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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.


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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

entry arrow2:22 AM | Those Boys...



Lynn Shelton's Humpday [2009] is a film that runs on the engines of an intriguing idea but falls short on delivery: it is a timid, half-hearted film filled with big speeches about art and the decisions that make our lives -- but mouthed off by actors who are equally timid and half-hearted you don't believe in any of their motivations. (The only true moment comes when the wife recalls a tryst she had once and tells the story to her husband -- but that may be because it reminded me of the similar crucial moment of confession in James Joyce's "The Dead".) I don't even know why I bothered finishing it, but I did. I was hopeful all the way through, even when its clumsy cinematography overplayed its cinema vérité look and resulted only in making dizziness an excuse to play with the pause button on this one. What was I hoping for? A tight finish the way Jonathan Demme did in Rachel Getting Married [2009], the look of which this film tried to emulate? Or perhaps, a searing exchange of dialogue to end the film? Because that was the only way this film -- about two best friends, both straight men, who proceed on a dare to make a gay porn video as an art film to be submitted to a film festival -- could be saved. There are traces of that salvation in the end, but the effort felt as if the filmmaker did not exactly know what she wanted to do, or to say, about the material, except half-heartedly pontificate about the real people we hide behind our every day masks (e.g., liberal people can be prudes, and squares can have surprising inner lives, etc.), the nature of art, and the demands of friendship. It didn't work. Nothing is as exasperating as a piece of work of such great potential squandered into meaninglessness like this crap.

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