Theft is not just another gay movie. “The most common movies are coming-out stories, ‘my boyfriend is a porn star or a prostitute and I didn’t know it’ or ‘my lover is dying of AIDS,’” says Austin filmmaker Paul Bright. His comedy Theft, about an evangelical preacher who is trying to shut down a gay bar, not only features a different kind of story line, but also a different kind of cast. “I really, really do not like stereotyped gay characters that you also see in movies,” Bright says and points to the typical flamboyant, affluent gay male seen in many films. “The leads in the story are regular, average guys who happen to be gay.” Bright says the bar in the film isn’t a typical “wild sex orgies” hot spot, it’s simply a place where like-minded individuals can come to unwind. In Theft the preacher is only using her congregation’s hatred of homosexuality to try and fund her own ambitions. “It’s about trying to get her congregation to give more money so that she can build a bigger church and become a televangelist,” Bright says. “She just needed a common enemy, and so she picked on this bar.”

Bright, who is the son of a minister and grew up in the church, says his film is not a criticism of Christianity. “This is a criticism against people who are misusing Christianity for their own purposes,” he says. Bright pokes fun at the televangelist types by turning the female preacher into what she fears most. “As the movie line goes along…her hair gets bigger, her makeup gets wilder and she starts wearing louder and louder costume jewelry, and essentially she becomes what is basically a stereotyped drag queen.” See if the preacher’s cause turns out to be as much of a drag as she is when Theft premieres today at 6:30 p.m. River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray. Meet Bright and the Theft cast at the after-party, 9:30 p.m. South Beach, 810 Pacific Street. For tickets and information, call 713-524-2175 or visit $10 to $15.
Thu., Oct. 18, 6:30 p.m., 2007


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