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21st San Francisco Greek Film Festival | Randy Myers


The San Francisco Greek Film Festival screens the sex-positive “The Summer with Carmen,” in which two gay friends at a queer beach in Athens hash out a screenplay based on one of their lives.

If you don’t want an intense experience like “Behind the Haystacks,” try basking in the erotically charged glory of the meta and robustly queer “The Summer with Carmen.” What a treat. A word of advice, though: If you’re turned off by male nudity and sizzling sex scenes, this is not the film for you.
Director Zacharias Mavroeidis’ sun-and-fun confection offers both in abundance. It opens on a queer Athens beach where friends/roomies Demosthenes (the handsome Yorgos Tsiantoulas) and Nikitas (Andreas Labropoulos) shake down ideas for a low-budget feature based on Demosthenes’ love travails and escapades, and an ever-so-cute dog Carmen.
Tsiantoulas has a terrific screen presence; his playful exchanges with the perceptive Nikitas (who knows him well enough to call him out when he’s not being true to himself) are priceless, as are the other relationships vying for Demosthenes’ attention. They include: his aware mom, the adorable dog with bathroom issues, an indecisive ex and a hunky new hookup.
“The Summer with Carmen” is such a breezy, sexy lark, you almost overlook how it’s a successful rare queer romcom in which the love connection doesn’t really matter that much in the end.
(7 p.m. March 19, with Mavroeidis attending)

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