Today was a day of semi-tough choices, although by the time morning arrived, the endless soul-searching had ended. There’s always the problem of scheduling conflicts in programme choices at a film festival. Much more so when the film festival is as short as this one. I already had to forgo a repeat viewing of Fremde Am See, one of my favourite films not only of the PornFilmFestival but of this year. Though a friend of mine who attended the - packed! - screening mentioned that the film's suspense (no spoilers, but it definitely puts the 'cock' in Hitchcockian) was undercut by a surprise power outage at a particularly tense moment.
My choice was between the first screening of the “Gay Shorts” selection, which every year, erotic or not, proves to be fun, and a film about the darkest subject at the film festival this year: paedophilia. But really, I’m the kinda guy that needs to be challenged. I want to be unsettled, provoked and/or moved by something unfamiliar… so I went with Outing, a documentary about a paedophile here in Germany and how he deals with his problem.
As unsettling and disturbing as paedophilia is, it’s a topic that comes up again and again in modern discourse, from revelations about politicians in Germany to occasional calls to Dan Savage’s podcast from such unfortunate souls.
Outing had the benefit of finding one such soul who was willing not only to show his face, his family and his day-to-day life, but also practice a very frank therapy on himself through the camera. What it didn’t have the benefit of was getting as deeply under my skin as I imagined it would. With only a few hours to mill it over and films and life between, I don’t know if I can come to a sound judgment about the film yet. Needless to say, my opinion isn’t negative, but I don’t feel as if I was pushed (in any direction) as much as I would have liked. The largest disturbance among the audience seemed to be the fact that the central character was portrayed as not only a paedophile but also gay. The politically correct thing to do would be to make a clear distinction. I don’t know if I think that’s necessary as there are gay paedophiles, just like gay serial killers.
I scurried along to the “Queer Shorts” selection afterwards without any discussion between friends about the film I just saw.
Without going into detail on that last programme, I only know that I’m waiting for the film that will really push my buttons during this fest. But tomorrow and Sunday promise to be hardcore, (yes, hardcore) in terms of programming for me. I may see one more film tonight or just fuck off to the film festival lounge for drinks, but tomorrow I have five films on my plate, plus the party.
Keep checking back.