Urbania (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
|Excellent independent film,
written, performed, and directed with real subtlety.
It is a mystery that reveals its secrets very slowly, but once they are known they make perfect sense in the context of what you have seen.
|It is a difficult film to understand in that the lead player is "acting out" pain from a recent tragedy he has experienced, and we don't know the difference between what is in his head and what is really on the streets. I like this kind of film where the audience is not let in on the secrets.||
|What was his loss? Are any of these events
really happening, or not? In most cases, they are not.
Most of the film takes place in the protagonists's
imagination. We see his memories, his fantasies, his
dreams ... as he wanders through the streets of lower
Manhattan, looking for a certain guy that he describes as
a hunk. (He is gay.) For example, at one point our
narrator enters a room full of people laughing and
singing - but it seems that occured years ago - the
reality of the room is a lonely man dying. (Touching
scene with the talented Alan Cumming).
Then our hero confronts people with great belligerence, far beyond what might be called for from the offense they have given him. Then he talks to the lover he lost. How can all this be?
He finally finds the "hunk" and hangs out with him. The hunky guy also turns out to be one of those homophobic guys whose hatred for gay guys masks his own self-loathing and his own homosexual tendencies (which he cannot accept, and he can therefore only experience male/male contact in the context of a "hate play").
To tell you the truth, I'm still not sure how much of the evening was real, but it doesn't matter. The film delivers the same impact without spelling out the details. What we see is placed in the context of Urban Legends "psst ... did you hear the one about". Our protagonist's own story is kind of a believable Urban Legend, but we aren't quite sure what it is until the end. How is all this connected? I can't say more, because discovery is what makes the film delicious.
|Now a word of caution. If you like to see male romance, then you have a win-win situation here, because it is a good little indie flick which also includes various all-male sexual situations of all types, masturbatory, brutal, and tender. If you are a straight male, but tolerant, you may still enjoy it because it's a clever movie. If you are one of those people that will become sick at the very sight of two guys in their underpants kissing each other, then you must avoid this because the cycle theme of homosexual/homophobic is pervasive throughout the film.|
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