A pair of comedies shared the spotlight at the Al Green Theatre for the early Friday night offering of the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival. Despite the feature being more than ten times the short’s length, the genuine laughs from both were comparable.
2009, 8 min.
Ojibway men and their admirers will appreciate the in-depth, no-cheek-left-unturned research in this, er, exposé of a heretofore little known disorder. Backed by largely believable scientific evidence and courageously semi-baring his own infirmity (curiously taken to a jiggling total revelation during the closing credits of the Down Under international première that followed), Douglas simultaneously showed deep affinity with his roots and the Canadian gift for satire.
2009, 89 min.
Despite some fine performances from the principals (Luke Carroll as Eddie—longing to find his place away from white man’s metropolitan Australia; Leon Burchill, his joint-meister cousin Charlie), Frankland’s “first indigenous comedy” was more a buffet of styles (farce, physical, situational, black-face, mock-horror, animal, mineral and even a Black Dynamite echo—cross-reference below) than a road movie that tickles the funny bone at every stop even as it makes an important point.
A few real zingers (notably the domino effect of political portraits crushing an unsuspecting “Basel-the-pussy”; a milky condom nearly prevents an equally white matrimonial bed being given a test run by Charlie’s extra dark-and-frisky member (and sacred baubles) at the insistence of the sister-of-the-bride to sheath his shaft: chocolate syrup never served a nobler purpose) couldn’t overcome too many in-jokes during this far too incredible journey of two young black men going “home,” picking up a transvestite and origin-denier along the zany route.
Nonetheless, we offer the top eleven (ten didn’t seem quite enough) alternate titles that might add further insight to the director’s intent:
- Taking the High Road Together
- The Good, The Black and The Doggie
- My Favourite Merlin (see immediately above)
- You Are You; I Am Me
- Hector at the Wedding
- I Enjoy Being a Girl (the tranny version)
- Black Is the Colour of my True Love’s Hair
- Smoke Gets in Your Lungs
- He Ain’t Heavy He’s my Cousin
- Black Like We
- A Paler Shade of Black
The glimmers of genuine humour and high production values ought to be given an encore now that the inevitable “butterflies” of being the first (cross-reference below) have flittered away.
P.S: Thank goodness the vehicle of choice was a weathered sedan instead of an aging bus driven (in more ways than one) by Guy Pearce. JWR