SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES -- a new work from perhaps America's best and funniest writer/filmmaker to tackle the gay issue, Del Shores -- notes in passing that this is all preaching to the con-verted. Maybe so. But, Jesus Christ, what a sermon! TrustMovies admits that, going into this two-hour-and-18-minute movie, it did seem initially like been-there/done-that. But very quickly the story and characters take on the particularities of lives lived. If you're gay, or if you're close to anyone who is, I suspect that Southern Baptist Sissies will very quickly become irresistible.
Zephyr Theater in Southern California. But like a smart filmmaker, he uses the camera gracefully and cleverly, coming in for close-ups and moving it wisely to take us from scene to scene, location to location. We see, and in fact become part of, the theater audience, and yet the end result is more of a movie than anything else. But it's a movie that features live acting. And what acting!
William Belli), Andrew (Matthew Scott Montgomery), TJ (Luke Stratte-McClure), and Mark, our narrator and more-or-less lead character (Emerson Collins) -- beginning at age twelve and taking them through their teenage into their young-adult years. They are gay, and they are part of the Southern Baptist Church, and how each boy handles his situation -- with irony/anger, pretense that it doesn't exist, constant and worthless prayer, or full-out embrace of his homosexuality -- becomes the full tale we experience.
Newell Alexander, above), whose church takes literally center stage, and also a couple of hilarious denizens -- below, left, Dale Dickey, and right, Leslie Jordan -- of a local gay bar where one of our quartet ends up working/singing as a female impersonator.
There will also be a DVD coming eventually -- as well as, I hope, stream-ing via various links. Keep watch here, and I'll try to update as new information arrives.