3.0/10
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16 user 7 critic

Shiner (2004)

Unrated | | Drama | 5 June 2004 (USA)
Raising the subtext of "Fight Club'' into text, "Shiner'' depicts a pair of amateur boxers gratified by punching each others' lights out. Theirs is among a trio of twisted love stories in ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Tony (as Scott Stepp)
Derris Nile ...
Danny
Nicholas T. King ...
Bob
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Tim
Conny Van Dyke ...
Bob's Mom
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Reg
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Linda
Ryan Soteres ...
Charles
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Almost Dead Guy
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Storyline

Raising the subtext of "Fight Club'' into text, "Shiner'' depicts a pair of amateur boxers gratified by punching each others' lights out. Theirs is among a trio of twisted love stories in the narrative feature by 29-year-old Los Angeles director Christian Calson. There's also a woman literally fighting her male lover's affections and another boxer who stalks his own shy male stalker. "Shiner'' transcends sadomasochism in that no one seems aware of what he or she is doing. "I'm trying to look at desire head on,'' the soft-spoken Calson said by telephone. "('Shiner') is about the politics of wanting and being wanted and how people respond differently.'' Rife with ugly behavior, "Shiner'' rejects the trend of queer filmmakers seeking straight understanding. "In L.A., we have this kind of sadness we carry around, that the only way we can make gay stories is by making more like 'Will and Grace,' '' Calson said. Like the activist-filmmakers tackling the marriage issue, Calson went into "... Written by Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle

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Drama

Certificate:

Unrated
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Release Date:

5 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desire Is Relentless  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the blurry, unfocused moments in the film, as well as "problems" with angles and sounds, were done intentionally. See more »

Quotes

Danny: I don't like guys. I don't like him. I just like getting beat!
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User Reviews

 
So different it hurts
7 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I liked this movie a lot more than other reviews led me to expect to. I think many of the defects others saw were done intentionally by the director in order to shake the audience out of the complacency we all tend to enter into automatically when we watch a movie.

We have seen so many movies that we cannot help expecting certain conventions of plot, characterization and style; when we do not find those conventions, we think we have seen a bad movie. While Shiner is no great masterpiece, it is far from the garbage many others said it is.

It is disorienting, often disturbing, sometimes disarmingly erotic, and certainly very much unlike any other movie any of us have EVER seen. The acting is consistently strong, surprisingly strong, very much better than the deceptively amateurish production would seem to inspire.

The many unfavorable reviews show that the director has succeeded in one of his goals: to shake up his audience. Some people hate being shaken like that, but I love it.


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