This week, Cineast offers previews of the new films Do I Sound Gay, Minions and The Gallows.
Do I Sound Gay?
In Do I Sound Gay?, David Thorpe, who is gay, explores the somewhat touchy issue of men who have “the Gay Voice.” How does it happen, why does it happen, is it a good thing, a bad thing, or somewhere in between? Gay men with straight-sounding voices make appearances, as do many famous men, straight and gay, with gay-sounding voices—David Sedaris, Don Savage, Tim Gunn, George Takei. In the film, Thorpe admits to being of two minds about the way he speaks. He doesn’t feel ashamed about it, and he accepts his voice as a part of who he is—but he does worry about how others react when he talks. Sounding gay may be a liability for some time to come. Thus, part of the documentary goes into Thorpe’s efforts, with the help of speech pathologists, to change his ingrained speech patterns—with limited success. Ultimately, this is a light-hearted overview of a possibly tense topic.
Animated for the kiddies, perfect for when the beach gets rained out—but parents will get a kick out of Minions too. If you’ve seen the Despicable Me films you’ll recognize the little yellow, capsule-shaped guys who take center stage—in the previous films they were, well, the minions. Every evil megalomaniac needs minions, but where do the minions go after their evil overlords get vanquished? According to Minions, in the absence of commands from some evil mastermind, the barely-lingual, fart-obsessed minions wander aimlessly, waiting for a new villain to take them on. It’s a cute idea that helps explain the ready availability of easily led minions to carry out the preposterous aims of cinematic baddies.
It wouldn’t really be summer without a shock-fest for the older kiddies. Enter The Gallows. It’s all herky-jerky, badly lighted cell phone footage—the conceit is that you’re watching footage reconstructed by police after the fact. Sloppy camera work has been de rigueur for horror films for a long time now, but it has a tendency to make some people woozy, even if the gore doesn’t. In The Gallows, the plotline goes that 20 years ago, a high school production of a play—also called The Gallows—suffered from a prop malfunction that caused the death of a student. Now, 20 years later, they’ve decided to do the same play again as a kind of tribute. Needless to say, this isn’t a good idea. What happens next is a lot more than a prop malfunction. Not for the squeamish.