JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Dick Flicks (Directors: Walter Riccarelli, Petra Volpe, Jay Spears, Hasegawa Kenjiro, Nico Stagias, Michael Smith, Guy Maddin, Jason Bolicki, Graham Hollings, Keith Dando) - May 14, 2004

Dick Flicks

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Reviewed at the 2005 Inside Out Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival

Four and one-half stars
Walter Riccarelli
Italy (2004)
6 min.

This Ode to bare-chested construction workers has a wonderfully voyeuristic appeal—what gay man (or straight woman) hasn’t surreptitiously snuck a peek at buff flesh at work? With Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s famous version of the Gershwin masterpiece as the soundtrack, the “livin’ is” most certainly “easy” to watch and hear. The last shot of the labourer’s shakin’ jowl in near-perfect sync with Satchmo’s scat is perfectly divine. JWR

La Fidanzata
Four stars
Petra Volpe
Switzerland (2004)
11 min.

“If things work that well in bed, it has to be God’s will.”

Gay men everywhere should see this tasty vignette that explores both the fear of relatives discovering why their favourite son/grandson has never brought a woman home. What starts out as the first anniversary from hell (Lolo and Manuel’s romantic dinner crashed by nosy grandmother, forcing the Sophia Loren knockout to first hide in shame then morph into Manuela) has a happy ending that re-writes the old adage to “sex conquers all!” JWR

I Like Mike
Five stars
Jay Spears
U.S.A. (2004)
3 min.

Here’s a music video that bats 1000! This time, the Ode is to Mike, ballplayer extraordinaire. The whole team joins in to sing his praises because he’s “got the leather and the lumber.” Don’t miss the synchronized batting practice; without a doubt, these LA Batboys “got game.” JWR

Parallel Contact
Two and one-half stars
Hasegawa Kenjiro
Japan (2004)
6 min.

In this train spotting adventure, love at first sight goes to Japan’s high-speed commuter set. The looks are engaging as the two young men move in the same direction but on different tracks. A changeover brings them together, but the payoff is weaker than its promise. JWR

Four and one-half stars
Nico Stagias & Michael Smith
Canada (2004)
3 min.

This charming wee video, full of Scat Can content, takes bathroom humour to a crappy new level, but don’t misunderstand, that’s a good thing! All dressed up with somewhere to poop, the musical line is at one with the intestinal journey that confronts us all daily. Not for the shy, but will appeal to all good shits. JWR

Sissy Boy Slap Party
Five stars
Guy Maddin
Canada (2004)
5 min.

Brilliantly conceived and with an editor from the gods, this grainy black-and-white slap-fest produces a range of ideas and emotions that many features fail to find. The notion of hands-on skin—stretched for the African drummers, sculpted for the sissy sailors—is tossed back and forth as the men explore their pent-up feelings to the pulsating rhythms (deftly coloured with eerie strings), despite their geriatric leader’s admonishment before he headed out to the condom shack for supplies. JWR

twenty gay stereotypes confirmed
Four stars
Jason Bolicki
U.S.A. (2003)
10 min.

These enchanting self-confirmations could work two ways: as is—a litmus test for uncertain queers-in-waiting or their family members—or (with the sound turned off) as a “name that stereotype” party game for gay men and their admirers who want to test their “cultural” knowledge. Either way, it’s great fun. JWR

Venice for Homosexuals
Three and one-half stars
Graham Hollings
Canada (2004)
4 min.

Similar in concept to Summertime, this celebration of public male bounty and booty is set to Jacques Offenbach’s “Barcarolle” from The Tales of Hoffman, but lacks cohesion between the music and the images. The black-and-white Kodachrome treatment is at one with the 1937 Vina Bovy performance, yet forces the viewer to fill in the visual blanks. JWR

Three stars
Keith Dando
U.K. (2005)
7 min.

Fantasy hour goes to NASA: a wayward astronaut crashes into a country boy’s personal self ministrations after his off-course space ship lands in the back forty. But everything works out for the best when it is revealed to the instantly smitten bush wanker that the pilot’s not averse to using his own rocket power to help the pair get through the night. JWR

On All Floors
Three and one-half stars
Geoff Evans
Wales (2002)
4 min.

This capsule of human-nature-under-stress is an amusing trifle that will resonate with anyone who—fearing the end—has blurted out some truth to total strangers (or unrequited acquaintances) that has been on their confessional backburner for years. It’s more fun in what it evokes, than what it actually says. JWR

Feltch Sanders
One star
Abe Sylvia
U.S.A. (2004)
12 min.

Two private dicks on the trail of a blonde, one-shoed bimbo that takes them to a nightclub and a glory-hole buffet? And all done up in ’70s kitsch? Sounds promising, but it all falls flat in the delivery, not even the full basket shot can save this tripe. JWR

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