun to his own head, this film screams angrily into the face of AIDS. And anyone who grew up in the ’90s will get a kick out of the musical references (Revolting Cocks and Nitzer Ebb, etc.). • 1992. Written and directed by Gregg Araki. • Strand Releasing (www.strandreleasing.com). — Review: Eric A.T. Dieckman
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FineDeadGirlsFine Dead Girls
Adorable lesbians Iva and Marija’s new love nest transforms into a house of horrors in this 2002 Best Croatian Film Award winner. Don’t they have enough ethnic violence to worry about, without the gay-bashers piling on, too? • 2002. Directed by Dalibor Matanic. Croatian with English subtitles. • First Run Features (www.firstrunfeatures.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford
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S is for Sexy
Among the titles in this collection of shorts is the touching Signage, wherein a 40-something gay man, still trying to look young and hip, meets a very young, cute, deaf boy, and gets shot down, but not for his age. While Shahram and Abbas is a comical tale of two Iranian men seeking asylum, the underlying message of persecution of gays in Iran is disturbing. • Wolfe Video (www.wolfevideo.com or 1-800-GET-WOLFE). — Review:Eric A.T. Dieckman 
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BeyondHatredBeyond Hatred
After three French skinheads beat 29-year-old François Chenu and leave him unconscious in a pond to drown, his family is devastated. This objective, verité-style documentary follows Chenu’s family through the process of feelings of rage and retribution to understanding the environment of his killers that led to such a horrifying crime. • 2005. Directed by Olivier Meyrou. • First Run Features (www.firstrunfeatures.com). — Review: Eric A.T. Dieckman 

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Bernard and Doris
Mutual unconditional platonic devotion has never been so charmingly displayed. When butler Bernard Lafferty (Ralph Fiennes) passes out drunk in front of his employer Doris Duke (Susan Sarandon), in her bedroom in the middle of the night, instead of firing him, she puts him through rehab until both are sure he’s healthy enough to “return home.” The sweetness of their relationship is exhibited in scene after scene. • 2007. Directed by Bob Balaban. • HBO Video (www.hbo.com). — Review: Eric A.T. Dieckman 

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FirstOut2First Out 2
Though the writing suffers in some of these shorts, Like a Brother feels like a slice of life from any gay man’s personal high school memories of vulnerability and fear of being exposed. The silent black-and-white Sexy Grandpa suggests that, even in a retirement villa, the hottest guys still turn out to be gay. • Alluvial Filmworks (www.villagelighthouse.com). — Review: Eric A.T. Dieckman 
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You Belong to Me
If Hitchcock summered at Mykonos and Fire Island, he may have authored this engaging thriller. When Jeffrey moves into an apartment, Gladys, his landlady, seems outgoing. At first. Things get creepy fast, until Jeffrey is no longer a tenant but a captive house “guest” a la Misery. In multiple scenes, you think, “Finally, he’s broken free,” only to strain at his further struggle with menacing Gladys. • 2007. Written and directed by Sam Zalutsky. • From Wolfe Video (www.wolfevideo.com). — Review: Eric A.T. Dieckman
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ExesExes & Ohs, The Complete First Season
The Seattle Sapphos are eager to meet that elusive audience that doesn’t subscribe to Logo, but does own a DVD player. This complete, six-episode first season of the comings and goings of five lesbian friends is available all by itself as well as in “The Women Who Love Too Much” double set, brilliantly packaged with the complete first season of The L Word. — Review: Nancy Ford
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The Big Gay Sketch Show: The Complete Unrated Second Season
There’s an obnoxious kid in every social group, sometimes genuinely funny but often annoying, but he’s one of us. So we love him. This show is that kid. Some GLBT-centric sketches really hit home while others leave you wanting your time back. Rosie O’Donnell and Chastity Bono heckling the show at the end, a la Statler and Waldorf of The Muppet Show, is a cute and clever touch though. • Logo (www.logoonline.com). — Review: Eric A.T. Dieckman 
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WorkOutWorkout: One-On-One Training with Jackie
If you have the determination, Bravo’s lesbian trainer/gym owner can give you the tools to trim down and tone up. This programmable DVD offers three 20-minute workouts targeting upper body, lower body, and core (y’know, abs). With each exercise, Jackie’s trainers offer variations to suit levels of intensity. Do them separately or lay them out in whatever order for an hour-long sweat-fest. Extras include helpful eating tips to a simple guide to personalizing your workout. • Lionsgate (www.lionsgate.com). — Preview: Eric A.T. Dieckman 
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The Clash Live
Punk rules once again with this 67-minute, 30th-anniversary documentary comprised entirely of the spankin’ band’s live performances captured from 1977 to 1983. With rare interviews and previously unreleased tracks, the set makes a perfect appetizer to director Julien Temple’s doc tribute to late Clash drummer, Joe Strummer, due out June 3. — Preview: Nancy Ford

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