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NewFest 2006 (June 1st – June 11th)

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Broken Sky-Directed by Julian Hernandez. In Spanish with subtitles. Two lovers, Gerardo (Miguel Angel Hoppe) and Jonas (Fernando Arroyo), end up in a love triangle when Jonas has a brief seduction with a stranger at a club. This slow moving, dull and meandering film has very little to hold your interested besides terrific camera work which gives many scenes a life of their own. Too many long sex scenes and other scenes could have been edited a bit. Unfortunately, there’s no plot or character development to hold your interest. At a running time of 140 minutes, Broken Sky overstays its welcome. Entertainment Value: Very Low. Spiritual Value: None. Distributed by Strand Releasing. Opens September 29th, 2006 at the Quad Cinema.

The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros-Directed by Auraeus Solito. In Tagalog with subtitles. Nathan Lopez gives a very charming performance as Maxi, a 12-year-old effeminate boy from a poor section of Manila who develops a special friendship with a new police officer who investigates a murder. Shot on digital video, this very lively and charming little film is full of small surprises—such as a funny musical number. In the second half, the plot feels a bit contrived, but still manages to be engaging and moving. Distributed by Unico Entertainment. Entertainment Value: High. Spiritual Value: High. Opens September 22nd, 2006 at the Cinema Village.

Sun Kissed-Directed by Patrick McGuinn. While relaxing at his friend’s deserted home during his writers’ block, Teddy (John Ort), a novelist, falls in love with Leo (Gregory Marcel), a sexually confused caretaker. Shot with very grainy video which makes it look like a home video, Sun Kissed ultimately suffers from a weak script that fails to emotionally connect the viewer with any of the two lovers. Some scenes are over-acted with too much drama like you would find in a soap opera, while others are under-acted. Also, the transitions between scenes feel a bit confusing at times. A few songs in the soundtrack are well-chosen, but the inappropriate musical score sounds like you’re watching a horror film. Entertainment Value: Low. Spiritual Value: None. Distributed by Wolfe Releasing.

20 Centimeters-Directed by Ramon Salazar. Adolfo, a.k.a. a transsexual named Marieta, (Mónica Cervera), struggles to pay for an operation that would get rid of her 20 centimeter penis while having a romance with a sexy stud who doesn’t mind her remaining male organ. This fundamentally serious drama features some lively musical numbers, Technicolor visuals, and, above all, a vibrant, charismatic performance by Cervera—kind of like Felicity Huffman in Transamerica but without breaking into song and dance. Fans of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Pedro Almodovar films will get a big kick out of this bold and surprising film. Entertainment Value: Very High. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Distributed by TLA Releasing. Opens October 20th, 2006 at the Quad Cinema.

Queens-Directed by Manuel Gomez Pereira. Five mothers go through a tough time preparing for their gay sons’ upcoming mass gay wedding. Each actress shines with comic delight while balancing heavy drama. These actresses include Carmen Maura, Marisa Paredes, Mercedes Sampietro, Verónica Forqué, and Betiana Blum. Overall, this is a crowd-pleasing, uplifting film that could have been confusing and chaotic given all of the different engaged couples in separate stories. However, instead turns out to be easy-to-follow and thoroughly engaging. Entertainment Value: High. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Distributed by Regent Releasing/Here! Films. Opens on August 25th, 2006 at the Angelika Film Center.

*Please note: All of the films above were viewed at NewFest* Click here for more information and to buy tickets online

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