Author Topic: Shelter: The "gay surfer movie" (it's so much more!). See it now and discuss it!  (Read 147034 times)

Offline Brokeback_Dev

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i saw this movie about a year ago at the GTLB Independant film festival with my daughter and her friends in Tampa.  It was the last night of the festival.  I thought it was a wonderful movie.  

As a matter of fact it was during that time that Artiste was real down on BBM.   I had posted to Artiste that if he wanted to see a gay themed movie with a happy ending that this was the movie he should watch!




Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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I wonder if he ever did, we will soon know, I am sure!  ;D
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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I'm so sorry I missed this movie--and I'm so glad I found this thread here. Thanks to you all, I've now pre-ordered the DVD from Amazon (May 28). In the meanwhile, here are a couple of reviews that might be interesting.

(Thank you again for the tip!)  ;D


From The New York Times:

http://movies.nytimes.com/2008/03/28/movies/28shel.html
 
Movie Review

Shelter (2007)

Brad Rowe, left, and Trevor Wright in "Shelter," directed by Jonah Markowitz

March 28, 2008

Out on the Waves
 
By JEANNETTE CATSOULIS
Published: March 28, 2008
 
A confused young artist is torn between his family and his future in “Shelter,” a sensitive romantic drama from the writer and director Jonah Markowitz.

Set in the working-class San Pedro area of Los Angeles, the movie centers on Zach (Trevor Wright), a short-order cook. Between shifts Zach pursues a desultory relationship with his girlfriend, Tori (Katie Walder), and acts as surrogate father to his 5-year-old nephew, Cody (Jackson Wurth). His real passion, however, is painting, expressed in the stenciled graffiti he sprays on neighborhood buildings and in the art-school dreams that his selfish sister (Tina Holmes) is determined to sabotage.
 
Everything changes when Zach finds himself drawn to Shaun (Brad Rowe), a confident writer and eager enabler of all of Zach’s passions. As the two hit the surf and Shaun’s mattress with equal enthusiasm, the movie’s abundance of tanned bodies, rolling waves and golden sunsets create an aesthetic of inoffensive hedonism that perfectly matches the subject matter.
 
The first project produced by the film division of the here! cable television network, “Shelter” is finally less about erotic soul-searching than about defining one’s boundaries. And if at times the symbolism is a bit heavy-handed — and the ending is easily foreseen — strong performances and Joseph White’s burnished cinematography do much to atone. Coming out has rarely looked so pretty.
 
“Shelter” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Characters indulge in tasteful sex and a taste of drugs.
 
SHELTER
 
Opens on Friday in Manhattan.
 
Written and directed by Jonah Markowitz; director of photography, Joseph White; edited by Michael Hofacre; music by J. Peter Robinson; production designer, Denise Hudson; produced by Paul Colichman, Stephen P. Jarchow and J. D. Disalvatore; released by here! Networks, here! Films and Regent Releasing. At the Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street, at Laight Street. Running time: 1 hour 38 minutes. This film is not rated.
 
WITH: Trevor Wright (Zach), Brad Rowe (Shaun), Tina Holmes (Jeanne), Jackson Wurth (Cody), Ross Thomas (Gabe) and Katie Walder (Tori).




From The San Francisco Chronicle:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/27/DDC3VPKBN.DTL&type=movies

Surf buddies find their bliss in 'Shelter'

David Wiegand, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, March 28, 2008
 
Shelter: Romantic drama. Written and directed by Jonah Markowitz. Starring Trevor Wright, Brad Rowe. 97 minutes. (Rated R. At the Embarcadero and the Elmwood in Berkeley.)
 
Sometimes a film that otherwise relies on stock storylines and even skirts the fringes of old-fashioned melodrama can rise up on the strength of other elements. In the case of writer/director Jonah Markowitz's feature film debut, "Shelter" rises very high indeed, thanks to a superb performance by Trevor Wright in the lead role, a strong supporting cast, very good cinematography and, most of all, emotional authenticity.
 
First seen in the Bay Area at last year's Frameline festival, "Shelter" is a film about a young man named Zach who works as a short-order cook and has turned down a full scholarship from Cal Arts in order to take care of his family, which includes his frail father, who was disabled in a work accident, his loser sister Jeanne (Tina Holmes) and her young son, Cody (Jackson Wurth).
 
When Zach isn't slinging hash, or either breaking up or making up with his longtime girlfriend Tori (Katie Walder), he's off surfing with his best friend Gabe (Ross Thomas). Of course, the question that goes unasked but becomes nonetheless unavoidable in our understanding of Zach is whether he's really burdened by all of this responsibility, or whether he's hiding behind it. Zach doesn't begin considering that possibility until Gabe's older brother Shaun (Brad Rowe) shows up in San Pedro while waiting to move into a new place back in Los Angeles.
 
Soon enough, Zach is hanging out with Shaun a lot. They go surfing, they talk and one night, they drink a lot and there's a good-natured and, for the audience, wince-inducing wrestling match. Zach's first kiss from a guy leaves him confused. How many gay first encounters in film or fiction have involved alcohol and good-natured wrestling? Too many to count, and no doubt they've happened in real life, but that just means a director had better have a very sure hand if he wants to make them believable on film. Markowitz almost succeeds, but that's largely because he keeps the scene short.
 
Other elements of the story border on predictable, including the loser-boozer sister with serial one-night stands who, naturally, isn't happy that her possibly gay brother is tending to her young son. But as in so many other instances in the film, the cast's performances keep things credible. Holmes strikes all the right notes in showing a young woman who, in her way, is just as desperate to find herself as her brother is. And without hitting us over the head with it, Markowitz leads us to consider the essential difference that self-respect can make in finding oneself. Nicely nuanced and credible performances are also delivered by Rowe, who is smart enough to allow Zach room to screw up, Thomas as the best friend who finds he has a lot to come to grips with in the person of someone he thought he's known forever, and Walder as the girlfriend who perhaps understands Zach better and earlier than he does himself.
 
There aren't any great truths here. This is a film about love, and learning to be true to yourself and those willing to ride the wave with you. Markowitz's script is adequate on the surface, but better than that when we see how he allows his characters to embody his themes and trusts his audience enough to avoid telegraphing meaning at every turn. He often has a good ear for the way people speak in real life, although, occasionally, he falls into a "Stella Dallas" mode.
 
Wright's performance is the beating heart of the film from the start. It's a tricky role to play, because it calls on the young actor to withhold so much about his inner life yet, at the same time, give us enough information to see things that he is unwilling to look at. In this case, less becomes more and then some through a restrained and delicately balanced performance. It's Wright's careful minimalism that draws us along in the film and has us rooting for Zach all the way.
 
-- Advisory: Sexual content, brief drug use, occasional strong language.

E-mail David Wiegand at [email protected].



From www.einsiders.com :

Shelter (2008)


Director: Jonah Markowitz,
Starring: Trevor Wright, Brad Rowe, and Tina Holmes
Length: 97 minutes
Rated: R



Catching That Perfect Dream

by Jonathan W. Hickman
reviewed: 2008-03-28
 
Zach is an artistic surfer who has put his dreams of art school on hold to help his sister raise her son. But when he finds love, he has to choose a new road for himself. Sometimes you have to make your own way.
 
“Shelter” is a love story, with coming of age elements. The fact that it is also a gay love story is only part of what makes the film interesting. Instead of reinforcing gay stereotypes, writer/director Jonah Markowitz tells his story straight dealing with Zach’s sexual identity issues realistically and honestly.
 
Fine performances from Trevor Wright and Brad Rowe, who play forbidden lovers Zach and Shaun, greatly help this largely conventional tale of boy meets boy (told bluntly). Their chemistry is believable and the romance credible. And “Six Feet Under” alum Tina Holmes, who plays Zach’s single mom/sister named Jeanne, makes her character seem real as well, especially as Jeanne questions whether Zach is involved with Shaun.
 
The surfing photography is excellent. Apparently, several of the stars really surfed as part of their performances which certainly adds to the authentic characterizations. As a non-surfer, I’m always amazed by shots of folks hanging ten.

I suppose it’s ironic that “Shelter” comes out the same weekend as the big budget, flashy, flick “21” hits theaters. Both films deal with smart young people struggling with the pressure of paying for college and making the right career choices. And while I understand that it is hard to get into college these days, there are always legitimate ways to get an education no matter how dire the situation might appear.
 
I guess I’m just a little too concrete in my thinking, but if you want to be an artist, or as in the case of the film “21,” a doctor, find a school that you can afford, and one that will accept you, and go there. It matter not how much you must beg or borrow, if you’re passionate about it, make it happen. The people who love and care for you in your life will understand, because they love you. If you don’t pursue your dreams, you may never find out who you really are.

Jonathan W. Hickman
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

injest

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Quote
“Shelter” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Characters indulge in tasteful sex and a taste of drugs.


which is like...TONS better than 'distasteful' sex....

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


Offline David In Indy

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which is like...TONS better than 'distasteful' sex....

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:



I THINK they mean nothing overly graphic Jess. I can't speak from experience though. They won't show it where I live.  >:(

I've been wondering if they will EVEN let us see it on DVD around here. God FORBID they show it in a Hoosier movie theater!  ::)  >:(
Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

injest

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I THINK they mean nothing overly graphic Jess. I can't speak from experience though. They won't show it where I live.  >:(

I've been wondering if they will EVEN let us see it on DVD around here. God FORBID they show it in a Hoosier movie theater!  ::)  >:(

hmm....I wonder if there is a SOLUTION to that...hmmmm......

mvansand76

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Here is Brad Rowe talking about the gay thing:

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1DBFHN-mO4[/youtube]

Brad Rowe is so much cooler and cuter than the person he's being compared to looks-wise, Brad Pitt! I would love to see more of him in movies. In the scene w/the walkie-talkies at the end in the garden, he shows so much with just his facial expressions! Exit Brad Pitt, enter Brad Rowe!  :D





Offline Nevermore

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SPOILERS!
I would definitely recommend this--it's no cinematic masterpiece a la Brokeback Mountain but it is a fun, well-crafted little film with believable characters, well-played by actors who imbue them with depth where they could easily have been the usual stock figures. It's a love triangle of sorts, but not in the sense you'd expect--the main character, Zach, is torn between his sense of obligation fun-loving, irresponsible single-mom older sister and his attraction to his best friend's older brother Sean, who reappears in his life at a point where he has become resigned to giving up his dreams of being an artist to play Dad to his young nephew.
There's also a longtime best girl friend/sometime girlfriend in the picture, and you can just taste the bittersweet ease of "settling" tugging at him--marry the girl, the part-time "find yourself" job becomes permanent, and one day he wakes up and realizes he's forty and hasn't really gotten anything he wanted from life. It was especially poignant for me because the "sense of place" that was so resonant for the westerners in Brokeback was present for me with Shelter: it was shot in my hometown, San Pedro, California, the blue-collar harbor town that is the port of Los Angeles. I grew up with a lot of Zacks and Jeannes, and most of them are still there, living their lives in the shadow of the Vincent Thomas Bridge that is a central (and wee bit obvious) motif.
If there's a weakness, it's that Zack's dilemma seems like such a non-dilemma--move in with the handsome Prince Charming or stay on as permanent babysitter for young Zack will big Sis Jeanne plays away with a succession of  losers? It's a legitimate criticism, but I would answer that it's difficult to overestimate the power of family obligation, and also, Sean's seeming perfection might raise suspicions that he's a little too good to be true. The character is supposed to be from the chi-chi Palos Verdes peninsula (though it looks like Malibu standing in for PV), bringing out Zack's working class defensiveness, which rings true enough to those of us who lived "down the hill."
It is, I repeat, not a masterpiece, more of a particularly thoughtful Afterschool Special, but none the worse for that, and though I firmly believe a story should stand on its own merits and not the value of the "lesson," if I were a middle school teacher with a student questioning his sexuality, I would be glad to have the DVD in my arsenal of resources.
On the sex: it's there, it's unobtrustive, and though there is actually quite a bit more of it than in Brokeback, it's of the tasteful variety, maybe a little too tasteful (a shot of the boys in shorts in circumstances where I doubt they'd be clothed) and one rather silly slapstick discovery scene that was probably the weakest thing in it. But all in all, it held up to a second viewing.

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Exit Brad Pitt, enter Brad Rowe!  :D

Wow, never thought I would say this, but, AMEN!  :laugh:
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Wish I had it on DVD already so I could watch it on our new big plasma TV!  :P

Will it be in the European format too? Is there a European format anymore?
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."