BOYSTOWN (Juan Flahn, Spain). 100 minutes. Subtitled. Saturday (May 17), 7 pm, Isabel Bader. Rating: NNNNN
Up-and-coming Spanish director Juan Flahn tries to outdo Almodóvar in this cheeky and colourful satire about murder, mothers and upscale gay clones.
Sleek real estate agent Victor (Pablo Puyol) is buying up properties in the Chueca section of Madrid to transform it into a genteel gaybourhood. If some old lady refuses to sell, Victor kills her. (Alas, Flahn has inherited a bit of Almodóvar’s misogyny.)
Victor meets resistance, however, from a couple of bickering gay bears (Carlos Fuentes and Pepón Nieto), one of whose mothers is living in one of the units. Another middle-aged mother (Rosa Maria Sardà, from Almodóvar’s All About My Mother), meanwhile, is the detective assigned to investigate the deaths.
The satire runs deep and the laughs come quick and hard. (Look for the homophobic politician played by a drag queen.) Sardà’s impeccable timing is worth the price of admission, and how can you not like a movie where the climax is partly set in a bathhouse?