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On this page - Boys on Film 17:
ALEX AND THE HANDYMAN | BOYS | HAPPY & GAY | HOLE
KISS ME SOFTLY | MR SUGAR DADDY | TELLIN' DAD
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last update 11.Dec.17
See also: SHADOWS FILM FESTIVAL

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Boys on Film 17 Boys on Film 17: Love Is the Drug
Another collection of stories from Peccadillo, these nine films explore deep feelings of love and longing, and the need to take a risk. All of them are provocative and well-observed, and two have a touch of movie magic about them, one through the use of a classical style of animation. Each one has something important to say about attraction and the need for both romance and physical affection.
release 15.Dec.17 • 17/UK Peccadillo 2h22               18 themes, language, sexuality • 10.Dec.17
VOL 16   <   BOYS ON FILM  
Alex and the Handyman   4/5  
dir-scr Nicholas Colia
with Keaton Nigel Cooke, Aaron Profumo, Hogan Gorman, Silvio Canihuante Fernandez, David Stein, Alex Thompson
17/US 14m
cooke
Alex and the Handyman Cute and colourful, this breezy, blackly comical short centres on Alex (Cooke), a 9 year old who develops a crush on the manly new handyman Jared (Profumo) who's working around his vast, empty mansion for a few days. It's a lovely exploration of a young boy who doesn't understand his own thoughts and feelings, and hasn't yet learned to second-guess them. As Alex tries to interest Jared in things he likes, like The First Wives Club, he feels inadequate. So he begins to adopt Jared's more edgy style and takes an interest in his sideline as a performance artist. It's sharply well written and directed, and played with relaxed authenticity by both Cooke and Profumo, as well as Gorman as Alex's hilariously self-involved mother. And where this goes is knowing and surprisingly pointed, and it takes some boldly unnerving turns.
Mr. Sugar Daddy   4.5/5  
dir-scr Dawid Ullgren
with Bengt CW Carlsson, Aleksandar Gajic, Erik Thosteman, Emelia Hansson, Simon Rodriguez, Inez Andersson, Robin Foldvary, Klas Siven
16/Swe 13m
carlsson and gajic
Mr. Sugar Daddy Recently single, Hans (Carlsson) is an older man who dreams of finding a much younger partner, so he goes to a lively nightclub. There he spots Andrej (Gajic), who flatters him. Both talk about their experiences being single: Hans can't imagine living along, Andrej doesn't think he'll ever find love. The connection between them is warm, although they are continually interrupted by Andrej's friends, one of whom brings a tablet that sends Hans into a dance-fuelled high. Shot to a very high standard, the film is colourful and textured, with strikingly real performances and a genuine sense of underlying emotion. There's a remarkable depth of feeling to the characters, each of whom has sympathetic reactions to the turn of events over the course of the evening. No wonder it's so difficult to make a proper connection.
Tellin’ Dad   3/5  
dir Andre D Chambers
scr Carl Loughlin
with Carl Loughlin, Ricky Tomlinson, Michael Byron, Tina Jones, Dorothy Cochrane, Rhiannon Murphy, Natasha Odita, Richard Jones
17/UK 15m
loughlin and byron
Tellin' Dad Two years into his relationship, Dan (Loughlin) is being pushed by his boyfriend (Byron) to come out to his family. But Dan is terrified of how his dad (Tomlinson) will react. He opens up to his sister (Murphy) and his nan (Cochrane), both of whom understand his reluctance. His mother (Jones) has a rather harsh but matter-of-fact reaction ("You're not transitioning are you?"). Taking all of this very seriously, the film is a little melodramatic, with some rather pushy on-screen captions, music and editing that give away the filmmakers' inexperience. And the conclusion is a bit corny. But the story has a nice ring of truth, cleverly exploring the way gay men are perhaps more worried than they need to be about other people knowing. But it also touches on the fact that there is still deep-seated prejudice at all levels of society.
Boys   3.5/5  
dir-scr Eyal Resh
with Wyatt Griswold, Pearce Joza, Alexis Jayde Burnett, Melissa Burnett, Nora King, Christine McGraw, Suanne Spoke, Kevin Brief
16/US 14m
joza and griswold
Boys There's an almost documentary approach to this generically titled film, which centres on two young teens on their first day out of school for the summer. Jake (Joza) invites his pal Brian (Griswold) to come to dinner with his family and spend the night. The film has a terrific offhanded feel to it, never feeling remotely constructed. Joza and Griswold are terrific as best pals horsing around, making prank calls, trying to play the guitar, then pausing to consider some unexpressed feelings between them. It's sharply well written, shot and edited by Resh. And the young actors are remarkably realistic in their roles. It's understandably timid about the subject matter, leaving ideas floating in the air without really grappling with them. But it's a terrific beginning of the discussion.
Hole   4/5  
dir-scr Martin Edralin
with Ken Harrower, Sebastian Deery, April Lee, Peter Jarvis, Kelly Van der Burg
14/Can 15m
harrower
Hole This bold, important, provocatively moving film takes on a topic most people would rather not think about. Billy (Harrower) is a physically disabled man who longs for intimacy, but everyone in the world just ignores him. Strikingly well-shot, the film opens with an extended take of him waking up and getting dressed, revealing the quiet tenacity he must have to face every aspect of his life. It also shows him as a man with refined tastes, an easy rapport with his carer Craig (Deery) and a job in a thriftshop. Then in the evening he heads out in his wheelchair to a sex shop, his only outlet for human contact being the glory hole in the cubicle wall. But he's going to need some help to get anywhere. The central question is whether this man's desires are any less valid than anyone else's, and whether it's fair that he's essentially prevented from expressing them. It's a simple, straightforward little film that perhaps helps us see people a little more clearly.

Also at: IRIS PRIZE FEST

Happy & Gay   5/5  
dir-scr Lorelei Pepi
voices Lea Callahan, Brian King, Brian Carpenter, Charlie Miller, Lorelei Pepi
14/US 10m
Happy & Gay
Happy & Gay In the style of a vintage 1930s black and white cartoon, this witty animated short pokes fun at the likes of Mickey and Felix as it follows the story of two girls who invite two boys to go out dancing at a rather disreputable speakeasy club where people are free to be whoever they are. Merriment and a police raid ensue, with a riotous escape by way of an unexpected double wedding. The film is packed with hilarious details and wonderfully funny sight gags, and Brian Carpenter's score is simply terrific, including the title song as a collection of amusing characters twirl gleefully around the dancefloor. Later on, the haters even get in on the singing ("You're just not built that way!"), leading to a devilish plot twist. It's thoroughly entertaining, and cleverly pointed too.
Kiss Me Softly   3.5/5   Kus Me Zachtjes
dir-scr Anthony Schatteman
with Ezra Fiereman, Tim Bogaerts, Marijke Pinoy, Marc Van Eeghem, Luc Van Autreve, Flor Van Severen, Jasper Provijn, Jan Ghysels
12/Bel 16m
pinoy and fiereman
Kiss Me Softly With his bouncy sing-along hit Kiss Me Softly, Luk (Van Eeghem) is a local singing star, but his artfully minded teen son Jasper (Fiereman) sees his world as dull and uninspiring. He certainly isn't interested in the young girls who dance with his dad on-stage, and it doesn't help that his school lesson that week is about forbidden love. The film is skilfully written and directed with the high quality of a feature film, and the actors are all natural in their roles, bringing out underlying feelings without much dialog. There's terrific chemistry between Jasper and his mother (Pinoy), who also has an artistic leaning. And his camaraderie with his secret boyfriend Mathias (Bogaerts) is relaxed and easy. Where this goes involves a surprise kiss and a note found in a pocket, both of which push people to finally break free and be themselves, living their own lives instead of living up to expectations. It kind of leaves its big themes floating in the air, but has a nicely understated kick.

Also at: BFI FLARE


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