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After Louie

I think I saw nine feature films plus some shorts at this year’s Provincetown International Film Festival in June—and an excellent bunch of movies it was. This is not a gay-themed festival, but—this being P’town—a healthy proportion (a third?) of the films on offer had an LGBT-theme. I saw four films in that genre that I’d like to bring to your attention – the third which is below.

But first, two disconnected observations about these films, and those at past festivals, as a whole: 1) People smoke lot more in indie movies than they do in real life. 2) Comedy is hard. There’s not much of it at indie film festivals, and when it does materialize, it isn’t very funny. 3) There are so many production companies involved in the making of these films, I’ve given up trying to list them all.

 

After Louie
Directed by Vincent Gagliostro

 

Alan Cumming stars as a New York artist named Sam Cooper who once had a successful career but stopped painting at some point and today is working on a video project about the life and death, by AIDS, of a close friend back in the ’90s. The plot becomes a contest between the generations when Sam meets Braeden, a man in his late twenties who comes on to Sam, who in turn assumes that Braeden must be a hustler. As fascinated as Sam is by his handsome new friend, his bitterness about the past is only sharpened by Braeden’s blasé attitude toward being gay and his ignorance of past struggles. Sam later denounces an older gay couple for getting married, i.e. succumbing to bourgeois conventionality. The generational clash is underscored by a device whereby grainy scenes of Sam in the ’80s appear in a square frame, as if filmed with a 35mm camera. The direction has a makeshift feel, as if the director set up a scene and said, “Now get out there and act!” This lends itself to a natural flow of dialog in a movie that drifts along, pleasantly enough, to no particular conclusion.

 

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