Film #287: Lloyd Neck (2008)

director: Benedict Campbell
language: English
length: 16 minutes
watched on: 28 April 2017

I decided to return to the world of gay-themed shorts that can be found on Youtube – the first since All Over Brazil back in February. As usual, I didn’t know what it was going to be about, so a relative shot in the dark.

This one was apparently shown in Sundance, and its name refers to a place in New York state. It’s about a boy and his younger sister, and another boy. The film is short and scant on details – we are seeing a snapshot of a point in their lives – but it seems clear that the two boys had been involved at some point. One is a photographer, and one is a sportsman, and the film starts with a montage of them doing their separate activities. Away from the sister, they talk about the future, going to college, and guys that they might both get involved with.

Meanwhile the sister might also have a crush on the other boy, but she’s also perceptive enough to assume that he and her brother might be boyfriends. She seems excited by the idea.

It’s a nicely-shot film, and it has bright, bold colours. It leaves a lot to the imagination. And for once, although the boys are secretive and presumably closeted, the film is not about coming out, or the aftermath of coming out, or homophobia. So I liked that aspect of it. It’s more about atmosphere, and the uncertain transitional periods of the characters’ lives.

It can be watched at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L3iHMZKMO0 Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Film #266: All Over Brazil (2003)

alloverbrazildirector: David Andrew Ward
language: English
length: 9 minutes
watched on: 9 Feb 2017
link to the video: https://vimeo.com/1802140

I’ve still got a fairly long list of short films to get through at some point – when trawling for them on the internet, this is one that stood out to me because it’s set in Scotland in the 1970s.

It’s about a kid who likes glam rock and wants to dance around with make-up on (the above image is his fantasy). Of course, his dad, more into football, isn’t OK with this and gets angry. But in the end he lets the kid out with his sister to go see the band he likes, and there’s some kind of reconciliation between them.

Obviously I saw this because it’s gay-interest, and I thought it was a sweet film. It doesn’t really match my experience, though – my parents weren’t like that with me. I daresay my dad would recognize the situation more than me.

I was surprised that the movie was from 2003 – I didn’t realize how much video quality has improved since then. I think this was made for TV (for the BBC), and the quality is accordingly pretty low.

An interesting little snippet or slice of life. What do you think? You can watch it online easily – and tell me what you think.

Film #232: Want It (2015)

want-itdirector: Lee Haven Jones
language: English
length: 11 minutes
watched on: 10 October 2016

Still working through my recommendations list that I’ve taken from various Tumblrs, this movie was a gay-themed short whose name I’ve seen a couple of times before. It was on Youtube if you want to catch up with it before continuing with the review.

In the movie, about ten and a half minutes long, a guy breaks into a very expensive house and spends most of the movie exploring the place and touching various textures in the different rooms. Then he runs into the owner of the house, who sexually abuses him as punishment for breaking in. But it turns out they’re actually boyfriends enacting a fantasy.

Now, this last part is the exact same plot as another gay short I watched recently, Get a Room: an abusive encounter turns out to be a fetish. I already hate this as a trope even having only seen it twice, as it seems like a lazy cop-out. It’s as if the makers want to absolve themselves of depicting actual abuse. Commendable, perhaps – otherwise there’s a distinct homophobic air to the whole thing – but it’s like being told that what you just watched was a dream.

The other thing is, the movie is pretty forgettable (I had to reload the Youtube video to remember what it was about to write this review), and for some reason I couldn’t suspend my disbelief with it at all – I could only see the actor going round a house doing weird stuff, rather than letting myself believe that it’s a real character. I think this is the navel-gazing atmosphere of the first part of the film.

So this wasn’t my favourite gay short film, let’s say…

TV: Citation Needed season 1 (2014)

creators: Tom Scott, Matt Gray, Gary Brannan, Chris Joel
language: English
length: 9 episodes, 134 minutes total
finished watching on: 14 May 2014

Just a quick one today: some of my university friends made a youtube series, which is enough for me to count it as “TV”. They make a podcast too, every so often, which is a “reverse trivia” quiz (here’s the answer, what’s the question?), called The Technical Difficulties, and this was a spinoff. In this quiz, Tom finds a random wikipedia article that has enough content to make jokes about, and gets the others to guess what’s in the article. It works well enough, although sometimes he really has to prod them in the right direction to get it.

It’s interesting to get a look into their methods, having listened to the podcast before and been graced by only their voices. Matt Gray’s kitchen is the setting, and the rigging involves four cameras balanced on a dining table along with the microphones and one at a fixed angle behind Matt and Tom. I’m guessing the podcast has a similar rig but without the cameras.

Most of the episodes have them not changing their clothes, so that it’s obvious they filmed them all the same day, except for the last two or so. I can deduce that the podcast is produced the same way, which makes sense, because by the last episodes, they occasionally refer back to jokes made in the earlier episodes of the day (most obvious in a string of podcasts all with jokes about Matt Gray’s penis), rather than keeping each as a self-contained unit, and I get the impression that they’re getting tired towards the end of the day generally, just from the way the conversation descends into some kind of surreal hazy delirium much more easily (to be fair, this happens every episode anyway).

But that aside, they’re pretty funny, and anyone can watch this on youtube, so go ahead.