Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival 3

On Tuesday, D and I went to see Breakfast with Scot.  Based on a novel originally set in Massachusets, and transposed to Canada with the addition of an ice-hockey sub-plot, the advertised premise was as follows:

Macho sports commentator Eric is in the closet. Hiding his boyfriend was hard. Staying in the closet was even harder when 11 year old Scot, the girliest boy in Canada, moved in. Scot’s love of all things pink and frilly freaks Eric and Sam out, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In other words, as a variant on the “[straight] parents find out their kid is gay” this film offered the twist of “gay [quasi] parents find out that that their kid is gay” – or at least, very very girly.

The boy who plays Scot is terrific.  But in commending him, I am aware there is some tricky territory which is also traversed by the film.  No-one really wants to say, and the film avoids saying, that Scot is “gay.”  It is sufficient that he is very girly.  The persecution a girly boy receives is precisely the same persecution as dished out to the effeminate and presumed to be gay older male, but no-one wants to be seen confirming the persecutors’ prejudices by labelling a kid that age as gay.  Being gay is not really such a good thing yet really.  On the other hand, although there are some exceptions, under present social conditions it is a reasonably fair bet that most girly boys will grow up to be gay men.  (Though not every gay man was a girly boy.)

And this is the tricky territory in commending the performance of the boy who played Scot, because although I do not doubt that he is a very talented actor, it is hard to imagine a boy of that age being able to play such a character if there is not at least a degree of type casting going on.  Think John Megna who played Dill (a fictionalised young Truman Capote) in To Kill a Mockingbird and who died, aged 43, in 1995.

On Thursday we schlepped out in the storms to Randwick for the last night of the festival: 2 Sides of the Bed, billed as a “Special Event.” I had never been inside the Ritz cinema before.  We sat upstairs – if only because we could.

The attendance didn’t seem as large as I would have expected, and then it became obvious why: this was a lesbian film. It looks like it’s the story of the Mardi Gras all over again: the boys provide the numbers on the street and on the seats, but the girls have the numbers in those darned committees. It was a cheerful Spanish comedy, and not too serious. It wasn’t even all that lesbian – two girls who left their boyfriends in favour of each other, but by the end one agreed by the end to return to her boyfriend for half of the time. The film’s motto seemed to be that everyone is bisexual – but what this really meant was the traditional twice the chance for a root or, in this case, a comic plot mutation.

They did have some quite amusing song and dance routines which, I understand, are actually parodies of Spanish pop songs.  I imagine that, if you knew the original songs, these would have been extremely funny.

Overall, I think Queer Screen could have chosen a stronger closer.

Apparently they had planned to have some kind of a party at the cinema but had not managed to organise it properly with the theatre management. We trooped up the street to the Royal Hotel for an impromptu swarming, but the atmosphere was not really right.

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