No, I'm not suggesting we go back to the popular style of the late '80's (but oh man, did I love my dark green suede bomber jacket in 8th grade...). Instead, I am referring to an Official Selection at the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, called "Bomber Jackets." The festival itself runs this week from October 11th - 14th, and "Bomber Jackets" is premiering on Saturday the 13th at 4pm. I will be there to see it again, even after having the fabulous opportunity to privately pre-screen the film this weekend. Why will I be there? Well, to start, the movie is gritty and gripping, with break-out performances by talented new actors. It also brings a powerful message about acceptance and the fatally damaging effects of hatred...and someone especially close to me is one of the afore-mentioned talented new actors (I'll keep you in suspense and let you guess who it is...).
A true independent film, "Bomber Jackets" was produced and directed by Rob Santana on a shoe-string budget of a mere $8,000. Filmed 100% on location in urban Jersey City, NJ (right across the river from where I'm sitting now), "Bomber Jackets" was originally an off-Broadway play produced by Miriam Colon in 1996, and brings its audience a disturbing but important lesson in the importance of ending homophobia and violence towards the LBGT community. I don't want to give away the ending, but this is basically the story of an organized group of hatred-filled, homophobic young men in modern-day Jersey City, recognizable by their matching bomber jackets. When a small number of gays start moving into their old-school neighborhood, they become angrier and more violent in their sentiments. That violence escalates into physical attacks when the group's leader can't stand the idea of a cross-dressing gay man living right in their same building. Unbeknownst to him, though, one of his own buddies has fallen for the transvestite and will do anything -- anything -- to come to "her" rescue. To follow is the story of how all of their lives are changed forever.
With especially strong performances from the main character 'Patrick,' played by Robert James Ramirez, 'Tommy,' played by Dino Matis, and 'Patrick's Mom,' played by Kathryn Neville Browne, the ensemble cast has great chemistry and I look forward to seeing many of them in many films to come. Robert James Ramirez and Dino Matis both managed to convey a perfect juxtaposition of anger, frustration, and a secret, introspective softer side that separates them from their peers. And Kathryn Neville Browne brings a character to life you really aren't sure what to make of...in a good way. At only 83 minutes long, I was left wanting to know more about each character's individual story...which I think is a sure sign of an engaging film, especially one that still manages to touch on additional topics like domestic violence, dead-end jobs and infidelity. Which is exactly why you should buy tickets to the official premiere of "Bomber Jackets" at the Golden Door Film Festival. You can purchase them simply by clicking on this link - and at only $10 each, you can spread the word to anyone interested in being moved by the movie's important message...or buy tickets for more than just one of the festival's diverse feature films.
See you at the movies!