Wednesday, February 09, 2011
IndieFest Week One: Extreme Obsession and a Standing Ovation
The San Francisco Independent Film Fest continued to shock and surprise audiences with well-chosen, remarkable films during its first week at the Roxie Theatre.
"Heartbeats (Les amours imaginaires)," shown on Feb. 6, is an tale of extreme obsession that seems subtle at first, but then it causes some movie watchers to yell out in disgust and shock. A gay man and his best friend, a straight woman, become obsessed with a younger, curly-headed blond man who somewhat resembles Michelangelo’s David statue. They project their assumptions onto him and desperately compete for his attention. Audience outrage came pouring out at the ending, after the two had been spurned by him and seemed to have escaped his mind twisting grasp. The horrible, anguished scream that comes out of the gay man when the blond approaches at a party has only been heard previously in horror films when an alien masquerading as a human is exposed and is killed. And then the best friends do something that shocked and surprised the audience and caused outcries heard throughout the theater.
Opening night film "Kaboom" received a standing ovation on Feb. 3, which greatly pleased director Gregg Araki. He told the audience how shocked he was at the Cannes Film Festival when the film received an unprecedented 15-minute standing ovation. He and his cast were prepared for the opposite reaction. This was inconceivable for the filmerati who feel that he is irresponsible and just into making movies for his own sadistic shock values. His fans in the audience yelled out and laughed loudly at scenes that are unseen elsewhere and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A pungent odor engulfed the tight group around Araki later in the lobby, and when the door was opened a cute boy with his hot dog and onion stand was revealed. This is a manifestation of the unique culture of the Mission that condo-ization and other gentrification could end.