The soundtrack is the standout element in low-budget "Sun Kissed." Without the songs, the bisexual triangle would seem shapeless. Even with the music, the film is a poorly crafted grab-bag of ideas barely elaborated upon enough to sustain a 20-minute short. Pic's description and trailer may look sexy enough to turn DVD coin, though most viewers are likely to feel cheated.

The soundtrack — by indie rockers the Sea and the Cake — is the standout element in low-budget “Sun Kissed,” suggesting good musical taste might be hereditary, since writer-director Patrick McGuinn is the son of onetime Byrds member Roger McGuinn. Without the songs, the underdeveloped bisexual triangle would seem shapeless. Even with the music, the film is a poorly crafted grab-bag of ideas barely elaborated upon enough to sustain a 20-minute short. Pic’s description and trailer may look sexy enough to turn DVD coin, though most viewers are likely to feel cheated.

Teddy (John Ort) is granted access to a mentor’s desert home to finish his first novel. He’s immediately attracted to caretaker Leo (Gregory Marcel), an aspiring actor, and though Leo is ambivalent and moody, they soon graduate from drunken partying to more. But just as Teddy finishes the autobiographical book — meaningfully entitled “Goodbye” — he disappears. We soon wonder whether a possibly psychotic Leo killed him, and/or his own late wife (Laura Leigh). Pieces for an enigmatic puzzle are here, but they’re so sloppily executed that the pic just seems senseless. Blown-up 16mm lensing is overdependent on closeups; perfs are mediocre.

Sun Kissed

Production

A Wolfe Releasing presentation of a Willing Suspension Films production. Produced by Patrick McGuinn. Executive producers, Peter Perrone, Dolores Tickner. Directed, written, edited by Patrick McGuinn.

Crew

Camera (color, 16-to-35mm), Nickolas Dylan Rossi; music, the Sea and the Cake. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, June 19, 2006. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

John Orr, Gregory Marcel, Laura Leigh, George Stoll, Dyanne Asimov.

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