›› It's Not A Cowboy Film - ce n'est pas un film de cow-boys
a short film by Benjamin Parent.
2012 | 12 mins | France.
starring: Malivaï Yakou / Moussa, Finnegan Oldfield / Vincent, Leïla Choukri / Jessica, Garance Marillier / Nadia and with Damien Pinto-Gomes.
Official Synopsis: "Last night Brokeback Mountain aired on TV. Vincent watched it and found himself emotionally compelled by the story. Whilst chatting with a classmate in the school toilets, he takes advantage of the break to describe the film as only an adolescent can."
In many ways this is a simple scenario; that of a television broadcast of a gay film that allows the topic of homosexuality to be openly discussed between friends, the day after. Thankfully in co-writer and director Benjamin Parent's hands the setup is beautifully handed, as we come to eavesdrop on the private conversations of two parties, namely close friends Jessica and Nadia and the boys; Vincent and Moussa.
In short, this is a narrative that finds Jessica bluntly asking Nadia questions over Nadia's now out and proud father, only to drop herself in it by referring to her best friend as "an accident." Cut to the other side of the dividing wall and you'll find Vincent vividly describing the plot of Brokeback to Moussa, banned as he is from watching television, only for Vincent to add how he was moved to tears. But that doesn't mean he's gay. Then again, is anyone here?
For this is not a coming out work; at least, per se. Rather this is a short film that finds Parent acutely tapping into the teenage heart and mind, whilst equally revelling in the cowboy genre, with the toilet here akin to a western styled saloon, complete with Vincent pointing his finger; gun-toting fashion. That the short went on to win the coveted Queer Palm prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, amongst other awards, is credit to both Parent and his co-writer Joris Morio. Yet and as delectable a work as this is, I can think of many a title of stronger merit that frankly failed to secure even an entry, at many a festival. That aside, it is the sexual frankness of the piece that speaks throughout, one that all but ends when the four amigos ride into the sunset, again.
Gay Visibility - overt narrative.
Nudity - none.
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars.