Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|First Out |
Actors: Emile Stiles, Ben Hogestyn, Robbie Laughlin
Director: Tyrrell Shaffner;Benjamin Morgan;Michael Simon;Samantha Light
Genres: Comedy, Gay & Lesbian, Mystery & Suspense
FIRST OUT — Different — Justin has a secret: He's straight. In the parallel universe of Liberty High School, gay is the norm and Homecoming is only days away. Starring Emily Stiles (Eating Out, Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds)... more »
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Compilation of gay shorts has one gem, couple of clunkers
Bob Lind | Phoenix, AZ United States | 12/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Reviewing a compilation of short films is like reviewing a food buffet; there are bound to be choices you like more than others. While the quality of gay shorts I have viewed in previous compilations were generally good or better, a couple of the choices in Alluvial Filmworks' "First Out" (2006) definitely gave me indigestion.
Taking the five films one at a time:
"Is One Of You Eddie?" is a bit of a satire on stereotyping gay people do among themselves, where a group of West Hollywood party boys assume a somewhat nerdy-appearing neighbor is a loser. 3 stars out of 5.
I first suspected "Different" (2004) might have stolen its basic premise from the full-length film "Almost Normal", but actually the short predates that by a year. In each case, it looks at a high school in a "parallel dimension" of sorts, where homosexuality is the norm, and heterosexuals are the subject of scorn by preachers, teachers and peers. When Justin doesn't want to go to the Homecoming Dance with the football captain, people start to talk. Cute, but the longer film did it better. 3 stars out of 5.
In "A Good Son" (1998), a teen meets another boy at a college swim meet, and, in addition to finding they have a lot in common, finds out something about himself he isn't comfortable facing. Kind of boring, and has some problems with sound. 2 stars out of 5.
When a gay home worker notices that the focus of his obsession, his upstairs neighbor, is suddenly gone, replaced by a young couple living in his place, he does "The Neighborly Thing" and goes up there to investigate. The confrontation is not a good idea. (And neither was this pointless film.) 1 star out of 5.
"Meet Joe Gay" is a documentary of a 27 year old gay filmmaker in West Hollywood who was planning to make a "gay fairytale" (complete with Prince Charming), but realized that his obsession with fairytales may be one of the reasons why he has been unsuccessful in maintaining any kind of lasting relationship. So, he turns the cameras around and tries to learn about the dynamics of gay relationships, by talking to his friends, his ex-boyfriend, his parents, an older couple (together 41 years), two teens (together 4 months), and his guests at a slumber party who talk about the problems gay face in dating. Very original and nicely done. 5 stars out of 5."
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 01/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A Collection of Award Winning Gay-Themed Short Films
Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride
Alluvial Filmworks has always been one of the leading manufacturers, distributors, and retailer of gay and lesbian film and when they do release something is a guaranteed pleaser. With "First Out", Alluvial has again proven that they have first quality work. I have never really been a fan of short films, but this collection kept in my seat and watching carefully. Each of the five films on the DVD is amazing and the five of them together is amazing times five. Alluvial has done itself proud with this DVD due to be released January 2, 2007. If you have access to pre-order this disc, do not hesitate. It is a treasure.
The only unifying theme that the five films have is that they are all gay. Each is a separate entity and I am so grateful that we now have the chance to have all of them together. Of course I do have my favorite but I am not saying which one. Those of you know me will surely guess correctly which one it is. Maybe we should have a contest to see if you can determine which it is. Let's take a look at the collection.
"Different" is a comedy which takes place in a high school where the norm is being gay and the straight guy stands out like a sore thumb. Justin, the sole straight student, has to keep the fact that he is straight secret from the other students and the faculty. When the captain of the football team invites him to be his date to the Homecoming Dance, Justin finds himself in a quandary. He has a crush on one of the girls at school but he knows he has to conform to the rest of the student body to be accepted. The ending is a surprise and to tell you what happens would spoil the joy you will have when you see the flick. It is enough to say that the tables are turned in this movie and in this biting satire on romantic comedies as well as of the predicament of gay and lesbian high school students. It is subversive in its nature and exposes intolerance through hilarity.
"A Good Son" is a drama that examines a chance meeting between a junior and a senior in high school. This encounter brings about a pivotal point in the life of one of the guys. He is forced to realize who he is and then deal with it. The film closes in the midst of an emotional moment in which the guy must come to terms with his opposing emotions
"Meet Joe Gay" is a biographical look at a young filmmaker. He has never really been in live and has never had a relationship that lasted long then three months. His failure in making a gay romantic comedy based upon a fairy tale leads him to do a bit of introspection and we watch as he deals with his issues. Here we have a multimedia documentary in which the single life is explored as well as the nature and purpose of gay relationships. Benjamin Morgan, the subject of the film interviews his ex-boyfriend, two gay couples (one together 41 years and the other who are teenagers who have begin together for four months). As this exploration takes place, random scenes of the gay fairy tale are interspliced into the director's search for love.
"Is One of You Eddie?" takes place on the patio of the host of a mid-morning brunch. Four good looking gay men misjudge their somewhat bearish neighbor, Eddie, a bearish masseuse. When suddenly, a great looking guy drops by for a massage, the four express curiosity and the looker relates how great the massage was, Eddie is looked at with different eyes as they stand with mouths agape as the hunk relates how sensual and erotic the massage had been. Surely because of the details provided by macho man, their relationship with their neighbor will change. Or will it?
Last, but certainly not least, is a dark drama about one guy's zealous admiration for his neighbor, "The Neighborly Thing". When the admirer finds a street couple in his neighbor's house, he feels his territory has been violated and he busts in on them, never anticipating what the outcome will be.
This is a collection that you will not want to miss. I am going to try to get it for "Cinema Pride" and if I am successful this is a screening that you will definitely want to attend. (That was a shameless plug).
Student Films Given an Outing for the Public
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"FIRST OUT is packaged well: on the cover of the DVD is the most attractive face in the series and one that will surely gain attention in decisions about buying or renting this DVD. From the credits it seems Alluvial Films has relied heavily on the USC Film School for gathering the five films that supply the disc. The collection is a mixed bag - some very good and one pretty sad.
The strong piece here is MEET JOE GAY, a quasi documentary about a 27 year old filmmaker reminiscing about his past history of lack of lasting relationships and questioning established couples (including his own parents and a gay couple who have been together for 41 years as well as a teenage couple who are intelligently advanced in thoughts about needs and bonding). The 'cast' are all articulate and offer some candid insights into relationships in general and gay relationships in particular.
There are two spoofs - DIFFERENT is which social role reversal at the high school level is the dynamic, and IS ONE OF YOU EDDIE? which addresses stereotypical prejudices based on looks - and they are variably successful. One quiet and brief little drama is A GOOD SON that addresses the fear of coming out in a college setting doesn't last long enough to allow its point to be as solid as it might have been. And the fifth is a bloody and rather silly piece - THE NEIGHBORLY THING - that was probably included for variety as it is pretty weak in writing and production values.
Reviewing student works is a difficult assignment simply because the films are 'works in progress' and the efforts required to get them into the public eye are tremendously expensive and difficult. To the people responsible for helping these young talents find an audience for exposure and growth we owe a debt of gratitude, and Alluvial Productions has provided a fine platform for some promising newcomers. Grady Harp, January 07"
Philip Fleck | San Francisco/Palm Springs, CA. | 05/12/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Of the several short films on this dvd, only one was worth the bother...I expected better from the producers of this product and didn't get it."