Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jason goes to Docfest--Day 16

I think it's day 16, I've lost count.  The important thing is I skipped Friday (so I could party at the Hypnodrome with my friends) and was back for a couple of movies on Saturday.

The first film I saw was "Chasing the Devil", an expos√© into the world of the ex-gay movement.  Reparative therapy..."curing" homosexuality...whatever they call it.  The film explores--in as balanced a manner as possible--the different organizations and programs that claim they can cure gayness.  The most famous and controversial being Richard Cohen, who is really taken to task and shown contradicting himself over and over again (comparatively, everyone else gets off lightly).  Sometimes it seems silly (can you really cure homosexuality by singing show tunes and just changing the lyrics?), sometimes scary.  I say it's as balanced as possible, but it's impossible to go into this movie without your own personal or political biases.  So to me, it showed how ridiculous and misguided these programs are (some more than others, but all misguided).  And it interviews several people who would back up my point.  I suppose for others their experience might vary.  I will allow that it interviews multiple people who claim to be cured (or at least no longer practicing homosexuals, some of them still won't use the word "cured"), and they claim to be happier in their lives now.  As I say, people will find whatever evidence they want to find in this movie. 

Once again, the only direct political advocacy this election cycle on this blog (and then only on the night before the election)--CA readers, vote NO on 8.

So the next show started with a short about 'the hair down there.'  "Why We Wax" is a painfully funny movie.  Ya know, I can laugh at women torturing themselves to try and look appealing as much as any man does (and oh yes, we laugh).  But when infection sets in and the pronunciation of "pussy" changes, that's gone a little too far.  Gross.

Speaking of going too far, the feature "I Think We're Alone Now" is about...believe it or not...guys who are obsessed with 80's pop start Tiffany.  Jeff Turner of Santa Cruz, CA has Asperger's Syndrome, so he can remember every little fact about Tiffany but is a little weird to listen to and relate with.  But he's amusing and funny compared to the tragic story of Kelly McCormack, an intersex individual (she identifies as a woman) from Denver, Colorado and her life is sad enough I believe her when she says she'd probably kill herself if not for Tiffany.  Both have been called stalkers, although on that count Jeff is definitely more successful.  He'd also quickly point out that "stalker" is a word invented by the security industry, and something about plots by fascist world organizations to program people into becoming stalkers and actually attacking people.  No, he's not a stalker, he's a fan and a friend.  And that's the weird part (beyond the claims of fighting secret fascist organizations) is that it might be true.  Tiffany appears in the movie, and seems to know Jeff, talk to him, pose for pictures with him, and not be afraid of him (apparently the restraining order is a thing of the past...or her signature was faked to begin with).  I've never seen this kind of story from the stalker's superfan's point of view, and there's an interesting question of reliable narration.  I don't know what I can believe in this movie, but I know it was fun to watch.

Jeff Turner and his friend Doug Hawes (who is also in the movie) were there for a Q&A, where they expanded on the story quite a bit (including the claim above that Tiffany's signature on the restraining order was forged--that's not actually in the movie).  An interesting talk about Tiffany, Alyssa Milano (who is his current obsession), and fascist organizations.  That's still the biggest surprise of the film and the Q&A, and I don't know enough to know what's true.  In the Q&A Jeff explained how there are three secret fascist organizations trying to control the world.  They're fighting each other, and we better hope they keep fighting and don't team up against us.  He even claimed that a certain famous actress died some time ago secretly protecting him from threats from one of the fascist organizations.  I hope I'm being vague enough there that I'm not endangering him.  Anyway, here's a pic of Jeff and Doug talking to the audience:

1 comment:

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