Sunday, July 14, 2013

Under the Wire

A late night at my first day at Outfest means I was actually just getting in bed when I remembered this commitment. I didn't want to disappoint myself on my first day, so I've booted up the computer and jotting some notes.  Thank you for the feedback, support and suggestions on the first day. That was heartening. 

I a couple of interesting films -Ass Backwards, which is being billed as an "irreverent female buddy comedy", and Continental, Malcolm Ingram's documentary about Steve Ostrow and the Continental Baths.  

Ass Backwards is broad, to say the least. It reminds me a little of Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion, and my hopes are that it gets the following that that film does.  If nothing else, the talent portion of the pageant they end up in is worth seeing. The audience loved it, and there are some truly hysterical bits.

I enjoyed Continental, though it seemed hamstrung at times from the quality of the footage that survives as well as the lack of it.  The interviews are great, and Steve Ostrow, the owner and operator, has great stories.  The section about Bette Midler felt overly long for a documentary that's not about her, and the portion about the talent almost derailed the film for me, veering away from its central purpose. To that end, it would have been great to see even a little footage inside the Ansonia today, but I'm sure there are reasons, either bureaucratic or financial, making that not possible.  I'm glad I saw it. Documentaries are the things I'm usually most interested in at Outfest.  It's important to remember, as this doc points out, that it was a crime for two men to have sex in New York City a scant 40 years ago.  It's important to be reminded of that.  I'm very glad Ingram made this movie, and I hope people get to see it.

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