CineKink 2014 Heated Up A Chilly Chicago

By Carrie McGath in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 8, 2014 7:00PM

The CineKink Film Fest at the Leather Archives and Museum (LA&M) in Rogers Park attracted a diverse and attentive crowd Saturday night for a series of shorts that varied from poetic, as in Chaleur Humain, to humorous, as in Another Happy Anniversary, to downright hilarious as in the De-Railed. All in all, these shorts were strong with another highlight being Tom's Gift, a documentary about a place in rural Maine known for its glory holes with rooms available for erotic, spontaneous adventures much like the one described by the narrator.

I found Music Box trying too hard to be metaphorical and artistic when it really was a straight-up porno short that actually quickly became boring and redundant to me. "Another Happy Anniversary" was a fun short involving miscommunication between a couple planning something different for their anniversary, resulting in a three-way that ended up delighting and freaking out the husband who brought up the idea in the first place thinking his wife would never go for it. The acting was solid with their relationship feeling familiar while keeping the humor going throughout with quips and spot-on reactions to what was transpiring.

I would describe the uproariously funny De-Railed as "hipster porn." The setting was a bike shop and the resulting scenario between a naive customer bringing in his bike and the bicycle repairman caused wholehearted laughter from the audience while being intensely erotic. It was successful in what it sought out to do: to stimulate a viewer both in its ability to cause arousal along with an infectious, cheeky humor.

The main feature, Broken Side of Time, was a quiet and effective narrative film and it was disappointing to see how much the crowd thinned out after the shorts. The film follows Dolce, a model starring in mostly sexually-charged, kinky photo shoots who is making her way home and shredding that identity along the way. She herself a photographer, she moves to the other side of the lens and acts as a mentor to a young model with the heavy implication that she represents what will replace her. The two women have a different look and countenance—Dolce is very thin, even gaunt, with tired eyes while the budding model is curvaceous, young, and has a soft look she continually uses to seduce.

The strongest aspect to the film is what is kept from the audience with one-sided phone calls where we hear only the protagonist's side, the most telling being the call with her mother. It sounds awkward and strained and she is telling them she is clean from drugs and alcohol (even though we have witnessed otherwise) and there is a quiet pleading for her mother's approval and for her father to speak to her at all. A listlessness and boredom winds through the film and gives it a real-world dimension even though much of it seems dream-like, however seedy it may feel at times.

CineKink was a nicely-timed event, coming on the heels of the Chicago International Film Festival. CineKink has toured select cities and will continue to Melbourne, Australia in December.