Excellent short film (20 min) in vein of "HAPPY TOGETHER".
I saw this film, I liked it, it was good. The best thing about it is the editing, but it's probably true that great editing demands great raw materials, and the raw materials here are very good: gorgeous photography of the California countryside near Maricopa, a dusty farming town, accomplished by both Gray and his cinematographer, Sarah Levy; and good understated performances that put you ON this road trip with these two guys, instead of in a purely comfortable detached spectating position.
One of the guys is straight, the other is gay, the gay one perhaps further along in terms of his acceptance of the male getting-off imperative: he even buys his buddy a Playboy to jack off to, which the straight guy accepts very defensively.... But pulled over for the night in their VW van, in the dark and the cold, back there in the seatless cargo area, lying next to each other, well, the horniness emerges in the night just as naturally as an owl's hoot or a coyote's wail.
What happens is treated realistically, not ellipsed, not explained, not analyzed; there are lessons to be learned from this film about restraint but also, in other areas, about real relaxed freedom. The only other filmmaker I can think of whose work seems related is Wong Kar Wai and his CHUNGKING EXPRESS or HAPPY TOGETHER, particularly the latter with its ebbs and flows of male erotic compulsion and emotion and the intervention of outside events.
Good job to Bradley Rust Gray, I would say, and I look forward to what he makes in the future. I understand this was his final film for the graduate program at USC and that he cut it on the old flatbed system. Not that it really matters but as it appears in the film, the title is hitch, not Hitch. The lower-case does call attention to itself, making us take a second look at the word, just as the film itself demands that we take a second look at what might otherwise be deemed a mundane event in the well-known arena of male interaction. Indeed, hitch makes us ATTEND to those things we all notice on a day to day basis but don't acknowledge or address, the tensions between ourselves and others and even more basically simply within ourselves: Who are we? Would we let our friends reach into our pants?
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