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Yes, we know it’s all gone a bit quiet on the Dawn Rescue front lately, but fret not, we’re back and we’ve got some BIG news! Our promo film (above) wowed the crowds last night at this year’s ‘QueerFest’ film festival, where we walked off with the much coveted ‘Golden Sebastiane’* prize.
Now, before you despatch telegrams of congratulations, let us just point out that this is something of a mixed blessing. You see, we had thought it would be a cunning ruse to send our short film to various ‘gay film festivals’ so that our message could reach the intended audience (to preach to the un-converted, if you will) and to that end we gave ourselves fictional actor names and credited it all to a made-up writing/directing duo of two brothers (because as we all know, the film world is rife with nepotism, LOL!) Our master-plan was this; our film would be screened, the audience would be hit (whack!) straight in the face with our message, the mote would fall from their eyes, etc etc, and ‘Bob’s your Uncle,’ we leave the venue with a couple of hundred new recruits in tow! We had of course entered our film to the LLGFF (London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival) but to no avail, (we discovered, too late, that in order to qualify you must include a shower scene).
‘QueerFest’ bills itself as “an alternative, counter-cultural antidote to the increasing homogenisation of homosexuality” (whatever that means!). The venue was a disused warehouse in East London, and the audience members did not much resemble the sartorially snazzy sorts I’ve previously come across on my sojourns around Soho. Instead there was lots of green and purple hair (dyed, presumably, one can only hope!) facial piercings, and quite a few rather mean, burly looking types with shaven heads and tattoos (and that was just the women, LOL!**)
The films were mostly rather gruesome. There were shower scenes aplenty (presumably more failed entrants to the LLGFF), indeed most of the films blurred into one long shower scene, but an exception which will doubtless linger in my nightmares was the repulsive Corpse Lover, in which a mortuary attendant opens a freezer to pull out the naked body of a young man and then…..(but I shall go no further! I’m sure you can all guess the rest!) There was another called Guitar Licks about two Canadian lesbian singer-songwriters. It’s a case of opposites attract when Ani Difranco-fan Brenda meets Melissa Etheridge-fan Wanda at an open mic night in Toronto and they go for a coffee in a late-night café… (I’m quoting from the festival brochure here). It was rather tedious, but it livened up somewhat towards the end when, after taking a late-night skinny dip in one of Canada’s Great Lakes, the two women are mauled by a grizzly bear whilst trying to retrieve their clothes. Dan and myself both cheered on the bear, (we felt it represented traditional Christian civilization reasserting itself!) prompting angry looks from all around us. Finally, our film was shown! But instead of the desired Damascene conversions, there was either much tittering throughout, (they thought it was a comedy!) or else bored indifference.
Dan and myself were in shock as the lights came up and the festival organiser announced that a “very special guest” was arriving to dole out the prizes, whereupon a coffin was wheeled in to the music from “The Omen” and out sprang a drag queen dressed as Margaret Thatcher! Well, Dan and myself were practically choking on our popcorn at this sacrilege! “You’re all disgusting and immoral!” bellowed the tranny Mrs T to pantomime boos and hisses from the audience. “Maggie” then proceeded to hand out ‘Sebastianes’ from “her” capacious handbag.*** (In case you’re wondering, Corpse Lover won the bronze and Guitar Licks won the silver.)
Dan went up to collect the award on our behalf and used his speech to reveal to the crowd that the film was not in fact a comedy and begged them all to heed it’s angry message, but instead of the expected epiphanies, the crowd all hooted still further, they thought Dan’s speech was all part of some ghastly extended parody!
We both stormed out, furiously. But as we left via the side-exit, who should we bump into but my hideous sister Bryony, standing on the street, cigarette en route to slanderous mouth!
“Bryony!” I shrieked, my suspicions instantly aroused “what are you doing here?”
“I came to see a film by one of my work colleagues, I had no idea your film would be showing!” snapped my errant sibling. She then gestured to the stick-thin young fellow standing beside her with giant curly hair, clothed in “hipster” attire (Kim Jong-Il T-shirt, red braces, black skinny jeans) “This is Charlie Wyrrel-Fife, he wrote and directed Corpse Lover, he’s also head writer on The Fimbles.” (yes, really! These are the sorts of depraved minds at work on our kids TV shows!)
“OMG,” squealed Charlie, “So you’re Bry’s Bro, yah?”
He extended his tiny hand to shake mine, but Dan angrily dragged me off up the street to the tube station, tossing our Golden Sebastiane into a skip on the way there.
*The ‘Golden Sebastiane’ prize is, as you might have surmised, a blasphemous & idolatrous spray-painted figurine of the scantily-clad saint impaled with arrows….there’s something a little odd about anyone who would find such a macabre image ‘homo-erotic’ don’t you think?
**No, REALLY, that WAS just the women!
***No, I don’t quite get the logic of Margaret Thatcher returning from the dead, arriving at a gay film festival to abuse the crowd and then thinking, “oh, ok, whilst I’m here I may as well stay and hand out some awards.” Somehow it doesn’t quite sound like the uncompromising “not for turning” Iron Lady we all knew and loved, does it?