Worlds & Time

Monday, November 24, 2008

Were the World Mine

So, I finally got the apartment internet hook up the other day. I'm pretty sure that I mentioned that. One of the things that I did in the glorious rush of high speed internet access was to watch all of the movie trailers on the Apple site, including the few that I'm especially looking forward too: Milk, Watchmen, Star Trek (Chris Pine is dreamy), and the next Harry Potter. I also discovered a few others that look good. Up (I mean, it's Pixar), My Name is Bruce and JCVD. There was also some crap like Yes Man (why is Jim Carrey doing that movie again?) and Valkyrie and Angels and Demons.

Among all of these big deal movies I found something that you could say that sort of uniquely appealed to me. It was Were the World Mine and although it looked a little bit campy, it also looked like it appealed to me on two levels. The first, obvious level was "cute guys" and the second level was "Why yes, the power to make people gay has been a personal fantasy of mine."

So I went to the offical website and found it to be a flash monstrosity. Not only that, it was a nonfunctional flash monstrosity. So I did the obvious thing and went to the wikipedia page about it where I found out that it was opening in NYC a week after I watched the trailer. Nifty.

Ben decided to visit that same weekend, so it seemed natural enough to drag him out to the movie.

I bought tickets online, we went out to dinner and then we went to the movie theater. It was packed. I mean, for this little indy film in it's second day of release in NYC there was a line stretching down the block. Which was very confusing. Yeah, it's NYC and all but I didn't think that the second day of release was still a big deal. It's like camping out to get an iPhone on the second day. People don't do that.

So I was standing in the line to pick up the tickets, and the guy behind me says: "After the 7:00 p.m. showing of 'Were the World Mine' the director and cast will have a Q&A."

And I turned to him, and sort of challengingly said, "What?" Because I didn't believe him because I had bought tickets to the 7:00 p.m. showing. Inexplicably cool things don't usually happen to me.

He pointed, and there it was, taped to the box office window. He hadn't even paraphrased it, he'd just read what the sign in front of me had said.

So I picked up the tickets, and hyperventilated a bit as I digested the fact that yes, something completely unplanned and cool had just happened to me, and then we went into the theater.

The line that stuck with me from the giant set of reviews (here's the NYT one) which were pasted onto the outside of the theater was from the SF Chronicle's review: "Tom Gustafson's queer-centric take on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream teeters between banal conceptualizing and inspired execution."

Ben agreed with that line. If you press me I'd have to admit that I do too but I really came down on the inspired execution side in the end. It was everything that I wanted it to be. It was a little campy and the ending had some writing issues, but overall it was well acted, well written, and well produced, especially considering the ~300k budget and 24 day shooting schedule (as revealed by the Q&A).

The male lead played by Tanner Cohen was just gorgeous and it doesn't hurt that he's a decent actor. I'd love to see him again in more movies but I'm pretty sure he's also gay, which means that he'll never get a major role ever again.


The other guy, Nathaniel David Becker, is also cute but also less overtly gay which makes me hopeful that we'll see him again.

I think the girls actually stole the show though. Zelda Williams was phenomenal as the best friend, in a Chloe from Smallville way. Judy McLane and Jill Larson as the Mom and the Mom's Boss were both excellent, especially playing off against each other. Wendy Robie had some (very) flat lines at the end of the movie but near the middle her character's bliss at the chaos is quite beautiful.

So the movie ends (happily and without death, thankfully) and the audience clapped. Then Tom Gustafson, the director, Tanner Cohen, Zelda Williams and one of the other guys (Sorry, I don't remember your name!) came down and did a quick Q&A during which I learned the above mentioned facts and for a bunch of gay guys the audience showed an amazing lack of creativity coming up with questions.

Tanner looked thinner in person and was wearing a sort of lumpy orange sweatshirt, but he was still breathlessly cute. I found him and Zelda hanging out in front of the theater after the movie and shook his hand. And asked him how old he was. 21. Too young for me but I'll still dream when I buy the movie on DVD.

One thing on his age; I figured he was actually older than that. Usually the guys that play high school guys are in their thirties. I thought that since he was such a good actor with an amazing voice, he must be older that I am. Surprise. Of course, this only serves to make me feel old.

Anyway, I enjoyed the movie thouroughly. It was a great experience and I had lots of fun. If you like fun gay musical movie romps through Shakespeare, and you can locate a showing/DVD I highly recommend this.

Okay, so that was the movie review. Today I also got on the subway and rode it all the way to the end of the line out in Queens. Which my mother probably doesn't want to hear, but it's the truth.

Once there, I walked along the beach for a bit. I got a really bizarre "You're on candid camera!" stone from a nice lady, but I don't think I did anything that wasn't unfailingly polite so I'm hoping that's the last I hear of that. I took a few pictures with my phone of the shore, and then turned around and came back home.

Sometimes I seem to blend oddly well with everyone. I passed homeless people, Russians, Jews, and (when I got back to Soho) I passed rich Asians, pampered white girls, and guys in suits.

One of my friends would probably call this the comfortable annonymity of big cities, but I can't help but imagine how much he would have stuck out like a sore thumb walking through the neighborhood of Queens that I was in. Even I would have been starring at him.

If Ben and I had held hands in that neighborhood, we probably would have been in danger.

And yet people ignored me. With my lumpy black hat, my old gray A&F jacket and jeans, I just became another in the backdrop no matter the neighborhood that I was walking through.

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