Sep 11, 2007
News: First Ever Queer Lion Awarded in Venice
By Danny Sonnenschein
(Italy) - Ed Radtke's film Speed of Life won the Queer Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, a new prize for the best film that accurately portrays Gay themes or characters. Lyrical and raw, The Speed Of Life tells the story of Sammer (Jeremy Allen White), a 13 year old Gay boy who escapes the streets of New York City by stealing video cameras from tourists. The kid and his friends retreat to their working class neighborhood to quickly change the cameras for cash, but Sammer always keeps the tapes.
Alone in his bedroom and editing on a rack of stolen computers, Sammer explores this world of footage, infatuated by all the far away places and other people's seemingly happy lives. While slowly stashing enough money away so he, too, can travel to these distant places, Sammer must first deal with his older brother who is getting out of prison, while also caring for his ailing foster mother.
As Sammer and his gang skip school, camp on the rooftops of buildings or dream of being in the Olympics, they are confronted by a host of characters who stand in their way: a juvenile probation officer who doesn't like juveniles, an ex-con who hides puppies, and an old man with a secret who thinks he can fly. Sammer's experiences waver between fantasy and the harsh reality of growing up in Brooklyn, and he soon discovers that not all tourists are happy, that he must go to Alaska and that cameras can indeed fly - even if people cannot.