Camp

Unfolding as a series of freeform scenes, this finds sexually confused, Prozac popping, fag-hagging, egomaniacal wannabes wallowing in alienation between belted-out songs at a summer stage school. So far, so Fame, but there's something very unsettling about the way the film conforms drearily to genre while flirting aimlessly with knowingness. Somehow these kids are too fucked up, the adults too shadowy, the dialogue too flat. Bizarre, even hateful episodes add nothing and lead nowhere. Stranger still is the behaviour of alcoholic tutor Bert (Dixon) who annihilates his students' ambitions in an astonishingly abusive speech halfway through, but then rolls over like a kitten and gets his act together for the finale. As for the sexual shenanigans around the camp, the mutation of hetero stud Vlad (Letterle) into a gay tease is frankly disturbing, while the decision by queer transvestite Michael (De Jesus) to sleep with a girl comes across more as a bolt from the blue than as evidence of any identity crisis. All very well to imply that 'society' is to blame for the poor boy's underlying self-hatred, but it's probably films like this that are part of the problem.

Release details

Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Todd Graff
Screenwriter: Todd Graff
Cast: Daniel Letterle
Joanna Chilcoat
Robin De Jesus
Steven Cutts
Vince Rimoldi
Kahiry Bess
Tiffany Taylor
Sasha Allen
Alana Allen
Anna Kendrick
Don Dixon