DOASKDOTELL MOVIE REVIEWs of The Hymens Parable, Heterosapiens

, DV Cinema shorts


Title:  The Hymens Parable

Release Date:  1999

Nationality and Language: USA English

Running time: about 95 minutes

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

Distributor and Production Company:  Cricket Films and Catholic Partners 

Director; Writer: Jon Springer

Producer:  Jon Springer

Cast:  Shane Barach, Melissa Lewis

Technical: black and white

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There is a new independent film that touches on family loyalty, The Hymens Parable (Cricket Films and Catholic Partners,1999), produced, directed and written by Jon Springer.  I saw this film at the 2000 Twin Cities international film festival. Like so many independents, it is realistically filmed on-location, at various points (especially campuses) in Minneapolis and St. Paul.  The look varies from a grainy black-and-white (very chilling in a fatal auto wreck scene) to a use of pencil-like hues that suggests colorized film.  But a major point of the story is that a young man (Jason, played by Shane Barach) studying to be a priest has to deal with his own “hatred” of his mentally-ill and sometimes suicidal sister (Cassandra, played by Melissa Lewis) who, as it turns out, has grown “crazy” in her desire to be consumed by Christ in the context of religious ecstasy.  Later we learn of problems in the family background (especially the father) that explain many of her problems. But the young man will not feel free to pursue his own spiritual goals without coming to terms with how he is expected to “feel” about other possibly “burdensome” blood-family members. The intensity approaches real psychological horror. Let’s hope a FineLine Features or an Artisan Entertainment discovers this film.

HeteroSapiens (2002)

I had the opportunity to review the screenplay for this sci-fi comedy just before the September tragedy. On the surface, it reads like a spoof on discrimination by reversing homosexuality and heterosexuality and placing straights in the defensive position. But when viewed (in wonderful black and white) it comes across as a comical celebration of heterosexuality, as Masters and Johnson would rejoice in it. There are neat ideas in the script, such as a job firing after a conflict of interest over indulging in heterosexual simulations from a “competitor,” and some lines about one’s role in the world. This film was originally to be called “Interchange.” Jeff Gilson comes across as a sincere and convincing protagonist, and a salesman for the idea that heterosexuality need not be confining or anachronistic. The film is based on the novel The Wanting Seed by Anthony Burgess (1996, W. W. Norton).

This film was screened on March 16, 2002 at the Heights Theater by IFP Minneapolis/St. Paul. Other showings were a preview of How to Kill a Mockingbird (Jon Sweet and Amy Brewster), The New Boy (Mark Ray Moreau and Screenlabs) and Rebel in the Soul (Marie-Francoise Theodore). The New Boy is a particularly sweet story (oddly reminiscent of Stephen King) of a couple trying to make connections in a nursing home for its 52nd wedding anniversary, and is a good challenge to what we really value in others.

In early 2003 Springer showed a new short, Heaven 17, a Kubrick-like short about pathogenesis and state-forced partial-birth abortion, and edgy and metallic and blue-looking political statement.


DV Cinema offers DVs of short films from Minnesota filmmakers. I have disk 1, and can comment on a few other films.


Tiger Show (2001), dir. Nate Gubin, presents a rural farm and a man with some interesting pets. Remember the accident in Las Vegas? Tigers are just cats.


The Inheritance (2002), dir. Teddy Schenck, presents “generational wealth”—in three successive generations, young men are tempted to make the same bargain with a mysterious stranger.


Other short films are “Radio Rails”  “Endless Transit” (an abstraction of the NYC transit system), “Spilling Cicada” (which has an airplane and U of M neighborhood shot strikingly similar to my own “Air Raid” clips at this link) “Such Love Exists” “Mr. Sandwich” (one peanut butter sandwich eats another and then throw it up), “Aus Blue”, “The Man Who Couldn’t Breathe” and a “Super 8 Animation Sampler.” There are previews of “Bee Boy” from City Council Productions, dir. Alronzo Becherro, and “I Told You Not to Tell Anyone.”




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