Gimme more

Short takes from Frameline Film Festival

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Languor in SF: Director Travis Mathews' "I want Your Love"

For more on this year's Frameline Film Festival, including times and prices, go to www.frameline.org

Mixed Kebab (Guy Lee Thys, Belgium/Turkey, 2012) A My Beautiful Launderette-type mix of culture clashes ethnic, religious, sexual, and otherwise, Guy Lee Thys' Belgian-Turkish feature risks over-contrivance, but comes out a tasty blend of narrative and thematic ingredients. Ibrahim, a.k.a. Bram (Cem Akkanat), is the apple of his émigré Antwerp family's eye, but then he's kept his hunky-gay-man-at-large double life entirely off their conservative Muslim radar. Even as his best-friendship with Kevin (Simon Van Buyten) looks set to turn into something much more, he goes along with plans for an arranged marriage to Elif (Gamze Tazim), an educated cousin desperate to escape the gender restrictions of Turkey and her father's home. Several factors will erode those best-laid plans, however, not least the prying eyes of Bram's black-sheep brother Furkan (Lukas De Wolf), who goes from rebellious juvenile delinquency to obnoxious moral fundamentalism under a far-right local imam's influence. Thu/14, 10pm, Castro. (Dennis Harvey)

North Sea Texas (Bavo Defurne, Belgium, 2011) Growing up is never easy — especially when you know who you are and who you love from a tender young age, and live in a sleepy Belgium coastal hamlet in the early '70s. Sexual freedom begins at home, as filmmaker Bavo Defurne's debut feature opens on our beautiful little protagonist, Pim — a melancholy, shy, diligent soul who has a talent for drawing, a responsible nature, and a yen for ritual dress-up in lipstick and lace. He has an over-the-top role model: an accordion-playing, zaftig mother who has a rep as the village floozy. Left alone far too often as his mom parties at a bar named Texas, Pim takes refuge with kindly single-mom neighbor Marcella, her earnest daughter, and her sexy, motorcycle-loving son, Gino, who turns out to be just Pim's speed. But this childhood idyll is under threat: Gino's new girlfriend and a handsome new boarder at Pim's house promise to change everything. Displaying a gentle, empathetic touch for his cast of mildly quirky characters and a genuine knack for conjuring those long, sensual days of youth, Defurne manages to shine a fresh, romantic light on a somewhat familiar bildungsroman, leaving a lingering taste of sea salt and sweat along with the feeling of walking in one young boy's very specific shoes. Fri/15, 9:30pm, Castro. (Kimberly Chun)

I Want Your Love (Travis Mathews, US, 2011) Local director Travis Mathews' first full-length feature — produced by porn impresario Jack Shamama and the good, pervy folks at Naked Sword — is so beautifully shot, edited, paced, and true to life for a certain young, scruffy, artsy fag demographic (not to mention brimming with explicit sex scenes) that you probably won't notice that hardly anything happens plotwise. A cute performance artist named Jesse, played by one of our top performance artists also named Jesse, is getting ready to move back to Ohio due to those all-too-familiar San Franciscan money woes, but maybe also to forge some deeper connection to life. That's about it. The true joy here is seeing most of the Bay Area's gay underground arts scene nailing peripheral roles: Brontez Purnell hilariously steals the movie, cute naked gay boys abound, and the whole thing really does come off as a lovely West Coast boho version of last year's UK indie hit Weekend, with more fog and condoms. Sun/17, 9:30pm, Castro. (Marke B.)

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