“MEN’S MIX ONE”–fun in shorts

“Men’s Mix One”

Fun in Shorts

Amos Lassen

In recent years, TLA Releasing has become one of the leaders in the issuing of interesting movies with gay themes. “Men’s Mix One” is just such a film. Although not new, it was released in 2003, it deserves a look for several reasons. It is a wonderful collection of seven short films that is both entertaining and enlightening. Watching “Men’s Mix One” is like going to a mini festival as we watch shorts that deal with our emotions and her emotional, humorous and loaded with insight.

The DVD opens with a nine minute short entitled “Burl’s” which is about the reaction of a young boy when he sees three drag queens while eating with his parents at Burl’s Diner. The experience awakens a new desire in him and he goes home to investigate his mother’s closet. You can more or less surmise the rest.

Next up is the wonderful twenty-five minute “Touched” which explores gay urban nightlife in a lovely story of two guys, each searching for something different. In the search two lives are changed forever and this beautiful little story will win your heart.

At 6 minutes long. “10 Pesos” is a short from Argentina that follows the travels of a 10 peso note as it moves from hand to hand and shows that you get nothing if you have nothing. It is beautifully filmed and extremely powerful in its sheer simplicity.

In “Safe Journey” a 15 minute short we meet a kid who has nothing—no home, no money, no self esteem and nowhere to go. He suddenly comes upon a guy who is mourning the loss of his lover. The fate that brings them together makes everything alright and we are left with feelings of goodness.

Do you remember the neighborhood barber shop where everyone got their haircut (before we went to stylists and paid an arm and a leg for something the next door neighbor could have done?) If you do then you will identify with “Shaving the Castro” (4 minutes). Louie’s barbershop was established in 1947 in an Italian working class neighborhood in San Francisco now known as the Castro—which has become the center of gay life there. The neighborhood has changed to accommodate our community but Louie keeps cutting hair there. His clientele has also changed.

All of us seem to have a sixth sense called gaydar and that is the opic of the short “Gaydar” (20 minutes). Most of us have it naturally but in this film a company has discovered a high tech device that does the job so we don’t have to exercise our secret powers (which may be a good thing for those of us who make mistakes). This is a comedy that will have you laughing all twenty minutes.

The final film is my favorite—“Masturbation: Putting the Fun in Self Loving” (8 minutes). The film stars Dr. Sigmund Winston and his trusty (boyishly cute) sidekick, Billy. Set in the 1950s Dr. Winston teaches students and Billy how to enjoy the art of self abuse and how to put more loving into single handed sex. Some of the methods are bizarre but very, very funny.

I must say that this is one collection of short films in which every one is a gem. I usually don’t like these kinds of DVDs but this one won me over from the get go. Put in on and sit back and enjoy, enjoy seven times over.

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