Sunday, October 31st, 2021

Queerguru’s David Lagachu reviews The Male Gaze: Celluloid Dreams a collection of seven short queer films


The Male Gaze: Celluloid Dreams showcases a collection of seven short films from both the 20th and 21st centuries. The first film Just Out of Reach (Dir. Jonathan Wald) runs for a blink-and-a-miss four minutes but manages to convey more than the combination of lines uttered by the two actors in it. The story focuses on the relationship between an aged man and a young guy which fits the definition of casual as well as more than meets the eye. 

In the second film Toto Forever by Roberto F. Canuto we witness a gangster-crossed love story between two strangers who comes together by a twist of fate. While it reminds us of those stylish gangster-filled Hollywood movies there is also an uncharacteristic element of a feel-good romance in it. Kylan James in the titular role charms us as an optimistic-romantic. His love interest Mark (Kjord Davis) is the definition of a troubled-hot man. Even though the director was inspired by Japanese manga while sketching out his characters, the film has the distinct smell of American desert and luxurious suburbs. 

Greek filmmaker Kyriakos Chatzimichailidis pens a poignant picture of two HIV/AIDS infected individuals in Men Don’t Cry. He deserves applause for showing that the fear of the virus can bring people of opposite sexual identities together. Flashbacks have been used to a maximum effect in telling a story of fear and regret that negates the possibility of a second chance. 

The fourth film Algiers The White (Alger La Blanche) by César award-winning filmmaker Cyril Collard is a multi-layered tale of love and death. When one of the lead protagonists dies under mysterious circumstances it opens a Pandora’s Box of suspected honor killing, political murder and hate crime. The film doesn’t provide a definite answer which adds to its appeal of being a high-browed European product. The young and confused love of the two leads Jean (Frédéric Deban) and Farid (Ali Baouche) is contrasted by the unflinching honesty of the film in depicting political, cultural and religious differences. 

The medium of cinema is by nature quite versatile. And director Ana Galizia’s experimental film Unconfessions is proof of it. The way she brings to life the memories of her dead uncle (Luiz Roberto Galizia) via memorabilia and creates a nostalgia-ridden piece of innovative art is the stuff of mavericks. Her biggest victory is making us feel emotions for an unknown person not unlike her own relationship with her uncle whom she never met. 

Same Difference by Harry Richards puts the spotlight on a pair of twins on the verge of their 18th birthday. It’s a sweet tale of brotherhood and coming out, complete with a happy ending. Most importantly, it paves the way for the final happy on its feet short film Boychick (Dir. Glenn Gaylord). The title (Boy + Chick) is a play on the Jewish word Boychik which means a young man. The Boy refers to the protagonist and the chick is the fictional pop star Ashley Hart, who is modeled on Britney Spears. The film takes the gay-guy-and-a-straight-girl-friendship syndrome and gives it a positive, life-affirming twist. The story never ventures into the cliché territory despite being full of it. That’s what good filmmaking looks like. 






Review by  David Lagachu 

Queeruru’s newest Correspondent lives in India “I am constantly trying to find a perfect balance between academia and my love for writing about films, pop and queer culture. I consider myself a global citizen and would love to be a part of  a significant history of mankind.”   i@maglobalcitizen

Posted by queerguru  at  23:21


Genres:  shorts

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