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A Swan Song for Musicals? Not on the Indie Front


by Stephen Becker 9 Jan 2009

Today, we welcome aboard January’s guest film blogger, Todd Camp. Todd is the Artistic Director for Q Cinema, Fort Worth’s Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival. Musicals may still be a hit-or-miss gamble for the major studios (for every Chicago and Hairspray, there’s also a Rent or Phantom of the Opera), but the genre is […]

CTA TBD

Today, we welcome aboard January’s guest film blogger, Todd Camp. Todd is the Artistic Director for Q Cinema, Fort Worth’s Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival.

Musicals may still be a hit-or-miss gamble for the major studios (for every Chicago and Hairspray, there’s also a Rent or Phantom of the Opera), but the genre is certainly alive and well in the indie world. The critical success of Once, the little-heartbreaker-that-could, helped shine a light on several first-time, ambitious tuneful efforts that were (and still are) darlings on the festival circuit.

The first of those is Richard Wong’s 2006 melancholy tour de force, Colma: The Musical, a woefully underappreciated gem about three friends growing up and singing about their dreary hometown located in the shadow of San Francisco. It’s currently available on DVD from TLA Releasing.

The other is Thomas Gustafson’s visually sumptuous romance Were the World Mine. Q Cinema, Fort Worth’s Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival was delighted to open our 10th annual film festival in May 2008 with this Shakespearean swoonfest, with director Gustafson and his handsome stars Tanner Cohen and Nathaniel David Becker in attendance. Our sister organization, Out Takes Dallas, screened the movie as part of its yearlong “Season of Film” series on Jan. 8.

This modernized retelling of the Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream centers on an all-boy school production of the play. The show’s brooding gay Puck, Timothy (Cohen), is inspired by the tale and crafts his own love potion, which he injects into a trick flower. After dosing his cute co-star (and secret crush), the puckish Timothy eventually turns the whole town gay with his petaled potion. Gustafson’s achingly beautiful songs and his knack for knockout visuals drew praise from even the stodgy “Gray Lady” herself, The New York Times.

No telling if you’ll be able to catch up with it on the big screen anytime soon (the May 26 DVD release might be your best bet) but if you do, leap at the chance.

You won’t need to inhale any of Timothy’s flower formula to fall in love with it all by yourself.

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