THE BEST OF SECTER & THE REST OF SECTER (Joel Secter, Canada). 58 minutes. Monday (May 23), 5 pm. Cumberland. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
David Secter's 1965 student film Winter Kept Us Warm is rightly considered a gay classic. Both it and its 20-something director made headlines when the film was accepted at Cannes.
Secter's nephew Joel takes a look at his uncle's life and career, which never delivered on that early promise. In the 1970s David became a messianic figure in a Lower East Side warehouse, spending years on collectively created films while immersing himself in sex and drugs.
The footage of the communal environment is compelling (as are Secter's various hairstyles), and we get glimpses of the art scene from folks like David Cronenberg and Philip Glass . But filmmaker Joel doesn't mine much emotional territory despite signs that he has lots of ambivalent feelings towards his uncle
There are huge gaps in the film's narrative; what happened to the 80s? But the elder Secter's honesty and optimism (he's HIV-positive, in a long-term relationship and still pitching ideas) in such a volatile business make the film more than a cinematic footnote.
Inside out festival reviews The new queer crop INSIDE OUT TORONTO LESBIAN AND GAY FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL at various locations from today (Thursday, May 19) to May 29. $7.50-$10.75, galas $21.50-$26.75. 416-967-1528, www.insideout.ca. For complete schedule, see Indie & Rep Film, page 126.