Your Gay Guide to the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival

4.26.2011

By Michael Berlin

The Tribeca Film Festival (April 20-May 1) celebrates its tenth birthday this year, and with it comes a barrage of fledgling projects hoping to gain notoriety and distribution. For 2011, we take a look at four of the festival's LGBT offerings and help you navigate this frenzied week in cinema.

L'amour fou
Directed by Pierre Thoretton

This documentary traces French designer Yves Saint Laurent's quick ascension into the upper echelons of the fashion industry from the viewpoint of his partner of nearly five decades, Pierre Berg'. Splicing old runway footage, photography, and reels of home video, the director creates a linear biography of Laurent -- narrated by Berg' -- that illuminates the geographical settings, young ing'nues, and, most notably, famous pieces of artwork that inspired the preeminent couturier and his evolving style throughout the latter half of the 20th century. L'amour fou also loosely follows Berg' as he embarks on a landmark art auction of the couple's astounding collection, containing works by Picasso, Matisse, and C'zanne. Despite what its title ('Crazy Love') would have you believe, the documentary characterizes Berg' and Laurent's relationship as one with many formalities. Berg', in particular, cofounded and ran the business side of the Yves Saint Laurent fashion house, and is portrayed as the practical, grounded yin to Laurent's whimsical, fickle yang. He is also resolutely unsentimental as he reflects on his time spent with Laurent. In a sense, the documentary lacks variation in perspective. The number of interviewees is somewhat limited and the narrative is told largely from Berg's purview. To some, that can feel a bit claustrophobic. But, in this way, director Pierre Thoretton delivers an intimate, astute look into one of the great partnerships of our time.

Thu, Apr 28, 2:30PM Clearview Cinemas Chelsea 4
Fri, Apr 29, 9:45PM Clearview Cinemas Chelsea 8

My Last Round
Directed by Julio Jorquera

Octavio, a middle-aged recreational boxer in rural Chile, suffers from epilepsy. He is shown early in My Last Round collapsing and convulsing suddenly on the floor of an empty office. The shot is disturbing, painfully prolonged, and rather unexpected as it follows a somber and austere opening sequence. Much of director Julio Jorquera's debut film is emotionally sparing, rupturing in moments of lust and violence in a deliberately unromantic fashion. As it happens, Octavio pursues Hugo, a handsome, laconic twentysomething who denies his advances at first, but eventually gives in. The two start a somewhat closeted life together in a Santiago apartment, where they fall prey to the repetitive domesticities of partnership. Both become frustrated -- Octavio, who can no longer fight due to a devastating diagnosis, and Hugo, who barely avoids being fired from a job where he is increasingly hit on by the boss's daughter. Without giving away too much, both of these plot threads are teased slowly and persistently in an almost sadistic fashion. The self-destructive fighter bit is somewhat of a clich' (and a recent one for anyone who's seen The Wrestler). Storylines aside, it's striking how heteronormative Octavio and Hugo's relationship becomes. Octavio, in particular, fetishizes boxing not for male-to-male contact, but for the ability to validate his own masculinity. Meanwhile, Hugo seems to tend house for much of their partnership. These are engaging (if not particularly groundbreaking) characters, but the pacing and plot development are really what make this feature compelling.

Wed, Apr 27, 6:00AM (Online) Streaming Room
Fri, Apr 29, 6:00PM AMC Loews Village 7 - 1
Sat, Apr 30, 6:00AM (Online) Streaming Room

Tags: Movies
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