Out On The Dance Floor

Out On The Dance Floor

USA, 2008, 90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Dance, Documentary, Gay, Local Filmmakers / Subjects
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Anthony Palombit

“The dance floor is a microcosm of life,” declares one of the many enthusiastic country-western fans flocking to San Francisco’s Sundance Saloon in Anthony Palombit’s extremely personal look at the healing and celebratory power of gay “country culture” as practiced in one of the city’s favorite dance halls.
Palombit’s film started as a quest to understand “wounding in gay men’s lives, homophobia, internalized homophobia and how the closet can sometimes be a very lonely place.” But when he happened upon Sundance — and soon found himself addicted to country western dancing — he realized he would much rather make a film about how gay men heal. To explore the issue further, he asked eight of the club’s regulars to join him on a spiritual journey.
In a series of revealing group exercises, the octet uses totemic items (purchased at Cliff’s Variety) to trigger cathartic and amusing memories of the wounds they received while growing up gay. Toys, photographs, games and baseballs all come into play, along with trust exercises in a local playground and a walk around a labyrinth at Land’s End.
Between activities Palombit serves up some great scenes of two-steppers dancing their boots off at San Francisco’s Gay Pride celebration (including some very gay and extremely sexy “shadow dancing”) and reports from the Sundance Saloon on everything from the politics and the aesthetics of leading versus following, finding and losing spouses on the dance floor, and gay line dancing as a subversive act.

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