aGLIFF Reviews

Were the World Mine

Narrative Feature/Closing Night Film
D: Tom Gustafson; with Tanner Cohen, Wendy Robie, Judy McLane, Zelda Williams, Jill Larson.

The well-meaning English teacher Ms. Tebbit (Robie) encourages her students to try out for the school's staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream, saying, "Awaken and empower what's within." Leading man Cohen's Timothy responds, "I'd rather not," bringing the high schooler's reality into focus. We're here, we're queer, but we're staying under the radar for survival's sake: an all-too-common middle ground between the closet and the Pride Parade not seen often on the big screen. Timothy's reality takes beautifully scored and choreographed flights of fancy when the object of his desire, a classmate, enters the room, but the dancing, glittery numbers remain distant fantasies. However, as Timothy embraces his role as Puck in the play, the magical – and much more gay-friendly – world is loosed on the unsuspecting suburban town. The film's leap from teenage slice of life to fantastical Shakespeare adaptation is a bit abrupt, but both the actors and the director handle the two modes with equal aplomb and to great effect. – James Renovitch

Sunday, Sept. 7, 8pm
For previous coverage of aGLIFF films Bi the Way and XXY, see austinchronicle.com.

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