Author Topic: "Humpday:" Ben and Andrew do the deed, dude on dude, at the "Bonin' Motel."  (Read 1141 times)

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,011


http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/btm/feature/2009/01/17/sundance_1/




By Andrew O’Hehir
Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009 07:20 EST




Dude + dude = porno!

Mark Duplass (left, as Ben) and Joshua Leonard (as Andrew) in "Humpday."




PARK CITY, Utah --(Sundance )


(....)

If there's an early candidate for Sundance breakout hit, that would be Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton's third feature "Humpday,"  a subtle and intelligent picture that blends dudely comedy and adult relationship drama. It premiered here on Friday afternoon to a packed house that surfed along with every laugh line and every squirm. If you want a frame of reference, Shelton's clearly seen the films of Nicole Holofcener, Mike Leigh and the early Woody Allen, but gives those influences her own Pacific Northwest spin. Although it's based on improvisation and shot without a screenplay, "Humpday"  moves propulsively forward, as former college hell-raiser buds Ben (Mark Duplass) and Andrew (Joshua Leonard) come ever closer to fulfilling their mutual dare: making an amateur porn film, together, with no other participants.

I'm not sure how wide Duplass' acting range is -- I don't know that he could be an action hero, or play Shakespeare -- but he sure is great at playing self-deluded doofuses forced by some life crisis to ever-so-slightly grow up. Also known as half of the Duplass brothers' filmmaking team ("Baghead," "The Puffy Chair" ), here he's a 30ish Seattle yuppie who's settled into Gap pleated pants, married life and homeownership, with fatherhood right around the corner. One night everything changes, when Ben and his wholesome wife, Anna (marvelously played by Alycia Delmore), are awakened by the ringing doorbell.

It's Andrew, showing up unannounced at 1:30 a.m. from Mexico City and Chiapas and Morocco and wherever the hell else. He's hyped-up and jabbering, he's decided on impulse to drop in on his best bud, and from his first seconds in the household we can tell -- and Anna can really tell -- that he's a destabilizing influence. There's clearly unfinished business or a submerged grudge between Ben and Andrew. Ben thinks Andrew has become a rootless fuck-up, and Andrew thinks Ben has become an emasculated square. We never actually learn what version of technically oriented office job Ben performs; he starts to tell people a couple of times and never finishes the sentence.

Within 24 hours of Andrew's arrival, he and Ben are getting ludicrously drunk at the house of a self-appointed Dionysian bisexual chick (deliciously played by Shelton, the director) whom Andrew picked up at a cafe -- all while Anna pines at home, having cooked her famous pork chops for two guys who aren't showing up. That's where their brilliant scheme emerges: To win the amateur porn contest hosted by the Stranger  (Seattle's estimable alt-weekly), Ben and Andrew will do the deed, dude on dude, at a site Ben dubs the "Bonin' Motel."

Ben and Andrew do indeed end up behind closed doors in the Bonin' Motel, but since I have no idea when "Humpday"  will be reaching regular viewers, it'd be unfair to tell you anything more. (Believe me, it will get picked up for distribution, and sooner rather than later.) Whatever they do or don't do in there, this fresh, funny and highly perceptive flick isn't about how these guys and other male-bonded pairs are really gay, or about any other simplistic agenda question.

Instead, it's a film about things far more difficult to define, like the tiny lies we tell ourselves and those we love, or the impossibility of making sense of all the different and contradictory aspects of one adult personality. Shelton moves confidently from Seattle hipster self-satire to moments of profound emotional discovery; her directorial eye, aptitude with actors and impulse for stripped-down storytelling mark her as a major arrival on the independent scene.

"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"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,011


(Looks like Texans really  don't  like coffee--nor pork chops neither!)



http://www.humpdayishere.com/





http://www.humpdayishere.com/about.php

SYNOPSIS
Sometimes male bonding can go a little too far. When Andrew unexpectedly shows up on Ben's doorstep late one night, the two old college friends immediately fall into their old dynamic of heterosexual one-upmanship. To save Ben from domestication, Andrew invites Ben to a party at a sex-positive commune. Everyone there plans on making erotic art films for the local amateur porn festival and Andrew wants in. They run out of booze and ideas, save for one: Andrew should have sex with Ben, on camera. It's not gay; it's beyond gay. It's not porn; it's an art project. The next day, they find themselves unable to back down from the dare. And there's nothing standing in their way - except Ben's wife Anna, heterosexuality, and certain mechanical questions.  HUMPDAY: a bromantic comedy.

SUNDANCE FILM GUIDE EXCERPT
Judging by writer and director Lynn Shelton, it takes a talented woman to unearth the biggest ironies in the male ego. HUMPDAY is a buddy movie gone wild. Shelton expertly mines this clever construct for every possible comedic and irreverent moment. The three lead actors deliver fine-tuned performances amidst postmodern patter and tight, crisp storytelling. Shelton's command of her craft shines brightest when our two gentlemen finally get down to the task at hand: creating a classic "wriggle in your seat" moment of truth.  - John Cooper, Director of Festival Programming, Sundance Film Festival

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Lynn Shelton grew up in Seattle, studying acting, painting, poetry and photography in her formative years. After a decade spent acting for the stage, she attended the MFA program in Photography at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. She then spent a decade learning the ins and outs of cinema as an experimental and documentary filmmaker (The Clouds That Touch Us Out of Clear Skies, The Fruits of Our Labors ), and as an editor, (Outpatient, Hedda Gabler, Measure ), before writing and directing her first feature-length film upon invitation from The Film Company, a nonprofit film studio. The result, We Go Way Back, premiered at SLAMDANCE 2006 where it picked up the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature and the Award for Best Cinematography.

Her second feature film, My Effortless Brilliance, premiered at SXSW 2008 and screened at a bevy of festivals across the country. The film was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Direction at the Atlanta Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by IFC Films. Shelton is a nominee for the 2009 Independent Spirit "Someone to Watch" award.





CAST
"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"

Offline SFEnnisSF

  • BBM Radio Program Director
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,548
I bet they don't go through with it...