Friday, June 17, 2005

The Joy of Life

frameline29: San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival

Castro Theater

frameline29: San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival June 16-26, 2005
Co-presented by Cinematheque

“That mouth, those eyes, she makes my heart sink when she says she’ll call me and I know she won’t.” So confesses the lovestruck butch-dyke narrator of local filmmaker Jenni Olson’s extraordinary rumination on the twin impulses of physical yearning and emotional abandon in our fog-shrouded city. Voiced in a throaty purr by Harriet “Harry” Dodge, the film’s unseen narrator delves into a fascinating personal history of bewitching ex-girlfriends, Frank Capra movies (seen at the Castro Theatre, where else?), and the dangerous allure of the Golden Gate Bridge. Olson’s one-of-a-kind film, a gorgeously photographed, hypnotically paced sequence of urban landscapes, links Eros and Thanatos in an alternately joyous and despondent dance of desire. Olson’s ode to hot nights and cold mornings-after doesn’t shirk from explicitness with its strap-on studs and fits of fisting, yet is equally frank in its sober study of suicide. Olson, having lost a dear friend, beloved Frameline programmer Mark Finch, when he jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge ten years ago, asks why the bridge beckons depressives and what can be done to prevent their final fall. The Joy of Life has galvanized the Bridge District’s Board of Directors to reconsider the installation of a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate. Family ties are tested and strengthened as parents and children grapple with sexual identity in Small Town Secrets. http://www.frameline.org/festival