Monday, September 15, 2008
Diva, 7min, France
Source: DC Shorts Showcase 3
i would have posted this on saturday but between grading my classes, playing guitar hero and saving children from a burning orphanage, i forgot.
i've tried to find the director's name. no dice.
it's not on the dc shorts site (surprisingly high amount of entries on the site dont obviously list the director. i might be looking in the wrong place - but i shouldnt have to look. it should just be there up in my grill. non?)
surprisingly, if you punch Diva + Crossdressing + Paris into google or youtube you get a ton of results and none are this film. who'd have thunk there'd be so much material including all three words! le choc! lesson to filmmakers: consider if your title and content are going to make an interesting google or tag combination for searches in the age of web 2.0
in a showcase of relatively mediocre to bad pieces (not all. but most), Diva stuck out to me.
it was brave and honest and knew when it was over.
i'm predetermined to enjoy it, as it takes place in france - i have family there, studied there briefly and one of my degrees is in french. elle me manque beaucoup.
at first i was cynical, we start off with voice over of a phone conversation that was so blatant and unconversational exposition (can't blame the subtitles - the french was a bit too obviously written too), thank god the piece was in france or i might have gone to get another pretzel.
in this conversation we learn that a man has completely written off a close friend after an admission of love from him. the friend, our fabulous protagonist, has chosen to move to paris and get out of this 'shit town.'
the rest of the film is without dialogue (if memory serves - it's completely devoid of dialogue after the phone conversation) and follows our main character as he settles into his new digs, cries over a photo of the object of his affection, and dolls himself up in his flamboyant best.
the photography of him manscaping, applying make up and donning his outfit is well crafted and doesnt turn this into a joke. i like that. we see it with the appreciation he has for it. this is him, this is not a joke. he hits the town and has a great day at montmartre.
until a thief steals his purse.
well... heels, coat and wig begone, the chase is on.
the first moment of his pursuit, as he tears off his wig and bolts after the thief is the only funny moment in a piece that could have gone the usual way with cross dressing - making it a joke.
funny merely because it's funny to see a guy in a pink dress tearing off a wig with such a look of anger on his face.
but his face is what keeps us from laughing too long.
he runs, he runs and he runs. he catches the thief, pulls him down and pops him one.
but the man's face. everything that has worn on him is there. his day was ruined, his love denied, and this city of salvation kicked him when he needed it.
we leave him sitting with his recovered bag. beaten, but not broken. sad, but not crying. upset, but still upright. he'll recover, but for right now, we can all remember when we've felt the same way.
c'est la vie.