Cinema Verite x 10

“BEARS” (2007) D- Marc Klasfeld W-Marc Klasfeld 

Screened as part of the 2007 OUTFEST film festival

“Bears” is all about the  silly beauty contest that takes place at, and I suppose is the real reason for, Bear Rendezvous in San Francisco each February.

The train wreck of an event documented was the 2004 IBR.

I won’t go further into my own opinion of this sort of thing, I’ll just focus on the film itself.

It was awful.

It was badly edited, over long, and horribly, horribly biased in it’s coverage. The director, Marc Klasfeld, obviously wanted to make it a little spicier by inventing his own narrative by molding, through clever editing, the winner of the contest into the villain of the piece.

The film was structured to introduce the contestants individually using interviews and vignettes of their lives. This was done in order to make the audience identify with them and root for their favorite.

Scott Hunter, second from right, was the 2004 IBR winner

The winner of the contest, Scott Hunter of Los Angeles, was never interviewed in the film at all. In  fact he was not even seen or mentioned until 1 hour into the film. No interviews or sympathetic vignettes of him. Only a couple of scenes where he was promoting himself during the contest weekend were seen. Using this method of sniper editing, it was made to look like he and , by very obvious and unsubtle connection, Southern California, was crass and rude.

After the screening, I left the theatre and Scott was standing outside by himself smoking a cigarette. He tried to smile, and as I hugged him, I could see he had been crying. He’d not seen the film prior to the screening. Seeing himself up there on the big screen and having the audience boo and hiss him was harrowing for him.

The after party was at the Faultline, and the director, Mark Klasfeld, was there. I approached him. He turned to me smiling, expecting a fawning compliment I suppose. I introduced myself and immediatley said that his film was an awfully edited hack job on my friend Scott and that I very much resented his film and him. He stuttered and sputtered. I went on to point out his obvious biased coverage against Scott and told him that he’d really hurt someone. Regaining his composure, he tried to cover by claiming that they’d somehow lost all the footage of interviews with Scott. (Sorry teacher! My dog ate my homework! honest injun!) I said that that’s bullshit, that Scott had told me himself that he was cut and pasted to look like a fool. Klasfeld said that was untrue and that if Scott himself was there, he’d love to talk to him. I said “Oh yeah? Wait here” I went and grabbed Scott and took him over and the last I saw of them they were walking outside to discuss it. I didn’t read in the paper this morning of a Hollywood director slaying, so I guess Scott controlled himself.

Update: I just read the director’s bio. Wow. I chewed out “one of the finest music video directors working today”

Miss this movie. It’s worse than actually attending one of those beauty contests.

13 responses to “Cinema Verite x 10

  1. Rich: About this film you just trahed…isn’t it just porn, and therefore not worth the time to watch?
    Porn? Why would you assume that I would review porn, or that OUTFEST would feature porn?-Rich

  2. Charles, Most of us consider you an ASS, and rightfully so, but we still comment about you too. As a punk I have no problems saying that out loud either.

    Why don’t you go hang out with Senator ‘Poopie Diapers’ david vitter and you’re other conservaitve friends. Maybe you can all put diapers on and have bush read my pet goat to you. Then comment on how well it was read on you’re own blog.

    No wonder why the Pew Research Poll found that INCOMPETENT was the most commonly chosen word people came up with when ask what one word best describes the bush admin.

    Personally I use the word TRAITOR.

    Its a good thing the American Public no longer trusts the republicans with our military. We know the Military doesn’t trust them by their mass switch in voter registration. you know the switch that caused republicans to cage list the military for the 2008 elections.

  3. Here is another movie though just to be ‘Fair and Balanced.’ Its a conservative film called ‘Cajones’ featuring the top GOP presidential candidate Rudi Julie Annie.

    Please feel free to commment. Unless of course you feel its porn.

    Its good to be a punk!🙂

    Do you think he should dot his i’s with little hearts?

  4. Paco: I fail to see what it was about my comment that precipitated the personal attack. One reason why I read this blog is because Rich’s movie reviews show a lot of thought. No, I would not see a porn movie! Least of all one that wasn’t well-written. CB

  5. Boy oh Boy, are we biased. Folks, in the great words of Malcolm X – You have been bamboozled. Obviously SOMEONE on here has terribly hurt feelings and cannot get past them. Are we talking the same film BEARS that has been accepted and sold out every single gay festival? (Toronto, NY, SF, LA, Philly – and accepted into the UK, Paris, Tokyo, Austin, Tampa just to name a few) Are we talking about the same film that has been getting rave reviews at the above festivals? Please read a fairer one here: http://nashobabear.blogspot.com/2007/06/bears-documentary-by-marc-klasfeld.html

    I read it. I disagree.
    Why don’t you read his review of “SICKO”? It’s spot on. I would urge everyone to read it.
    it’s here:
    http://nashobabear.blogspot.com/2007/06/its-not-just-corporatized-medicine.html
    It’s more than a review, actually. Its an essay on the insanity of our broken corporatist/capitalist machine run amok.
    As to your biased charge- you’re goddamned right I’m biased. I won’t stand idly by as a friend of mine is trashed for the sake of some idiot directors story. YOU didn’t see the look on Scotts face.-Rich

  6. Charles had you actually read the review you would know its not a porn. IDIOT!

  7. Oh BTW found a nice little article about Bob Allen the Republican congressman who just got busted for offering an undercover cop 20$ to allow him to blow THE COP.

    He also sponsored legislation that toughened penalties for lewd or lascivious conduct and created a new provision that allows some sexual predators to receive life prison sentences for their offenses. Allen had dubbed the bill the “Sexual Predator Elimination Act.”

    isn’t that hillarious? I mean what is it with Republicans and male prostitutes. 1st Jeff Gannon and now this.

    Oh Yeah and he was part of John McCains crew. I guess that is what you meant by ‘CAJONES’ LOL!!

  8. its definitely not a porn, its a documentary

  9. So it is a documentary…OK! With respect to the exchange that got things going here, wouldn’t it have been better to say why it should be looked at that way, rather than go ad hominum? CB

  10. “LA Bear”

    Just because a film is playing at a festival, gay or otherwise, means absolutely nil as far as quality goes. Crap films, especially gay crap films play festivals all the time. You postings here reeks of your involvement with this said film “Bores”, I mean, “Bears”. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but in a town like LA, this is not far fetched.

    Let me ask you something, since you seem to identify with this “Bear” thing, if you consider yourself a “Bear”, how do you think this film represented you? If you are just another sache queen looking for a title, ANY title, in some pathetic jr. Miss America beauty contest, I could see how you like it.

    “Oh, but it’s for chairty.” Yes, and Scott Hunter (who was obviously cheated out of this film, displayed as a shallow, gimmick ridden clown to great effect in the narrative) raised more money than anyone who has ever won Mr. IBR. Put that in your hatchet job, and smoke it!

    The points previously posted here by Richy are worthy questions. And what is the filmmaker’s reaction? “We lost the footage.” Oh, this reflects so well on your filmmaking skills, twink boi.

    By choosing to ignore Hunter in your first hour and set-up, you put him in the unflattering position of unfamiliarity. We have no idea who he is, or what his story is. And when you do finally show him with his props and silly roman outfit, the only choice the audience has is to hiss and wince. And hiss and wince they did. You must be proud of yourselves! You got the reaction you were seeking, however cheap. Marc Klasfeld, you are a weak filmmaker, and I see right through you.

    Lastly, I do not consider myself a “Bear”, but I do find it overtly sad that after almost 20 years as an identifiable subculture within the homo rainbow, that this is the only documentary to emerge from this world. I do know enough of this world to note there is more to bears than beauty contests, however this supposed “definitive” look at “The Bear Lifestyle” sadly ignores it. Bears were previously given a much kinder heads up on The Simpsons and in John Waters films.

  11. Answer NO! I prefer to be a Punk!

  12. Rich: I did backtrack on calling the film “porn”. I staqnd corrected. CB

  13. I’d just like to see a fair review which you obviously are not capable.

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