Short Film Movie Review: REINVENTING THE REEL

by Amanda Lomonaco

Review of the short film
Played at the September 2015 WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Reinventing the Reel covers some very interesting and topical subject matter, relating to the portrayal of homosexuality in film and television. With so many global progressive moves towards the legalization of gay marriage, and global acceptance of homosexuality, it’s easy to see the importance of this film in today’s world. You would think that with such an interesting and important subject matter the filmmaker would be able to do so much more with it, but I found this film fell short in a few different ways.

While Reinventing the Reel goes a long way towards describing all the different ways in which homosexuality is wrongly portrayed in film, it fails to provide a solution to how it could be better portrayed. For the most part the film seems to simply support the idea of more homosexual main characters, and more homosexual filmmakers in general. While there is nothing wrong with this concept, it’s a little incomplete as a solution, because it doesn’t analyze the numerous positive and normative ways that homosexuals could be portrayed in film.

Moreover, although this film is largely about the film industry, the filmmaker limits his audience by focusing too much on film industry creators. It gives a brief statistical analysis of the popularity of some kickstarter campaigns that focused on the transgendered, and homosexual community, but there is little communication with the every day spectator. As important as it is for Hollywood and bigger commercial studios to make more homonormative films, it’s equally as important for audience members to accept this emergence.

The documentary genre is always a difficult one to tackle, and there is always a lot more that could be done and said to raise awareness to different issues. Reinventing the Reel manages to provide high quality intrviews, with very prominent and important industry members to convey an important message. I may have focused a little harshly on the flaws of the film, but I still believe it’s an important one to watch. For many of us, the media is our window into different cultures, worlds, and ways of thinking, and if we never allow the “different” to actually appear in that window, we’re just lying to ourselves about what “normal” really is.

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