Skip to main content

SIFF2009, Day 15

June 5, 2009
Humpday (2009) Dir. Lynn Shelton

From Blogger
Humpday is the little, Seattle film that everyone is talking about.  It won a special jury prize at Sundance and is opening nationally in July.  This is a bit of a shock that a small, "mumble" core movie based on local The Stanger's annual porn competition Hump has leaped into the limelight.  Although, perhaps the timing is perfect for Lynn Shelton's film as there is interest in movies about relationships between men, recently dubbed bro-mance movies (i.e. I Love You Man).  But Humpday has much more realism and characters with depth in comparison to any of the Apatow movies.

In Humpday, Andrew (Joshua Leonard) shows up at Ben (Mark Duplass) and Anna's(Alycia Delmore) home looking for a place to crash.  Andrew and Ben were good friends in college, but their lives have moved in very different direction.  Ben has gone the traditional route and is married and owns a home in Seattle, while Andrew wanders the globe and considers himself an artist.  Shortly after Andrew's arrival, he and Ben have a few too many drinks and decide that as Andrew's next big mind-altering project, they should shoot a porn movie for Hump.  Because two straight men having gay sex on camera makes some sort of artistic statement. 

But the next day, this idea definitely transforms to a dare that neither is willing to back down on.  Ben doesn't want Andrew to believe that marriage has made him predicatable or dull.  Andrew also is reacting to a situation that revealed that he isn't nearly as comfortable with his sexuality as he thinks he should be and so both men feel they need to prove to the other that they could make this movie, even though they are straight and do not want to. 

How the movie plays out makes it a very awkward comedy.  But unlike most Hollywood comedies, this one does shine a light on relationships.  I really enjoyed watching Ben interact with his wife.  I thought she would be more stereotypical, but over the course of the film, I found I could really relate to her and Ben's relationship. And for me, it highlights why sometimes the lies are more about protecting someone's idea of who you while othertimes they happen in order to challenge or destroy a perception of who you really are.  And I think these two men along with most of us are struggling with the idea of who we are versus how the world sees us and even how those closest to us sees us. 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhastan

Right after seeing Sacha Baron Cohen's film, Borat, I was disappointed. I didn't laugh nearly as hard as I had hoped and it wasn't quite as outrageous as I had expected. But in retrospect, I have to admit the comic brilliance of Borat. Sacha Baron Cohen has adeptly created a film about a fictional man, Borat, from a fictionalized Kazakhastan and used this creation to show the hipocracy of America. Using tactics pioneered by reality television shows, Borat travels across America on a quest to find his true love, Pamela Anderson. On this journey, he meets numerous people who share their thoughts about a multitude of things, exposing the way some Americans really believe about race, class, homosexuality and the other sex. It is a very interesting film. Sure, it gets laughs from ambushing Pamela Anderson with a wedding bag, traveling with a bear, and a bit of naked wrestling, but this film is also very smart in its sly portrayal of the wealth of prejudices that are ali

Girls who are boys, who like boys to be girls...

Where does one begin? Peaches Does Herself is a German concert movie of Peaches. Written by, Directed by and starring Peaches. But how does one describe this experience? Normally, I skip the Face the Music program of films at SIFF each year, but Peaches Does Herself was described as the queerest film in the festival. As it turns out, I knew exactly one Peaches song prior and still know little to nothing about her, but it didn't matter. I enjoyed the music and most of all, I loved her persona. Her sexuality was on display and was not only unapologetic, but read as loud as if it were a billboard with "fuck normalcy and judgement, this is who I am" in bright pink neon. To give an overall impression of the film, I've decided just to lay out what happens along with stills. I suspect that is the best I can do for readers to decide whether this is something they should seek out. The film begins in Peaches' bedroom and after the dancers climb through a giant vu

Brand Upon the Brain! And more horror...

Brand Upon the Brain (2007) - I'm on so much crack! I'm a huge fan of horror. Guy Maddin! I love his movies and he was just in Seattle to perform Brand Upon the Brain! I'm certain I've written about Guy Maddin's films in the past, because he has been in Seattle several times for screenings and discussions of his work, especially since he spent quite a bit of time here casting, filming and scoring Brand Upon the Brain! with all local talent. What is so unique about Guy Maddin is that he creates modern, silent expressionist horror movies. His other films have been scored and therefore have the look and feel of a 1920s era silent picture without being silent. Brand Upon the Brain! is a silent movie and his best feature thus far. Like much of Maddin's previous work, this is totally autobiographical, or to quote Guy, "The thing is literally a true story - only much, much better." The main character is the prepubescent, Guy Maddin (Sullivan Brow