Friday, July 01, 2011

Three Extraordinary Directors: Frameline Festival Treasures Revealed

Frameline's San Francisco Int'l LGBT Film Festival is over for 2011, but its best directors and their films are still being discussed by the filmerati and people who just love the movies. Documentary filmmaker Debra Chasnoff, gay romance filmmaker David Lewis, and gay short film director Philippe Gosselin presented some of the festival’s finest moments.

Chasnoff mentioned from the stage at the Castro Theatre that her latest film, "Celebrating the Life of Del Martin," is her ninth film to premiere at the Castro Theatre. Del Martin was the partner of Phyllis Lyon for more than 50 years, and they are the founders of the Daughters of Bilitis, the first modern lesbian activist group. Martin and Lyon are shown brilliantly in the film as intuitive activists, knowing when to push forward with their lesbian, human rights, and senior issues, and their book "Lesbian/Woman," is given the prominence that it deserves as a groundbreaking conscious-raising educational tool.

Debra Chasnoff is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker who was able to capture the risk-taking, the community service, and also the fun that Martin and Lyon have provided as an inspiration for future leaders.

David Lewis has infused his newest film "Longhorns" with some of the easy-going romance of his popular earlier films "Rock Haven" and "Redwoods." "Longhorns" may not have the sheen of the other two films, but considering its home-movie texture and the raw gay-on-straight sexuality in the first half of the film, a romantic sheen would be out of place. His films have a theme of timing and missed opportunities, and they should be screened together for their full visceral and primal impact. The nudity in his films is not gratuitous, but natural, which is surprising compared to the panorama of gay films shown at festivals.

Lewis received invaluable producing assistance from filmmaker H.P. Mendoza ("Fruit Fly" and "Colma: The Musical") and editing and music from Lewis Tice.

Philippe Gosselin’s new short film "The Rescue" drew shouts and loud laughter of pleasure as the guide at The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Boyfriends led an attractive man from viewing room to viewing room to check out a possible future mate wearing just underpants. The scene was filmed at the famous Wag Hotel in San Francisco, which is an internationally known as the place to park your canine. Gosselin’s earlier film that was shown at film festival, "The Window," is still talked about for its humor and sexual audacity. "The Rescue" went way beyond inventive in its creativity, giving actress Cynthia Seats as the guide, and infamous actors Steven Satyricon as the bear-otter mix and Michael Soldier as the pig bottom a opportunity to maximize their verbal and visual impact in just a few moments.

All three filmmakers surpassed themselves in their latest films, and their fans are looking forward to future projects.

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