Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival Nov. 10-19
The annual fest will include 50+ feature films and shorts including "Troy," a darkly comedic tale about a NYC couple intrigued by a... boisterous neighbor.
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The Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival doesn’t generally get a lot of press, and part of that is due to local critics like me not covering it much. Certainly it’s a minor fest compared to the giants, Heartland and Indy International, but worthy of more notice.
This year’s festival takes place with in-person screenings at Kan-Kan Cinema Nov. 10-12, followed by the streaming portion Nov. 13-19. In all more than 50 feature length and short films will be presented.
Among them is “Troy,” a darkly comedic tale set in a New York City apartment building where the walls are paper-thin. Rather than focusing on gay characters, the leads are actually a hetero couple, Thea (Adina Verson) and Charlie (Michael Braun), who are continually annoyed by their titular neighbor’s, ah… boisterous love life.
Directed by Mike Donahue with a script he wrote alongside Jen Silverman and Braun, it’s a cheeky take on how straight mainstream culture subtly (and not so) otherizes LGBT folks. Troy (Hans Berlin) does not even speak on-camera, though we hear some shouts and arguments through those walls.
The running joke is that Thea and Charlie become increasingly obsessed with Troy, even following him into the basement laundry room and intruding on him at the bodega. Initially it’s with the idea to complain about the noise, but soon it’s clear they just find him attractive and beguiling.
It seems Troy’s occupation is giving “gay massages” for $200 a pop. This leads to a stream of male visitors — a nervous Dylan Baker among them — and more loud thumping and humping. This eventually runs afoul of his (never seen) boyfriend, leading to a depressive spiral that sends the nosy neighbors into an empathetic twist.
Troy looks like a standard-issue brodude jock, complete with backward ballcap, tank T, omnipresent earbuds and prerequisite six-pack. (What is it with bumpy bellies? I just don’t get it.) There’s a not-small resemblance to Brad Pitt in his appearance in a movie with the same title about 20 years ago.
“Doesn’t he look like the guys that beat you up in high school?” Charlie queries some gay friends they check in with as a sort of Nancy Drew investigation into all things queer. That’s entirely the appeal, they are assured.
Things go on from there, with the enduring mystery of Troy stubbornly evading their investigation. Dana Delany pops up in a cameo as either Thea or Charlie’s mom, I’m not sure which, who eagerly participates in the Troy-fixation.
“Troy” is a funny and smart film, and also mischievous and teasing.