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Gould Life: Jason Gould gives his dad, Elliott, a cameo in his film 'Inside Out.'

'Life' Stories

'Boys Life 3' offers a collection of different looks at gay life

By Richard von Busack

BOYS LIFE 3 is the semi-annual collection of gay-themed short films.

1. Majorettes in Space, the wittiest piece of condom propaganda ever seen. The narrator likens Soviet cosmonauts to drum majorettes and the Pope. Only the most circumstantial French logique ropes these varied figures together. We're told "the Pope lives at the airport and talks to invisible beings." A 5-year-old parade majorette, like the Pope, talks to invisible beings and also, like the Pope, is celibate. So how do you tell the Pope from a majorette? Answer: the Pope is the one who gets enraged when you talk about condoms. Phillipe Blanco narrates in the flatly determined, authoritarian tones of John Cleese describing the larch tree. Blanco presents similarly useful Monty Python-style compare-and-contrast lessons before arriving, roundaboutly, at a valid point.

2. Hitch. Why is unsuccessful erotica considered nobler that successful porn? A vague two-character drama involving a pair of male travelers (Drew Wood, Jason Herman) in a camper van crossing the West. Sexual tension increases, though the psychedelic-cowboy driver's moves are none too smooth. Giving a seductee a 'wet willy' (a saliva-moistened pinky in their ear) may not be the best way to get their clothes off. The funny thing was, I'd been reading All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy right before I saw it. So Hitch was a welcome counterpoint to McCarthy's macho metaphysics, particularly the nobly sex-free no-perversion relationship between the partners Rawlins and Cole, every bit as laconic as these two fellows here.

3. Inside Out. It may be gay, but it's not very good. It's a thinly fictionalized vanity piece by Jason Gould, son of Elliott (who makes a cameo) and Barbra Streisand (who doesn't even get mentioned). Jason Gould plays "Aaron," discussing his woes as a celebrity kid, gay man and actor. After being outed for marrying a man, Aaron gets his picture in the National Enquirer (called "The Inquisitor") He runs afoul of various self-help groups and the Church of Scientology, rarely satirized so thoroughly. Planned as a full-length film, it was delivered at the length of a short, which explains the wandering, on-again, off-again quality. Jon Polito (Barton Fink), the man I least like to see in close-up, co-stars.

4. Just One Time, the 7-minute original version of the mediocre farce which played here a month ago. This original by Lane Janger is superior in every way to his full-length film: quicker, lighter, more sex-positive, and it says everything the longer version had to say about the two-girls-on-one-guy fantasy and its opposite.

5. $30. The prize in the package. Sara Gilbert, late of TV's Roseanne, is first rate as a hooker hired to take on a nervous gay virgin (Eric MacArthur) forced into the session by his father. Neither easy cynicism nor easy sentimentality mars Gilbert's performance, which has sweetness, sadness and self-possession in it. (But, really--only $30 an hour? Sliding-scale only goes so far.)

Boys Life 3 (unrated; 79 min.) a collection of short films, opens Friday at the Towne Theater in San Jose.

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From the December 14-20, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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