Best shorts collections represent top picks from noted film festivals
by Nancy Ford
Pride, proms, graduations, preparing for the hurricane season . . . it’s a busy, busy month. Who’s got time to sit down to watch a feature-length movie?
First Line features recognizes that our 21st-century schedules are demanding ones, so they’ve considerately gone to the trouble of compiling two DVD collections of Fest Selects, conveniently subtitled Best Lesbian Shorts and Best Gay Shorts. All titles here have received recognition from respected film festivals including Philadelphia’s Qfest, L.A.’s Outfest, Frameline, Palm Springs International ShortFest, Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, and others.
Notably included in the lesbian reel are director Kate A. Brandt’s Tools 4 Fools (2009) starring the hysterical Julie Goldman (The Big Gay Sketch Show) who, in a mere eight minutes, explains why one should never buy second-hand dildos. Equally appealing is Gina Hirsch’s You Move Me (2010), describing the flip side of lesbians’ pervasive U-Haul phenomenon.
Prize-winning works by notable lesbian directors Chris Russo’s 25 Random Things I Did during My Big Fat Lesbian Depression (2009), Jenifer Malmqvist’s At the End of the Street (2007) and Birthday (2010), Meredith Scott Lynn’s Parental Guidance (2008), and Gianna Sobol’s Public Relations (2009) round out the women’s selections. Also included, curiously, are two cuts directed by non-lesbians, P. David Ebersole’s Swimming (2010) and Erick Gernand’s Tech Support (2009).
All-male directors dominate Best Gay Shorts, with David Färdmar’s My Name Is Love (2008) being the most recognized. But it’s Barry Morse’s Mouse’s Birthday (2010), a quirky yet deep little snippet of a tale of “a mouse, a cockroach, and a gay” (with vocals by Jane Wiedlin!) that emerges as the top ranker here.
Other much-lauded films in the guys’ collection include Mark Pariselli’s After (2009), Pierre Stefanos’ Bedfellows (2010), Alain Hain’s Curious Thing (2009), Jonathan Lisecki’s Gayby (2010), Guy Shalem’s Sharktank.com (2010), and Eldar Rapaport’s Steam (2009).
Whether viewed all in one sitting or enjoyed one-at-a-time, the films offer unique and entertaining perspectives of gay and lesbian lives, and the challenges, triumphs, and heartbreaks therein. First Run Features (firstrunfeatures.com).