Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dan Savage's Hump! Festival 2017 (April 8th at the Capitol Theatre)

[DAN SAVAGE'S HUMP! FESTIVAL 2017 screens Saturday April 8th at 7:30 pm and 9:45 pm at the Capitol Theatre.]

Review by Bob Ignizio

Sex columnist Dan Savage is back with a new installment of his HUMP! FESTIVAL, a collection of short films about sex. Or you can call it porn, smut, erotica... whatever works for you. Bottom line is, regardless of the tone or topic, almost all of these vignettes involve nudity and graphic depictions of sex. Straight sex. Gay sex. Polyamorous sex. Really kinky sex. There's probably something here for everyone (and probably something here to send at least some audience members running from the room in terror, as well).

Overall I found this assortment less enjoyable than last years. Not that the films were worse from an artistic standpoint, but they just didn't grab me artistically. And there were a few that inspired the "running from the room in terror" comment above, most notably "Playing Scrabble". The short won in the "Best Kink" category for the fest, and it definitely goes well beyond anything you'd find in a 50 SHADES movie. Consider yourself warned.

There's also a "puppy play" segment featuring a female to male trans actor ("You've Got Tail"), a segment featuring a hetero couple who get into watersports ("Correspondence"), and even an animated tentacle porn short ("The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife"), so it's fair to say kink is pretty well covered.

"I'm Not Poly But My Boyfriends Are" reminds me of the kind of thing you used to see on HBO's "Real Sex", in which an older woman talks frankly about coming out of her shell sexually and slowly accepting that she wants multiple lovers in her life. It's actually kind of inspirational in a way.

There's plenty here for gay men, too, from the choreographed "The Forbidden Tango" to a vignette that plays like THE LITTLE MERMAID meets The Village People ("The Little Merman").

On the humor front, the stand-outs are "Savage Kingdom", a nature documentary about the elusive "gimp", and "It's Fucking Complicated", in which a couple delicately negotiate their various kinks and somehow manage to incorporate them all into one lovemaking session.

And hey, there are even some fairly straight forward hetero segments, including two ("Summer Fuckation" and "Fuck on the Mount") that involve considerable physical exertion in the great outdoors before the participants even get down to business. In the words of Danny Glover, "I'm too old for this shit." But it is nice to look at.

That's not all, but you get the idea. I thought the films in last year's fest were a little more imaginative and polished, but these certainly aren't bad if you're looking for something sexy that doesn't follow the usual porn clich├ęs. 2 ½ out of 4 stars.

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