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Finding Sexuality, Acceptance in 'Cold Star': VIDEO

Coldstar

A mesmerizing short about bullying, tolerance and sexuality by German director Kai Stänicke.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via one angry queer)

Coldstar2

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  1. the video also very much reminded me of this video from sigur ros for Viðrar vel til loftárása: http://youtu.be/mzvkeRXhUYM they obviously share the same slow-motion style but also share much the same message.

    i guess you can view the ending as representing literally an orgy, but it seems more to represent our sexual culture as a whole, and how our basic impulses of love and attraction are affected by outside forces. liberation is deciding and acting for yourself, throwing off what others think you should or should not do, and with whom.

    that's why i'm blown away by the knowing look the drag queen gives us at the end of the video. there's a sense of satisfaction there, but also a reassurance. brings me to tears every time.

    and what's amazing about the video overall, besides it's gorgeous style, is that different people are reading different things into it and feel the need to debate it.

    Posted by: troy | Aug 29, 2011 4:29:59 PM


  2. The old man commanded so much dignity in his/her walk, the actor is splendid.

    Posted by: oakpope | Aug 29, 2011 4:34:36 PM


  3. @ Lisa, my take on the video is don't judge someone until you've walked in their shoes, pumps or flats. This director just chose to use sexual imagery to convey that. Wait, are you the fat and lonely girl at the end of the video?

    Posted by: RONTEX | Aug 29, 2011 4:52:22 PM


  4. LOL. The oldest gay male fantasy in existence, version 100,623. Beautiful, young straight men with great bodies being successfully seduced by ugly old effeminate queens--I mean, if those young straight hotties would just have the courage to "be who they are", that is exactly what they all would do, right? (LOL).

    Hey, it's a movie and that is what movies are for, on some level, right?

    Hilarious and pathetic at the same time, as are the comments, in which some of you actually try to elevate this to some kind of "art" or "statement".

    Posted by: Rick | Aug 29, 2011 4:56:26 PM


  5. Awesome!

    Posted by: Ishaq | Aug 29, 2011 5:42:25 PM


  6. It IS art and it IS a statement---one that people seem to be very uncomfortable with based on these comments. The statement obviously gets lost on those who are too stupid,too ignorant,too sexually inhibited,too closeted,too lazy to watch the entire thing and too judgemental to ever put themselves in anyone elses shoes and understand how to be compassionate.
    Amazing work-worthy of praise.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Aug 29, 2011 6:08:56 PM


  7. @Rick- I'd agree with you if that was in any way the only interaction in the film. But it isn't. It was everyone joining in with everyone save the poor, sad obese lady.

    It may have started the pool orgy, but it certainly didn't end it. And to read that as the entire message/intention/mastubatory fantasy played out here is to willfully ignore a lot of content. If anything your honing in on that single interaction shows more your anger/discomfort with that particular idea than it does the directors desire to make that the point of the film.

    I mean- it eeked me out too- but after watching the whole thing I feel that was kind of the point. Along with how absolutely ridiculous that duo was adding to the surreal nature of the clip.

    Posted by: AedanCloud | Aug 29, 2011 6:36:40 PM


  8. If RICK can ever make a post without making one of his usual tired swipes at "effeminate queens" it'll be a sign of progress, indeed.


    when will RICK and wimps like him realize that "effeminate queens" aren't the reason your fathers were ashamed to call you Son.

    Your fathers resented having you for a son because you're a coward.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 29, 2011 6:42:43 PM


  9. What bothers me about this is that every gender, age and hue (knowing that this is a German production makes the relatively light skin tone of the darkest people there make more sense) joins in the celebration at the end. The one person who sits it out, and has no contact with anyone else in the video at all, is the heavy girl. If there had been heavy people in the pool or other people choosing to sit out I wouldn't have been uncomfortable about her. Even if it had been a heavy guy, I don't think it would have been quite so jarring. Though I think the most striking image would have been a conventionally beautiful person choosing to exclude him or herself from the celebration in the pool.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Aug 29, 2011 7:10:24 PM


  10. @ Rick,

    Your putting 1% or 2% of the video under a microscope and pretending that it's the entire video. The more comments you post, the more obsessed you seem to be. Weird. And I don't mean the video.

    Posted by: Artie Rimbaud | Aug 29, 2011 7:12:56 PM


  11. @ Jonathan

    I understand what you're saying, but I interpreted the exclusion of the overweight girl as a comment that "fatness" has yet to be embraced by even the most sexually liberated of people. Will it, should it.. I don't think the movie tries to send a message about that, it just wants us to consider it. There are those, both gay and straight, who aren't able to participate in the freedom depicted primarily because of their appearance.

    Posted by: Jay | Aug 29, 2011 7:24:01 PM


  12. well, the overweight woman was not being excluded; she was choosing not to participate. i think that's the point. her relationship to food has taken the place of her sexual impulse (the camera focuses on her eating the way it does on the kissing in the pool), which is an end result of the kind of judgment and fear the video is arguing against. some people fear their sexuality and judgment about it and turn those desires toward food, others toward religion, and so on.

    Posted by: troy | Aug 29, 2011 8:14:17 PM


  13. I saw some 50 shorts at the Frameline fest in June, and this was one of the handful that I just adore. Yes, it's over the top and takes big risks and isn't afraid to be a little crazy or ridiculous; that's why I took it to be a genuine work of art--and, more importantly, a work of compassion and generosity. I'm not someone who adores drag and thinks it automatically equals profundity, but the actor in that role, with his bewitching Vanessa Redgrave-smile, really elevates his role to poetry. And there's something liberating and inspiring about seeing so many different people expressing affection for each other without fear or shame.

    Minor sermon: art is personal. Some of my favorite movies are "E.T." "Psycho" "Harold and Maude" "Brokeback Mountain" and "The Philadelphia Story"--and I'm sure someone reading those titles just thought, "Oh my God, he likes THAT piece of garbage?" (For the record, I hate "As Good As It Gets" "A Clockwork Orange" and "Independence Day" for three other examples.) If folks are going to discuss the film as a piece of art, it would be nice if we could try to do it without getting nasty and resorting to personal attacks--otherwise, isn't that an echo of the bullies and haters at the start of the short?

    Posted by: Dback | Aug 29, 2011 9:18:39 PM


  14. I think the fat girl eating fatty food made a good point, honestly, on a few different levels. I'm glad she was there.

    Posted by: Robert | Aug 29, 2011 10:24:42 PM


  15. The song was good, the video just strange.

    Posted by: Rob West | Aug 29, 2011 11:16:33 PM


  16. DBACK: Very well-said!

    (And I vigorously agree with your assessment of the four "favorite" movies you mentioned. :) )

    Posted by: SteveinMaine | Aug 29, 2011 11:23:42 PM


  17. Love the track, love the film. Saw this at the InsideOut fest in Toronto, it looks and sounds great on the big screen!

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | Aug 30, 2011 12:27:16 AM


  18. Lisa G - Step away from the fries!

    Posted by: Major707 | Aug 30, 2011 1:53:20 AM


  19. @ Rick,

    One more very odd thing about your comment. You describe the young man who interacts with the drag queen in the beginning as one of the "beautiful young straight men with great bodies" and a "straight hottie". OK, I get it. You think only straight men are attractive, which has more to do with admiring sexual/religious taboos than masculinity or attractiveness.

    But the young man who interacts with the drag queen in the beginning is the one getting bullied by the rest of the group of young men, especially the one who is initially the most homophobic. That would mean that he's not straight. Were you wearing a blindfold during that part? You're too wrapped up in your warped view of the world to even see the obvious. That might cast some doubt on your ability to judge Andy's post and any positive comments as "pathetic". Step away from the french fries with mayonnaise, Rick.

    Posted by: Artie Rimbaud | Aug 30, 2011 6:44:46 AM


  20. It's as if Fassbinder was still alive and did an "It gets better" promo ... I'm a sucker for German cinema :-)

    Posted by: NE Rich | Aug 30, 2011 8:49:30 AM


  21. The only one of the young men that the drag queen interacts with in the entire video is the boy who was getting taunted and bullied by the rest of the group, the boy who is not depicted as "straight". After that, the drag queen gets out of the pool and leaves. But this is how Rick interprets this in his comment above:

    "LOL. The oldest gay male fantasy in existence, version 100,623. Beautiful, young straight men with great bodies being successfully seduced by ugly old effeminate queens--I mean, if those young straight hotties would just have the courage to "be who they are", that is exactly what they all would do, right? (LOL)."

    Hey, Rick,
    You're losing your grasp on reality. You see the boy who is getting bullied, but you conclude that since he is attractive and not obviously effeminate, he must obey the Christian sexual taboo against male-male sex; in other words, he must be "straight". Sounds like what you worship and lust after is Christian sexual taboo. Weird-ass Jesus worship, Rick? Hey, Rick. Why doesn't Jesus eat M&Ms? Because they fall through the holes in his hands. (Just thought I'd add a little sunshine to your day.)

    Posted by: Artie Rimbaud | Aug 30, 2011 8:52:01 AM


  22. @ NE Rich,

    You have it right on the money. The mood of this video might be off-beat, but the storyline is nothing so much as an "It Gets Better" video, with the non-straight boy getting bullied in the beginning, but people losing their homophobia later.

    Posted by: Artie Rimbaud | Aug 30, 2011 9:04:41 AM


  23. I understand all the text and subtext that the heavy girl represents and that her isolation is of her own making. What I'm saying is that making her the only heavy person in the video and making her female introduces elements into the video the filmmakers appear to have not meant which is always possible in art, but also troubling. Again, putting someone more conventionally beautiful "in the corner" would have made a more emphatic statement about inner beauty and the walls we build around ourselves and how we break them down, or don't.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Aug 30, 2011 11:19:22 AM


  24. @Artie Rimbaud A shame to see you give in to group think like this. He was not getting bullied. And I base the idea that he is straight on the fact that, immediately after the stupid scene with the drag queen, he is shown kissing a woman, rather passionately.

    Do truly gay men French kiss women passionately in a pool?

    No.

    The point was obviously that he was actually straight but was seduced by the drag queen, which just plays into the fantasy of so many, if not all, gay men....and certainly into the fantasy of old, unattractive, wasted drag queens.....

    Posted by: RIck | Aug 30, 2011 11:26:32 AM


  25. And let me add that, if he was being bullied, then why do all the guys that were supposedly bullying him end up kissing other guys? Did seeing an ugly old drag queen and the guy they were bullying suddenly bring out all their latent homosexuality, so that in the space of a few seconds, they go from being bullying homophobes to enlightened suck-another-guy's-tongue bisexual?

    Please.

    If that is your interpretation, it only reinforces my original point about fantasy--and if you don't think that the vast majority of gay men add "bonus points" to the sexiness of a guy if they think he is straight.....well, they do......because, deep-down, so many of them have bought into the larger cultural notion that heterosexuality equals masculinity (and their internalization of that belief is what causes their low self-esteem and embrace of the feminine in all forms)....and they worship the masculine, even as they revile it, which is evidence of this internalization.....

    If you really try to understand my point-of-view, this is exactly what I am trying to change. If masculinity were the norm among gay men as it is among straight men, then all these issues would melt away......and all men would be free to really express themselves in whatever way they desired, rather than either a) being dependent on women for validation of their masculinity (the straight approach) or b) being convinced of their lack of masculinity and idolizing the feminine instead (the gay approach)..

    The whole paradigm is royally screwed up and needs a complete overhaul, but you have to have vision in order to see that.....

    Posted by: RIck | Aug 30, 2011 11:45:51 AM


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