Sunday, November 20, 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2011

Today we honor those we have lost simply for being themselves. While Transgender Day of Remembrance is a somber reminder of how brutal the world is, we can also cherish those that we have. There are still many transgender people fighting the public fight, along with many behind the scenes trying to make the world a better place for all of us. Not only that, but everyone that lives their life true to themselves is helping make the journey a little easier for those still to come.

I just flew back from China yesterday, so I missed a number of local DOR activities on Friday, and chilled at a friend's place yesterday evening. With the weather and the roads a mess this afternoon, I decided not to venture over an hour to any of the distant ceremonies tonight, but I will simply light a solitary candle this evening to honor those transgender people that have been killed this past year.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

2011 Transgender Film Festival

Tonight was the conclusion of the 10th Annual San Francisco Transgender Film Festival. For those that didn't know there were 9 of them before tonight, the festival started going by a new name this year. It used to be Trannyfest. While I'm sure there was always the issue of people disliking the use of Tranny in Trannyfest, the organizers said it was a lot easier for them to secure funding by changing the name so more people were clear on what exactly the film festival was about.

As I tell anyone else attending a short film festival, there will always be a variety of films...including good ones, bad ones, really bad ones, and some type of stoner flick.

Here's my rundown:

Lek and the Water Boy (Thailand)
An interesting film about a young boy as he explores his identity and sexuality kicked off the night, but it lacked a bit in the way of story cohesiveness and symbolism that it was trying to project.

Joan (Canada)
A stoner flick this soon...oh no!

The Lusty Gypsies (USA)
This one didn't make much sense to me, but it was a transsexual and a CD/DQ competing for time on stage while dealing with their own personal issues.

Living Together Apart (Netherlands)
Visually appealing, but that's only good for a few seconds...the rest was meh.

Lili Longed to Feel Her Insides (USA)
Interesting use of symbolism, but I didn't connect with it.

Mais Ou Menos (More or Less) (Brazil)
This film was pretty good quality, but used the typical hesitant and closeted gay lover scenario. I liked it overall and it was probably in my top three of the night...regardless of the predictable plot line.

The Panty Man (USA)
This film was more of a spoken word performance of a man who had a sexual relationship with another man who loved to wear lace panties. The spoken word was really good, along with the film and sound quality of the piece. This was in my top three, as well.

Dayzee Dee's Dazzling Drag Balls (USA)
This was a very short documentary on early drag performers. I felt it was way too short to give the material due credit. If they had material for an hour or more, this would make a great documentary as a regular film in a festival.

Help Wanted (USA)
The story was fitting for the trans world and the current economic situation. It was an excellent film for the times we live in, but also a good role model film for anyone dealing with undesirable economic situations.

The Girl Bunnies. Big Tree. (Canada)
Bad...and a stoner flick. Although this reminded me of "Charlie the Unicorn", at least this film had more plot. (Why are the two bad stoner movies from Canada?)

Guf. Bait. Body. (Israel)
A good use of language, but this film was too simple...basically taking any three phrases, three scenes, and just kinda rotating through them in different languages.

Perception (USA)
Basically too short to give it a review, this was a little piece of spoken word with a floating picture.

Transsexual Dominatrix (USA)
This was viewed last year (I think...or maybe I saw it at Framline...who knows. Sigh. I'm getting old.), so I'm not sure why it made it back in the rotation...except that it was made by the director of the event. I guess that is good enough for getting two, it seemed to be one of the fan favorites.


James Dean (UK)
I'm betting this one was from Northern Ireland, because the actors seemed to have some gnarly Irish accents. The film is a prelude to a family on a road trip when one of the daughters decides there is still time to get dressed the way he likes. I made out about 75% of the words, even though they were speaking English. Overall, I liked this film, although I wish I could have made out the other 25%...which might have allowed me to like it even more. It was in my top three, as well.

My winner for the night? Well, believe it or not, I'm going to give my top honors to The Panty Man for nice use of spoken word, great camera work and lighting, story flow, and stunning visuals. Runner-up to Mais Ou Menos.