Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Talk Talk

deepsouth: Lenses Focus on HIV Struggle in South
As the Little Rock Film Festival takes flight, Its unfortunate that many dynamic lavender centric films don't get a nod or perhaps even a significant look at for consideration. Of course no film festival programs stuff that they can't discern that theirs an audience interested in the subject matter. Recently the film "Pariah" blinked through some screenings and despite efforts to promote its presence most folks that I asked about it had that "WTF" look on their face. At one time in the recent past, there was even a bold attempt to have a "Little Rock Gay Film Festival" which ebbed and flowed into obscurity. In case you didn't know this, again we've had many attempts at so many events and programming that were "one hit wonders," and then went dormant. Its almost a given here in the city and its one of the reasons that such angst and contempt exist when attempts to organize anything gets a lackluster response. After awhile one begins to wonder "why bother?" Amazingly enough many in the LGBTQ set will see a Madea mash up but can't seem find the time to support a gay centric local film festival or a possible book club. Before its demise, I had the chance to attend some of those screenings which did offer a variety of interesting films on both erotic and exotic topics. But as usual the effort suffered from poor participation among all the other Five P's that I've mentioned as event killers. In the meantime, if you are not a Netflix subscriber, RedBox maven or partake in the dastardly "Bootleg" trade, there are some great films still available including the upcoming "deepsouth" being release in July. The films website is wonderfully haunting with a fresh spin on film websites as far as I'm concern. It's extremely arty and entices visitors to stay awhile and click through on many of its "frames" that lead you other info about the film. Directed by Lisa Biagiotti the film explores the lives of southerners intersected by a broken health care system that continues to deal with the health dilemma of HIV and AIDS. I've had a little trouble with the term "deepsouth" since Arkansas continues to be excluded from the region on numerous levels. Even when it comes to Federal funding, this state is seen as "Mid-South or even for some reason, "Southwest," which leaves me scratching my head. The very term itself also could evoke many emotions and reactions from those whom may consider the historical elements of its use to the modern twist that the filmmakers have pursued. I'm sort of conflicted on its usage but I'm intrigued with the premise that the term "deepsouth" is being deconstructed for a closer look at those directly affected by both living geographically and mentally within the region. I've actually run across a few of the folks who are in the film while traveling to conferences and such. The subjects are followed through their various daily rituals and survival tactics as they face the critical facts of living within three decades of the chronic disease. If you get a chance to check out the site (www.deepsouthfilm.com ) by all means do so. Although this film would have been too late for the local film fest, that doesn't mean that there were not others that could have made the cut. What the hell, this community can do films if we really want to. But then again, we could do almost anything if we really wanted to, however you've got to really want it. Here's a excerpt from the website and the trailer.
One word, lower­case.

"Deep South" is a familiar term, but deepsouth expresses this geogr­aphical, cultural term diffe­rently. And that’s how we’re looking the tired, familiar issue of HIV.

The curious spelling and layering are meant to convey the film’s compl­exity.

We consi­dered Deep South, but that sounded too Gone with the Wind, or like a Ken Burns 10-part series on the Civil War.

My friend Deanne Torbert Dunning suggested deepSouth because the spelling and punct­uation trigger the brain to explore the expanse of its meaning. There’s a depth of life in this place that most of us are so unaware of. The film is about an envir­onment that produces high rates of HIV infec­tion, among other problems.

We looked up words that began with deep...like deepw­ater, deepness, deepen.

The lowercase “d” takes the edge off of the boldness and epic abstr­actness of Deep South, making it more personal, more familiar, more new (in our text gener­ation), more sexual.

So, there it is. If it worked for e.e. cummings, it’ll work for deepsouth.

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