Bisexual Film Festival
Running a mere three nights, and showing only four features, one documentary, and a trio of shorts, the second edition of the San Francisco Bi Film Festival has a virtue that its more behemoth competitors in this increasingly jammed field lack -- brevity! The fun starts Friday night at the New College of California with Gregg Araki's drug-drenched paean to polymorphous slacker sex and alien abduction, Nowhere (1997). It's diverting but not necessarily the best advertisement for the bisexual lifestyle. Saturday's double bill begins with a world premiere, Kyle Schickner's often hilarious indie Rose by Any Other Name ... (1997). When lesbian Rose (Janna Delgato) hooks up with straight man Anthony (Schickner), her PC dyke pals go berserk: "He's nice? Oxymoron!" And Anthony gets lectured by his male friends on everything from verbal etiquette ("She's a lesbian -- acknowledge it as often as possible!") to sexual strategies ("It is imperative that you are extremely skilled in the art of cunnilingus!"). Finishing off the evening is the increasingly unnecessary Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).
Sunday is the most ambitious program, opening with Chris Deacon's classy Canadian short Twisted Sheets (1996), which mocks the common hetero male fantasy of being the meat in a lesbian sandwich. Sayer Frey's black-and-white feature Eileen Is a Spy (1998), a West Coast premiere, is a leisurely but compelling memoir about a bi woman whose "spying" is simply an attempt to make sense of her life. Angela Robinson's brief The Kinsey 3 (1998) is a witty mix of James Bond, Batman, and a trio of bisexual "art thieves" and their hapless artist victims. Kees Van Hemert's Best of Both Worlds (1997) documents the bisexual scene in the Netherlands. One of its subjects recalls the surprisingly pleasurable reactions of those to whom she "confesses" her status: "Their eyes glow when you say you're bisexual."