Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Frameline: Stand

Last week at Frameline I saw Stand, the 1st of 4 programs about gay life in contemporary Russia being presented by the festival. Though set in Moscow, Stand is actually a French production, shot in the Ukraine. The story is a slow, deliberate wind-up to a graphic & brutal beating. The film's earnest message is that homophobia is evil, but I did not get much more out of it than that. Many of the scenes are shot with a shaky hand-held camera following close behind an actor's head. On the Castro's big screen, these scenes gave me motion sickness, so I ended up having to close my eyes during them. The prominent use of Wagner's music at the end is an unhappy choice, given the film's fascist context.

The Castro Theatre was impressively packed for this afternoon screening, & the director Jonathan Taieb was in attendance with lead actors Andrey Kurganov and Renat Shuteev, who do give appealing performances in the film. I was not able to stay for their Q&A.

§ Stand
dir: Jonathan Taieb
France, 2014, 87 mins.

San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival 2014
Friday, June 20, 4:00 PM, Castro Theatre
Sunday, June 29, 4:15 PM, Castro Theatre

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