A young man is terrorized by group of bullies. Or is he?
Paying homage to the trailblazing work of Kenneth Anger, the silent, black-and-white Stephen opens with its meek, bespectacled title character (Remy Germinario, in his screen debut) watching a pick-up basketball game in New York City. But the only score Stephen is keeping is the number of shirtless hunks dribbling, sweating and writhing on the court. One mop-topped stud in particular has all the moves, nudging Stephen’s daydream into the more erotic realm of naked boys playing hoops — in slow-motion, natch, and suddenly transported to a wooded glen where society’s referees won’t blow a whistle on their hard fouls.
That sylvan utopia quickly turns into a leafy city park, where the boys haul Stephen off for a prolonged beating. This doesn’t quite reflect the eloquence of Hecht’s “kilowatts of noon” or the “bully’s thin superiority”; Franco opts instead for the more squirming, sustained brutality of fists, elbows, knees and blood. But one sporting fantasia calls for another, apparently, and by now Stephen daydreams of himself as the object of the naked boys’ violent game. Franco pulls this together stylishly if graphically, with chests, thighs and asses pressed tight in various permutations, infusing the violence with the poem’s more visceral sense of ecstasy.
The Feast of Stephen won a Teddy Award for Best Short Film at the Berlin Film Festival. A Teddy Award is an international film award for films with LGBT topics.
James Edward Franco (born April 19, 1978) is an American actor, film director, screenwriter, film producer, and painter. He began acting during the late 1990s, appearing on the short-lived television series Freaks and Geeks and starring in several teen films. In 2001 he played the title role in Mark Rydell’s television biographical film James Dean, which earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film.
In 2008, Franco received his undergraduate degree in English from UCLA. For his degree, Franco prepared his departmental honors thesis under the supervision of novelist Mona Simpson. Subsequently, Franco moved to New York to attend graduate school at Columbia University’s MFA Writing Program and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied filmmaking. In March 2010, Franco’s manager announced that he had been accepted to Yale’s Ph.D. program in English, and that he would most likely be beginning the program in the fall of that year… read more