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The festival guide recommends DC Shorts’ Showcase 16 for viewers over 18, but its surfeit of naked flesh feels incidental, not prurient. Yes, there is naughty action onscreen (the gay-porn documentary, however, is not the one that shows erect cocks), but the topic really worth discussing—stay with me here—-is craft. The films about total strangers are the easiest to buy into, probably because the actors are unburdened with imagining the backstory of a relationship. The one about farting is a bit sadistic, so any thrill comes in watching the two leads work around the material. The jokey stuff, meanwhile, cannot hide its professional aspirations, and the two foreign-language entries are patently upscale, natch.
Victorita, Victorita (pictured above): Starts with a regular fuck and turns into a literary mindfuck, in a Skinemax-meets-Almodóvar kind of way.
Love in Our Time: If you’re not immediately turned off by the idea of watching the morning-after chatter of two millennials, there’s respectable chemistry here. Less exposition in the dialogue would’ve been nice, though.
Food Porn and By the Fireside with Larry: The Zimlet: Larry, the demented and mustachioed lead character in both, is funnier when he’s not actually talking.
Flo: Documentaries about photographers should put a premium on cinematography. This one—-about New York’s Flo Fox—-does not.
Gay 4 Pay: Key fact: If you’re not gay, it’s easier to convincingly do gay porn if you’re a bottom.
Scent of a Woman: Lactose intolerance! Was this an advertising pitch that nobody wanted, but that somebody felt compelled to film anyway? I was disappointed by the sound design on some of the farts.
Come Clean: A convincing conversation between two English pill-popping partiers who end up naked in a tub.
Il Neige Sur Acapulco (Snow Over Acapulco): French people with too much cocaine: no more interesting than other people with too much cocaine. Perhaps that’s the point.
Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at E Street Cinema Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. at Angelika Film Center