›› Dave's GAY FILM REVIEWS for 2017 ‹‹
Welcome to Dave's GAY FILM REVIEWS for 2017.

Check out the links below to jump to the title of your choice,

OR scroll down to see all the reviews as penned to-date. More reviews coming soon :)

›› reviews on this page ‹‹

  Against the Law | Anoraak: Figure | Center of My World | Closets | Esteros - Estuaries | Everybody Is Having Sex... But Ryan

Fathers | Gareth Thomas v Homophobia: Hate in the Beautiful Game | Good Morning | Gorjetas - Tips

Is It Safe to Be Gay in the UK? | Man in an Orange Shirt | Queers / eight short monologues | Taekwondo | Teenage Kicks | The Ornithologist | Wonderkid

›› The Ornithologist aka O Ornitólogo ‹‹

a film by João Pedro Rodrigues.

2016 | 117 mins | Portugal.

a surreal take on the life of Saint Anthony of Padua.

principal players: Paul Hamy / Fernando, Xelo Cagiao / Jesus - Tomé, Han Wen / Fei,
Chan Suan / Lin and João Pedro Rodrigues as António.

Official Synopsis:

Ornithologist Fernando is travelling through remote northern Portugal in search of black storks when his kayak capsizes and breaks in rapids and he is washed ashore where he is found unconscious by Chinese Catholic pilgrims Fei and Lin. The pair take him into the nearby forest and tie him up, but after escaping Fernando begins a journey in which he experiences events similar to those of Saint Anthony of Padua.

Dave says:

Okay, let's cut to the chase, given this is far removed from your standard gay film. Then again, this is hardly your standard film - full stop. Written and directed by João Pedro Rodrigues, this is but a surreal (and then some) take on the life of Saint Anthony of Padua; namely the patron saint of lost things and whose original name was Fernando.

The result is a film that you will either love or loathe, given and for all of the pros of this work, there's equally a pile of negatives. Yet to be fair it starts well, with the breathtaking beauty of the wilds of northern Portugal captured in all of their glory, as we witness solitary bird-watcher Fernando swept away by the rapids whilst looking for black storks. Rescued by two lost Chinese Christian lesbians who turn out to be more foe than friend, Fernando eventually escapes into the night, only to find himself in a forest filled with strange ritual sites and perhaps the spirits of the dead. And that's it folks; well more-or-less, given and after a promising beginning, albeit one in dire need of a nip 'n' tuck, the narrative turns plain weird, for how else would you describe scenes of a trio of bare-breasted huntresses, to a jungle filled with animals of the stuffed variety.

True, there's a vivid sense of dread in the early scenes where the Chinese pilgrims take Fernando captive, even if the soundtrack will have you rushing for the mute button and yes, whilst full frontal nudity from Hamy and Xelo Cagiao as a deaf shepherd boy is on the somewhat explicit side, you'll have to wait for over an hour for the gay element of the story to kick-in, by which time I dare say that many will have lost interest in the proceedings well before then, having given up trying to figure out just what the hell is going on?

On the positive side, Paul Hamy in the lead gives the film his all; from being tied up - bondage fashion one moment, to being urinated upon (or made to look like) the next, to getting up close and personal with Jesus! As too, the wildlife footage is beautifully shot, to the point that it would not be out of place in a David Attenborough documentary. Yet this is just a bizarre film - period, with Rodrigues and for reasons known only to him later appearing as the patron saint himself. But for all that said, if you're looking for something different from the cinematic norm, then this film certainly fits the bill. Enough said.

›› available on DVD from Amazon.
›› check out the Official Trailer on YouTube.
›› posted: Sunday, 19th November, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - the full monty. 
Overall - file under ... 2 stars. 


›› Center of My World aka Die Mitte der Welt ‹‹

a film by Jakob M. Erwa.

2016 | 115 mins | Germany.

a wonderfully refreshing take on falling in love with the new-boy-in-class.

principal players: Louis Hofmann / Phil, Sabine Timoteo / Glass, Jannik Schümann / Nicholas, Ada Philine Stappenbeck / Dianne,
Svenja Jung / Kat, Inka Friedrich / Tereza, Nina Proll / Pascal, Sascha Alexander Gersak / Michael, Clemens Rehbein / Kyle
and with Bendix Hansen as young Phil and Sarah Fuhrer as young Dianne.

Official Synopsis:

After three weeks away at summer camp, openly gay teen Phil returns home only to find his nonconformist mother Glass and twin sister Dianne less than enthusiastic about his return. Spending the last days of his holiday with best friend Kat, Phil returns to school where he falls for the charms of attractive newcomer Nicholas. After wrestling with his feelings, Phil is shocked when Nicholas makes the first move on him. However, his family is still causing him problems, as he begins to realize that his relationship with Nicholas might not last forever.

Dave says:

There's something wonderfully refreshing about this film from writer and director Jakob M. Erwa, as based on the novel by Andreas Steinhöfel, even if it's but a variant on the gay cinematic favourite of falling in love with the new-boy-in-class.

Thankfully, it's more than just that, given this is a work all about secrets and here it's a question of just where to start? Take Phil for example; a young man head over heels in love with all-round cutie Nicholas, only to keep his romance a secret from his best friend Kat. Not that Phil's sexual openness with his boyfriend bothers his family, being only too supportive of his sexuality and yet the family dynamic is not as it was before he left for summer camp, with the relationship between Glass and his twin sister Dianne strained to breaking point; only neither is saying why? Then again, what's really going on in the head of Nicholas who seems to know everything about Phil, but prefers to say next to nothing about himself. And then there's the biggest secret of them all; that of the name of their father, forever known as "lover No. 3". That all will be revealed kind of goes without saying, given the explosive narrative goes out of its way to juxtapose the upbeat feel of a gay teen's first love, with the hard knocks of life.

Intercut with many a telling flashback of the twins as children, together with scenes of devastation caused by recent storm damage, this is a film that revolves around the relationship between Phil and his friends and family. That that end, Louis Hofmann and Jannik Schümann are wondrous as the lover boys of the piece. Often seen naked, with Schümann only too happy to show you what a big boy he is, their scenes together have an erotic vibrancy all of their own, ever gazing into each other's eyes, as lovers would. Yet as lush as their bond is, the star of the show is Sabine Timoteo who excels as a mother determined to throw convention to the wind, forever telling her current lover to leave just when family life is starting to resemble normality. "Do whatever you want to do and be whoever you want to be" is her attitude to life and it's one that resonates throughout this emotional roller coaster ride of a feature.

In short, there's a lot to like here, including the seemingly requisite "music video montage" of fun-filled times. Yet not everything is bright 'n' breezy, the light tone of one act soon to be countered by the darkness of another, as the pieces of the cinematic jigsaw are finally assembled to reveal the picture of what truly took place between mother and daughter and the reason for the numerous flashback sequences. And whilst everything in the film is seen through Phil's eyes, including an all too rose-tinted view of the first time he sees Nicholas, it's the romance between the boys that keeps you enthralled, rather than the troubled life of a nonconformist family when the consequences of one's actions hit home. But that said, it's that threatening undercurrent that makes this feature standout from the plateau of coming-of-age works that have gone before it, even if there's a few nagging problems in the mix, given and come close of play you cannot help but ask yourself - whatever happened to school?

›› available on DVD from Amazon.
›› check out the Official Trailer on YouTube.
›› posted: Sunday, 29th October, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - the full monty. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 


›› Teenage Kicks ‹‹

a film by Craig Boreham.

2016 | 98 mins | Australia.

an emotional roller coaster on the growing pains of youth.

principal players: Miles Szanto / Miklós Varga, Daniel Webber / Dan O'Connel, Anni Finsterer / Illona Varga,
Shari Sebbens / Annuska, Charlotte Best / Phaedra, Lech Mackiewicz / József Varga,
Tony Poli / Viktor Varga, Ian Roberts / Jack O'Connel and Nadim Kobeissi as Tomi Varga.

Official Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Miklós Varga's plans to escape his migrant family and run away with his best friend Dan are crushed by the accidental death of his older brother Tomi. Only Mik knows the events that led to this tragedy, and he's suddenly forced to navigate his guilt and explosive sexuality to find the man he can become.

Dave says:

After many years of unrelenting effort, noted Australian writer and director Craig Boreham triumphantly succeeds in bringing a feature length version of his acclaimed 2009 short Drowning to the screen; the result of which not surprisingly makes for an exhilarating take of the coming-of-age scenario.

Thankfully linking the two versions is all-round cutie Miles Szanto of Bruno & Earlene Go to Vegas fame who and in spite of a clear age difference in the narrative department nevertheless wonderfully reprises his role of Miklós Varga aka Mik; a troubled teen reeling from the sudden death of his elder brother Tomi (seen in both present and flashback), whilst equally trying to come to terms with his burgeoning sexuality and in particular his intense longing for his best friend Dan. Forever planning to take a trip away together to escape the domineering and at times all too violent tough love approach of their parents, their close bond is soon to be put to the test when Dan falls for local girl Phaedra. Envious of her rich social background and moreover her influence over "his man", Mik rapidly descends into a downward spiral of drugs 'n' jealousy, one that pushes his friendship with Dan to breaking point. Question is - will it survive?

And that's the burning issue that dominates this powerful work, with Boreham building upon one dramatic event after another in a series of twists and sexual turns that would put any relationship under strain, here culminating in an act that surely would sever the ties of friendship for all time. Yet this is a complicated story, with Szanto baring his heart 'n' soul (and a lot more) throughout, his emotional anguish almost too much to bear, his character forever in fear of losing the man he loves, whilst ravaged by guilt over his brother's death, only to turn to strangers in the night for shelter and the brotherly love he misses and deeply longs for.

Backed by fine support from one and all and in particular from Anni Finsterer as the mother of the piece and Daniel Webber as object-of-desire Dan who delivers a wonderful chemistry when paired alongside Szanto, above all this is a film about finding your place in life; that of taking responsibility for your actions as a boy becomes a man. Beautifully shot, edited and directed, the result is but an emotional roller coaster on the growing pains of youth. But it's a captivating ride well worth taking, being in effect a wondrous testament of just how to develop a short film into feature length duration, even if personally I would have kept the original title. But then, perhaps that's just me?

›› available on DVD from Amazon.
›› check out the Official Trailer on YouTube.
›› posted: Sunday, 22nd October, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - the full monty. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 


›› Man in an Orange Shirt ‹‹

a drama by Michael Samuels.

2017 | 2 x 60 mins | UK.

a good old-fashioned love story that wonderfully tells of changing times.

principal players / part #1:
Oliver Jackson-Cohen / Michael Berryman, James McArdle / Thomas March, Joanna Vanderham / Flora Talbot,
Laura Carmichael / Daphne and Frances de la Tour as Mrs. March.

principal players / part #2:
Julian Morris / Adam Berryman, David Gyasi / Steve, Vanessa Redgrave / Flora Berryman, Angel Coulby / Claudie,
Phil Dunster / Bruno and Julian Sands as Caspar Nicholson.

a BBC2 drama premiere: Monday.31.July.2017 part #1 / Monday.7.August.2017 part #2: 21:00 - 22:00.

Official Synopsis:

This captivating drama from the makers of Broadchurch explores forbidden wartime love vividly contrasted with a present-day romance nearly derailed by the consequences of the 1940s tale with which it is so intertwined.

Dave says:

Specially written for the small screen by best-selling author Patrick Gale as one of the cornerstones of the BBC's Gay Britannia season, this interlinked two-part drama wonderfully tells of changing times, in an ever so romantic way.

In the opening part, Oliver Jackson-Cohen plays Captain Michael Berryman; a WWII Officer who rushes back at the end of the war to spend time with war artist Thomas March; a man known briefly to him from his school days and later a chance encounter on the bloodstained battle fields of Southern Italy in 1944. Relaxing at the family cottage, rather than in the arms of his wife-to-be Flora, their time together represents the blissful life they could - should have had. Only these are days when sexual acts between men are a crime, punishable by imprisonment and all too soon, their carefree days come to an end when Michael with the burden of social conformity upon him, enters into a lavender marriage, with the man he loves a reluctant best man.

In short, this is an achingly sad tale of three people trapped in a life they would otherwise not wish to lead, with Joanna Vanderham wonderfully expressing the emotions of a woman who by way of the discovery of Thomas' wartime love letters to her husband realizes that the man she married, cannot truly love her. For his love belongs to another man. Yet the way in which the two face up to the reality of their love differs greatly, with Michael seemingly more than happy to play the role of a dutiful husband, only for Thomas to take to cottaging, an act that would see him behind bars and a visit from Michael that's all too painful for him to bear. Poignant and laced with a myriad of emotions, all three yearn for the happiness that will forever evade them, with Thomas thereafter painting pictures of the man he loves - the man in an orange shirt, but who will never share his bed again.

And so on to the present-day in a story that finds gay grandson Adam staying in the basement flat of Flora's London house. Only Adam is not out to his grandmother; an ironic situation when he's out to every app styled pickup he can lay his hands on. Seemingly worlds apart, the two actually share a common theme, that of not being able to come to terms with the truth; Flora with her past and Adam with the man he loves, namely charming architect Steve who in restoring the family cottage finds a man so addicted to one-night stands, that he's incapable of embracing love even when it's standing right in front of him. With the relationship between Flora and her grandson and Adam and Steve at breaking point, could the discovery of a painting and words of love never sent, finally bring peace of mind to one and all?

Well, I think we know the answer to that, given this is but a good old-fashioned love story, beautifully played by one and all and in particular by Vanessa Redgrave who going against type, is outstanding in the role of a woman finding it difficult to come to terms with the homosexual core of her family tree. Yet this is also credit to writer Patrick Gale who in creating two separate love stories set generation's apart, faced the difficult task of weaving them together into an intertwined story. And here I dare say the success of that is subjective, given and not surprisingly both tales differ greatly in terms of sexual content, with the second far more sexually upfront than the first, with Julian Morris as closeted grandson Adam Berryman frequently naked, his libido a slave to casual sex, being only too happy to leave the company of close friends for a sexual high, only to be disgusted with himself afterward of the "out, damned spot" variety.

Laced with a series of quite tender touches, frankly, there's a lot to like here, with Gale to my mind having triumphed in showcasing a love that once dared not speak its name, but today is spoken with outright pride. In short - go see, not least for the man-candy physique of Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who surely must win the "Hairy Chest of the Year" award. Ooh La La!

›› available on DVD from Amazon.
›› check out the Official Trailer on YouTube.
›› posted: Sunday, 17th September, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 


›› Gareth Thomas v Homophobia: Hate in the Beautiful Game ‹‹

a documentary by Jody Cusack.

series editor and producer: Ian Durham | narration: Eve Myles.

2017 | 59 mins | UK | first shown on BBC1 Wales.

a compelling account of Gareth Thomas' personal quest to eliminate homophobia within Professional Football.

screened as part of the BBC's Gay Britannia season: Sunday.6.August.2017: BBC2 22:30 - 23:30.

Official Synopsis:

Fifty years since the partial decimalization of homosexuality in England and Wales, Gareth Thomas takes a hard-hitting look at what he sees as the last bastion of open homophobia in sport - professional football. Meeting fans, players and pressure groups alike, he asks just what is preventing gay footballers from coming out?

Dave says:

In the world of rugby union, openly gay former Wales and Lions captain Gareth 'Alfie' Thomas has proved time and time again that "where there's a will, there's a way" or in his case - there's a winner. Yet here my heart went out to him, as he faced the disturbing reality of the truth behind homophobia in the not so beautiful game and moreover, the apparent lack of a support programme for any footballer contemplating coming out to his teammates and the public alike.

To that end, Gareth discovered the shocking view that since no player in the Premier League is "officially" gay, then there is "seemingly" no need for such a programme. Yet with around 5,000 professional footballers in the UK, such is not only a statistical improbability, but a sheer impossibility. Indeed, Gareth's own agent confirmed that he knows of a number of gay footballers in the PL and the lies that they're living and the fears that they have. And no wonder when Gareth as ever throwing himself in at the deep end, witnessed first-hand the vile "does your boyfriend know you're here" and a lot worse, abuse from the terraces. Yet what shocked him more was the "normality" of it; that for some it was all "part and parcel" of match day. Only as bad as such verbal abuse is, such is nothing when compared to the appalling abuse found online, that of a series of abhorrent homophobic comments posted by supposed fans who when challenged by Gareth to meet him face-to-face to explain their views, like cowards hiding in the shadows, failed to show themselves in the light of day.

More than willing to meet Gareth however were others who shared his desire to show homophobia the red card, including Amal Fashanu, the niece of Justin Fashanu; namely the sole player in the UK ever to come out while playing the game only to suffer a tragic end, to that of Robbie Rogers; ex Leeds United footballer, now LA Galaxy international and seemingly the ONLY openly gay footballer - full stop! And here I dare say that if it was up to them, then homophobia in professional football would have been booted out well before now. Yet sadly it's not up to them. And whilst credit must go to all those players who participate/d in the likes of Kick It Out, Football v Homophobia and Rainbow Laces, all being praiseworthy campaigns aimed at challenging discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at all levels in football, as run by those who truly care about making the game a beautiful one, the absolute power to make it so, again does not lie with them. Rather it lies with the Football Association and the Premier League itself. No surprise then that Gareth requested meetings with FA Chairman Greg Clarke and PL Chief Executive Bill Bush to discuss the situation with them direct, only for Bill Bush to agree to a meeting on the condition that no cameras were present, whilst the FA failed to reply to ANY of Gareth's 16 weeks of calls, emails and texts. That this is an utter disgrace, is the understatement of the year.

Undeterred however, Gareth went where some would prefer him not to have gone, and with legal advice, formed his own Code of Practice; an action plan aimed at eliminating homophobia within professional football and one that he duly emailed to the Football Association, the Premier League, the Professional Footballers' Association and all 92 clubs within England and Wales. What they will do with this highly constructive document remains open to question. One would hope that they will act upon it. I suspect however that nothing will happen. Indeed and to be blunt, I would be surprised if anyone got of their highly paid backside to put into practice any one of the 17 common sense points noted within it.

You know, I like Gareth - a lot. For this is a man who gets things done and here he's done his upmost to address the issue of homophobia in professional football head-on. Indeed, if it was up to Gareth and others of like minds interviewed in this compelling documentary, then the UK may well have had by now its first and who knows, second and third openly gay footballer, as backed by a full support programme, in a game that could hold its head up high and truly call itself - a beautiful one. Only, we're not there yet. Not by a long way. For this is an ugly game, one in which the majority of football stewards turn a deaf ear to homophobic abuse, where sickening online abuse is rife and where homophobic banter in the locker room and on the training field itself seemingly goes without challenge.

Yet to my mind the most telling aspect of this work, was the attitude of FA Chairman Greg Clarke and Premier League Chief Executive Bill Bush, the latter of whom only agreed to meet off camera - what a copout that was, whilst the former failed to do even that. And here you have to seriously ask yourself, that if THAT is their attitude to meeting, or in Greg Clarke's case not, one of the most respected openly gay ex sportsman in the world who here is trying his darndest to right a homophobic wrong, then just what would their commitment TRULY be in supporting a footballer wanting to sexually say it, like it is. And here the words of Eldridge Cleaver spring to mind, given "you either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem". Frankly, that says it all.

See also: HARDtalk with Robbie Rogers | Inside Sport Special - The Last Taboo | Undercover: Hate on the Terraces | Wonderkid.

›› posted: Monday, 11th September, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 


›› Queers: The Man on the Platform - 1/8 ‹‹ ›› Queers: A Grand Day Out - 2/8 ‹‹
Perce: Ben Whishaw / Writer: Mark Gatiss Andrew: Fionn Whitehead | Writer: Michael Dennis
A man returning from the trenches of the First World War recollects a love that dared not speak its name. In 1994, 17-year-old Andrew comes to London for the first time - with unexpected results.
›› Queers: More Anger - 3/8 ‹‹ ›› Queers: Missing Alice - 4/8 ‹‹
Phil: Russell Tovey | Writer: Brian Fillis Alice: Rebecca Front | Writer: Jon Bradfield
It's 1987 and with AIDS hitting the headlines, a new part looks like a game-changer for actor Phil. Alice and her husband share a secret, but with 1957 Wolfenden Report, need it be a secret anymore?
›› Queers: I Miss the War - 5/8 ‹‹ ›› Queers: Safest Spot in Town - 6/8 ‹‹
Jackie: Ian Gelder | Writer: Matthew Baldwin Fredrick: Kadiff Kirwan | Writer: Keith Jarrett
Dapper gent Jackie is determined that the 1967 Sexual Offences Act won't revolutionise everything. As the Blitz hits London, Fredrick is grateful that he survived in a very unlikely place of refuge.
›› Queers: The Perfect Gentleman - 7/8 ‹‹ ›› Queers: Something Borrowed - 8/8 ‹‹
Bobby: Gemma Whelan | Writer: Jackie Clune Steve: Alan Cumming | Writer: Gareth McLean
Bobby is a swaggering man about town. But Bobby
has a secret. Can it survive when it really matters?
As groom-to-be Steve prepares his wedding speech, he wonders what has been won and moreover lost?
›› Queers ‹‹

produced and directed by Mark Gatiss.

2017 | 8 x 20 mins | UK.

a series of eight short monologues written in response to the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act.

a BBC4 drama premiere: Monday.31st.July.2017 to Thursday.3.August.2017: 22:00 - 22:40.

Dave says:

Wonderfully revisiting the monologue genre made famous by Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, this outstanding series of eight mini-dramas as produced and directed by actor, writer and director Mark Gatiss is one of the, if not THE highlight of the BBC's Gay Britannia season. Told direct-to-camera in a pub-based environment, each beautifully crafted short film vividly conveys the emotions of each character and the world, pre or post the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, that they live in.

As to the stories themselves; well putting hands to the keyboard, series producer-director Mark Gatiss delivered perhaps the sweetest tale of the series in The Man on the Platform, one that saw Ben Whishaw recall two memorable railway station encounters; the first as a child and later as a WWI soldier returning home from the war and how a tender kiss on the hand on a railway platform meant so much to him. Forever in the closet over a love that at that time dared not speak its name (and with a neat link to such), this is a romantic and yet achingly sad tale of a gay man taking happiness where he can and often, in the briefest of moments. Whishaw acts this piece beautifully, as too does Alan Cumming in Something Borrowed; a story that brings gay love right up to date as Cumming expresses the anxious feelings of a man about to get married to the prince of his dreams. Pointedly charting the opposing ends of the marriage spectrum, this short begins with Cumming relating his characters' "uncertainty towards marriage - towards men", only for it to end by no surprise with a declaration of his devotion to Adam; the love of his life.

Focusing on the AIDS epidemic, Russell Tovey delivers to my mind the most poignant piece of the series in More Anger; here portraying a 1980's actor relating the varied gay characters he finds himself playing and how he's getting "quite good at dying". Written by Brian Fillis, who also wrote the moving drama Against the Law, this is a work filled with emotion and rage, one that finds Tovey's character revisiting the pub at differing times to tell his tales, including his lust for 'ever so fit with incredible legs' dancer Simon, only for their relationship to falter when Simon tells him that he has AIDS. Yet it's Tovey's anger during the last minute or so that stays with you, expressing the sheer outrage that we all felt at the time when our friends and lovers were dying in the face of an uncaring government and press.

For light relief, check out I Miss the War in which Ian Gelder wonderfully camps it up as a gentleman's tailor ever keen for a bit of trade. This is by far the funniest of the monologues, with Gelder dressed head to toe in maroon as Jackie, pondering his future in the year in which the Sexual Offences Act came into being, whilst equally reflecting on his saucy past, all the while sipping a glass of dry sherry. Frankly Gelder is splendid in the role; camping it up one minute, whilst telling tales of his days as a "renter" the next, along the way slipping into Polari every now and again, lines that take you back to the days of Julian and Sandy. Yet it's his telling account of his love for an American private that hits home; that of a one-night stand that forever stayed in his heart.

Not to be outdone is Gemma Whelan as swaggering man about town Bobby; dressed up for the night in top hat and tails, Bobby's the object of every girls' dreams, just as and by no surprise, the girls are the object of 'his' dreams in The Perfect Gentleman. As for the secrets of a perfect marriage, well here Rebecca Front shines as Alice reflecting how she ended up in a seemingly blissful marriage, only for it to be a lavender one. Linked to the publication of the 1957 Wolfenden Report, this touching tale finds Alice discussing her life before and after her husband came out to her and how he would forever be Missing Alice should they ever part. Beautifully written by newcomer Jon Bradfield, Front plays Alice to a narrative tee.

Turning serious on the racist side for a moment, Kadiff Kirwan is brilliant as Fredrick; an immigrant still acclimatising after three years in the UK and who here relates his sexual experiences in London and the trendy art circles therein. Set at the time of the Blitz, Fredrick now finds himself welcome in clubs that would have refused him entry just a year ago, and yet with an invitation to dance the night away in the Café de Paris, he opts instead to take refuge in what would turn out to be the Safest Spot in Town.

Finally there's A Grand Day Out; a story that finds Fionn Whitehead on fine form as teenage gay boy Andrew who travels to London on the day that MPs are voting over whether to lower the age of homosexual consent. This is a great story of a naïve young lad new to the capital and new to a lot of other things too. Staying overnight with a man of thirty with "unexpected results," he returns home to Nottingham the next day more sexually confident, yet equally hoping that in lending his support on the march the day before, his parents weren't watching the news that night. Like many of the monologues this is somewhat risqué in content, words that here wonderfully paint a picture of a 17-year-old's sexual encounter in London, on the day that Parliament deemed it wasn't legally permissible.

And there you have it; eight individual monologues, screened two per night, over four consecutive days, with each actor beautifully conveying the innermost thoughts of their character and the sexual openness, or not, of the day. Yet this is also a series that's credit to its writers, many new to television, who between them have created a sublime series of diverse tales for the boys that whilst premiered on BBC4, would by sound alone, frankly be at home on Radio 4. In short, there's a lot to like here; indeed this is simply - fantabulosa!

›› check out the Official Trailer on YouTube.
›› posted: Saturday, 19th August, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 5 stars. 


›› Is It Safe to Be Gay in the UK? ‹‹

a documentary by Mark Henderson.

2017 | 59 mins | UK.

the graphic reality that homophobia is still alive and literally kicking.

a BBC2 premiere: Tuesday.1.August.2017: 21:00 - 22:00.

Official Synopsis:

With homophobic hate crime a daily occurrence and on the rise, this film talks to the victims about being attacked, offering an insight into the challenges faced by gay people in Britain today.

Dave says:

Screened as part of the BBC's Gay Britannia season, the question in the title is probably one that most, if not all of us have asked at some point. Indeed, it's a question that arose during a conversation I had just a few weeks ago with a close group of friends, both straight and gay, and our views not surprisingly varied from personal experiences. All of us however voiced our concern over the alarming increase in homophobic hate crime; both verbal and physical.

Indeed, that's what makes this compelling, yet equally chilling documentary so raw. For whilst we're all aware that homophobia hasn't gone away in the fifty years following the partial decriminalization of homosexuality, here the graphic reality of homophobic attacks is laid bare and frankly, it's a shocking picture. For just how safe is it to be openly gay in the UK? Going from the moving testimonies given here, for some the answer has tragically proved to be not safe at all.

Take for example the likes of long-term partners James and Dain who open up their hearts on the pressure put on their relationship after they were assaulted in supposedly gay friendly Brighton; a brutal attack that left both of them with multiple injuries and Dain with a broken eye socket, wondering if he would ever be able to see again. That Dain regained his eyesight is nothing short of a miracle. Yet their story is far from unique, as Jenny loving remembers her brother Ian Baynham who died of injuries sustained in a frenzied homophobic attack in the centre of London, having been kicked to death on the ground.

And then there's Connor's horrific tale; habitually bullied at school, with the words "you're gay - you should be dead" echoing around every corner, things should have got better for him when he moved into his own flat, only to have been attacked by another resident with a hammer with such force that it was still embedded in his head when the ambulance crew arrived. In a coma for four weeks, surgeons fought to save his life, having to remove a quarter of his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain. Thankfully Connor not only survived, but has since found love in the arms of boyfriend Dom. Yet once again he's not alone, as here victim after victim recall painful memories of being kicked in the face until unconscious, of being repeatedly stamped on the head, of having a scaffold pole smashed across their face - just for being who they are. That their words cry out for justice to be served is the understatement of the year.

Alex and Becky are one such couple seeking justice, having been groped, punched and slammed into a street light, on what was meant to have been a quiet night out in Croydon. Yet justice was not served, with one defendant having fled to South Africa to avoid sentencing, leaving the couple struggling to move on from both the assault and the court case itself. And whilst the man responsible for the vicious attack on Connor was duly sentenced to nineteen years for attempted murder, Connor is left unable to run or use his right hand, having to take tablets every single day, with epilepsy and severe migraine now with him for the rest of his life. Jenny meanwhile is starting the restorative justice programme in the hope of gaining peace of mind, whilst James and Dain's relationship has notably changed and sadly not for the better, with their views of being out in public now at odds with each other.

For make no mistake, this is not an easy film to watch, given that and whilst we like to think that we're living in enlightened times, in particular in view of all of the legal advances made in gay rights during the past fifty years, the truth is that we still have to ask ourselves - just how safe is it to be openly gay in the UK? The obvious answer is that you "should feel", indeed "should be" perfectly safe. But as this sobering work makes all too clear, homophobia hasn't gone away and if anything is still alive and literally kicking. That this documentary also questions the motives behind such, is to its credit. Yet it equally shows what is often overlooked, that of the repercussions of such unprovoked attacks on the victims, their families and friends; many mourning the loss of loved one and the void that forever is in their life.

In short, this is one of those shows that cannot help but make you angry. Angry that outside of the Pride marches attended en mass, outside of Soho and your local gay scene, outside of your arthouse cinema and café, LGBTQ men and women are still being brutally beaten up and left for dead on the streets of the UK. It's appalling. It's a sheer outrage. And it is a crime. Yet it's a sickening reality for one in four LGBTQ people living in Britain today. And in spite of all of the promises made by the authorities, I fear that such a deplorable situation is only going to get worse. And that makes me bloody angry.

›› posted: Saturday, 5th August, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 


›› Against the Law ‹‹

a drama-documentary by Fergus O'Brien.

2017 | 85 mins | UK.

a moving account of the trial of Peter Wildeblood and its legal repercussions.

starring: Daniel Mays / Peter Wildeblood, Richard Gadd / Eddie McNally, Paul Keating / Fanny, Mark Edel-Hunt / Lord Montagu,
Mark Gatiss / Dr Landers, Richard Dillane / Prosecutor Roberts, Charlie Creed-Miles / Superintendent Jones,
Josh Collins / Michael Pitt-Rivers and David Robb as Lord Wolfenden.

a BBC2 drama premiere: Wednesday.26.July.2017: 21:00 - 22:30.

Official Synopsis:

Fact based drama-documentary centred on the 1954 Montagu Trial, in which gay journalist Peter Wildeblood and his friends Lord Montagu and Michael Pitt-Rivers were tried for homosexual offences and the ensuing public outcry over the fairness of the case, that forced a reluctant government to set up a committee to investigate whether homosexuality should be legalised.

Dave says:

Screened as the centrepiece of the BBC's Gay Britannia season to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, namely the decriminalization of homosexual acts carried out in private between two men in England and Wales, this engrossing production is in many ways a combination of the 2007 dramas A Very British Sex Scandal and Consenting Adults, covering as it does the most headline gay trial since that of Oscar Wilde, to that of Peter Wildeblood's personal testimony in front of the Wolfenden committee, as the only openly gay man willing to testify before them.

Then again, by that time Wildeblood had nothing left to hide, given both the police and the press had gone out of their way to detail every aspect of his sexuality and the sexual acts committed by him behind doors that were meant to be closed to prying eyes. Thus the British public in 1954 would come to be aware of the relationship between airman Eddie McNally and Daily Mail journalist Peter Wildeblood, and in turn his friendship with Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and his second cousin Michael Pitt-Rivers. The verdict was but a foregone conclusion, with all three duly convicted of having conspired to incite McNally and his friend Johnny Reynolds to commit indecent acts during a beach holiday spent as guests on Lord Montagu's estate in the summer of 1952.

Times however were changing, with the authorities having grossly underestimated the views held by an increasingly sympathetic public. Appalled by the severity of the sentence and the fact that such had been secured by two men pressured into turning Queen's evidence to save their own skin, it was clear that the law that made being a practicing homosexual in Great Britain a criminal offence, was out of step with public opinion. Under both pressure and scrutiny, the government of the day opted to set up a Home Office committee to look into the laws relating to homosexual offences and prostitution, under the chairmanship of one John Wolfenden, then Vice-Chancellor of Reading University and later life peer Baron Wolfenden of Westcott. The result was the 1957 Wolfenden Report that would come to recommend that 'homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence,' albeit with the exception of those serving in the Armed Forces or Merchant Navy.

Written by Brian Fillis with an acute understanding of the harsh reality of being gay at that time, this production achingly depicts Wildeblood's arrest and subsequent imprisonment and thereafter his sheer determination to right such a draconian law. To that end Daniel Mays is on fine form in the lead role, not afraid to get down to some man-on-man lip-service with Richard Gadd as McNally, only for their loving relationship to be brutally torn apart by the authorities and the media. Such were the times and times that are made all the more vivid courtesy of a series of personal recollections from those men, now largely in their twilight years, who lived through such a period of institutionalized homophobia and which are intercut throughout this production. To some, this may impede the flow of the narrative. Personally speaking, I found their words deeply moving, painting a harrowing picture of what it was like to live through an era of fear and shame; the shame felt by many for being gay, only for those at ease with their sexuality to live in constant fear of being discovered, knowing that a prison sentence was just a love letter, a tender kiss or even an innocent look away, with your very name and career in ruins thereafter.

It is their words that speak volumes here and none more so than those spoken by 89-year-old Roger, who as a young man was at the time in a relationship with Jeremy Wolfenden; namely the openly gay son of the chairman of said committee and the out 'n' proud voice within the family, only for the man himself to die two years before the reports' recommendation reached the statute book. Roger, as with all gay men of the period, never thought it possible that the law, let alone public opinion would change to the extent that it has and in a lovely postscript to the film, Roger, alongside his lifelong partner Percy commented on having become the first couple in Westminster to form a civil partnership.

Back in 1954 however a civil partnership, let alone marriage between two men was but the stuff that dreams were made of, given the reality of gay life back in the '50s was that of living in a shadow world; open to blackmail, bloody beatings and imprisonment. Yet the gay community was united in its determination that homosexuality should be legalised. Peter Wildeblood played his part in forcing the government's hand and deserves our heartfelt gratitude for that. Sadly, it would be another ten years before such became law, only for the homosexual witch-hunts to be enforced even more vindictively by the police thereafter, with stake-outs in parks and toilets the order of the day, often using 'pretty boy' officers as bait. In short, the 1967 act was in truth just the start of our fight for full sexual equality. But it was a fight that we would eventually win.

›› available on DVD from Amazon.
›› check out the Official Trailer on YouTube.
›› this review is dedicated to Steven 26/07/17 for your kind donation 
and support to help keep Gay Celluloid online - thank you.
›› posted: Sunday, 30th July, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 


›› Esteros - Estuaries ‹‹

a film by Papu Curotto.

2016 | 83 mins | Argentina.

childhood friends rekindle feelings long thought forgotten.

starring: Ignacio Rogers / Matías, Esteban Masturini / Jerónimo, Joaquín Parada / young Matías, Blas Finardi Niz / young Jerónimo
and with María Merlino / Marilu, Renata Calmon / Rochi, Marcelo Subiotto / Esteban and Felipe Tito as Tuto.

Adapted Synopsis:

Matías and Jerónimo have known each other since childhood. Their friendship takes a new turn during the holiday before starting high school, when they both experience their sexual awakening. Suspecting that his son could be gay, Matías' father breaks up their relationship by accepting a job in Brazil, a move that will cause Matías to deny not only his love for Jerónimo, but his very sexuality. More than ten years later, Matías with girlfriend Rochi returns to Argentina for a carnival held in his old town, only to unexpectedly run into Jerónimo. Slowly, but surely feelings between the two reappear, but at what price?

Dave says:

Based upon the characters in his poignant 2015 short film Matías and Jerónimo, this, the debut feature from Argentinian director Papu Curotto is but a captivating ode to suppressed sexuality, as a chance encounter between former childhood friends rekindles feelings that for Matías, have long been thought forgotten. To that end, the narrative is somewhat predictable; in particular the love that both men clearly hold for each other. But that said, Curotto has nevertheless packed his tale with a series of lush moments between the boys, as tender scenes of youthful playfulness give way to longing looks, strictly of the adult kind.

Cross-cutting between the differing time frames with considerable ease, frankly, there's a lot to like here, as Curotto's gentle approach wonderfully captures the boys' summer days together, when fun is but the order of the day, to their chance reunion ten years or so later, when their yearning to be together is complicated by Matías arriving with girlfriend in hand, only to and by no surprise end up spending more time in the company of Jerónimo; talking about times past, getting to know each other again, sensing that spark of romance is still present. Yet for all of the pros of the piece, there's a nagging negative in the mix, as the scenes of manly hanky-panky between the two men (and yes, you just knew that boys would be boys) are shot way too dark for my liking, to the point that you cannot really tell who's doing what to whom! Thankfully, all other scenes are well lit, with the outdoor cinematography vividly capturing both the wildlife and sheer beauty of the surrounding wetlands.

As expected child stars Joaquín Parada and Blas Finardi Niz are simply adorable, ending up almost stealing the show, only for the parallel storyline to tug at your heartstrings, with Ignacio Rogers as Matías achingly showcasing his inner turmoil, seemingly unable to express his true feelings for Jerónimo; a role that all-round cutie Esteban Masturini excels in, his out personality and vibrant joie de vivre making him the perfect boyfriend that anyone would wish to spend their days and nights with. In short and whilst the ending is way too convenient, at the end of the day I liked this film, it's introspective style and sheer simplicity being its charm. Say no more, other than this review having been marked down for breaking Dave's Golden Rule of 'either show it OR suggest it, but NEVER film sex scenes in the dark' given to do so, is frankly pointless for the actors and the audience alike. Enough said.

›› available on DVD from Amazon.
›› check out the Official Trailer on YouTube.
›› posted: Tuesday, 25th July, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - naked, but dark. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 


›› Fathers ‹‹

a film by Palatpol Mingpornpichit.

2016 | 96 mins | Thailand.

the emotional ups and downs of gay parents raising a child.

principal players: Asda Panichkul / Phoon, Nat Sakdatorn / Yuke, Arituch Pipattangkul / Butr
and Sinjai Plengpanich as Miss Rattiya.

Official Synopsis:

Phoon and Yuke have been a couple for 13 years. They also have an adopted son, Butr, whom they took in as an abandoned child. When Butr is old enough to start school, Phoon and Yuke are faced with his questions: who is my mom, and where is she?

Dave says:

With the notable exception of Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right and Robert Chuter's The Dream Children, films that deal with gay parenting are relatively few in number. Thankfully where others opt not to go, writer and director Palatpol Mingpornpichit takes pride in throwing himself in at the cinematic deep end, here seizing the opportunity to showcase the emotional ups and downs of gay parents raising a child in an environment that all too often, is far from accepting. Such however is but the backdrop to a film that specifically deals with the father's reaction to their son's ever inquisitive mind about his biological mother and moreover how an unexpected visit from Miss Rattiya of the Children's Rights Protection Organization; an officialdom who takes it upon herself to locate Butr's birth mother, sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to destroy the very happiness of both parents and child.

Sure, parts of this feature are overly sentimental. Yet equally this is a work that highlights how important it is to have joint legal custody of an adopted child. The fact that here only one parent has, is a recipe for woe as Yuke, the 'mother figure' of the pair, finds that his love is not legally enough. Only as touching as the performances from Asda Panichkul and Nat Sakdatorn as the devoted parents of the piece are, by no surprise it is Arituch Pipattangkul as Butr who steals the show, his adorable facial expressions wonderfully showcasing the innocence of a child who views the world through eyes where love is as it should be - unconditional.

Beautifully shot throughout and played with a warmth that genuinely conveys the deep love that both parents hold for each other and for their son who they clearly wish only the best for, frankly this film has a lot going for it, being sweet, albeit somewhat simplistic, (you can predict the ending), yet equally poignant, whilst the narrative is not afraid to touch upon homophobia, in a country in which same-sex couples still have to fight for the right to marry and where gay parenthood is viewed by many as a social stigma. That said, what stays with you come close of play are the many tender moments shared between fathers and son; from teaching Butr to play football, to the drive to school in the most innovative of children's transport. Need more be said, other than - go see.

›› available to Watch Online in HD from the good folk at filmdoo.com.
›› check out the Official Trailer on YouTube.
›› posted: Saturday, 15th July, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 


›› Good Morning ‹‹

a short film by Stephen Dunn and Peter Knegt.

2014 | 10 mins | Canada.

exploring a thirteen year age gap to sexual identity.

starring: Peter Knegt and Oliver Skinner.

Official Synopsis:

Good Morning comically examines the ideas of sexual identity and age anxiety via the story of a man, who on the morning after his 30th birthday party wakes up with both a massive hangover, and a 17-year-old boy sleeping on his couch.

Dave says:

Staying well clear of anything sexual, here we find writers and stars of the show Peter Knegt and Oliver Skinner opt instead to explore the thirteen year age gap between two young man and specifically the differing attitudes to sexual identity that both have grown-up with. It's a set-up that works remarkably well, as we find Mr. Thirty somewhat shocked at the ease in which the seventeen-year-old in front on him, is with his sexuality, reflecting how society and gay visibility for many, albeit not all, has changed for the better in recent times. And whilst the narrative is a bit preachy in parts, in particular on the pros and cons of Grindr, it nevertheless has a seductive sweetness to it, as the older man assumes the role of an older brother, concerned for the well-being of a young man who twenty-four hours earlier was but a stranger to him. Delightful.

›› available as part of the BOYS ON FILM #12 shorts compilation - Confession.
›› posted: Sunday, 9th July, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 


›› Anoraak: Figure ‹‹

a music video by Simon Savory.

2017 | 5 mins | France - UK.

a three-way relationship expressed in music and dance.

featuring: Brandon Miel Masele, Mellina Boubetra and Ablaye Dadinio Jhones.

Dave says:

From multi-talented writer and director Simon Savory of Bruno & Earlene Go to Vegas fame, comes this wonderfully creative short film that focuses on how a "three-way relationship expands and contracts".

Shot on location in Paris, France and using such locations as the Bibliothèque François Mitterand, Parc Martin Luther King, Parc Butte du Chapeau Rouge and Canal Saint Denis to striking effect, this is in essence a music video for Anoraak; as choreographed throughout with a series of expressive hand turns. Yet the power of dance can say SO much and in just less than five minutes, here it says a lot, movements that are intercut with some beautifully scripted, often tender moments. Enjoy.

›› check out the FreeView on Vimeo.
›› posted: Thursday, 7th July, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 


›› Taekwondo ‹‹

a film by Marco Berger and Martín Farina.

2016 | 105 mins | Argentina.

a sensuous tale of sexual awakening.

principal players: Gabriel Epstein as Germán and Lucas Papa as Fernando, together with a bevy of Argentinian cuties.

Official Synopsis:

In a picturesque country house in Buenos Aires, Fernando gathers his mates for a boys-only vacation. Free from work, responsibilities and their girlfriends, this close-knit gang of bros kick back by the pool, sunning their impeccably toned bodies and sharing pot-fuelled stories of sexual conquests. The guys have known each other for years, only this time Fernando has brought with him newcomer Germán, a friend from his taekwondo class, who neglects to tell the group that he's gay. As the lazy summer days disappear, the connection between Fernando and Germán grows and slowly the boundaries of their relationship begin to blur.

Dave says:

In many ways this sensual work reminds me of the Derek Jarman classic Sebastiane; namely a film in which a group of men - cue soldiers, spend their days and nights in each other's company. And ditto here; as a group of straight best friends delight in an all-male environment, either engaged with each other in sport or conversation. And it's their conversations that dominate throughout, as talk of relationships past and present echo off every wall, frank exchanges about sex, girls and well - girls. Only it's evident from the onset that at least one of the group is batting for the other side, with Germán clearly gay, his longing to be with Fernando his sole reason for putting up with the homophobic comments from those around him. Sure, there's a bit of jealousy thrown in and yes, a number of gay issues are touched upon, albeit lightly, but in the main this is a plot-free piece that focuses on the camaraderie within the group, men who are at ease to let it all hang out, both verbally and physically, with seemingly all (?) of the central cast naked at some point.

Yet whilst there's many a manly member on display, it's the bond between the two would-be lovers that captivates, and like any good card player here writer and co-director Marco Berger keeps his cinematic hand close to his chest, playing the "will they OR won't they get together" card right up to the end credits. The result is a work high in homoeroticism, with longing looks and convert glances juxtaposed with lingering crotch close-ups and frontal nudity. Only it's too much of a narrative tease, being a film that's crying out for the romance between Fernando and Germán to take centre stage throughout.

In short, it's all a bit too much hetero, not enough homo; a crying shame given what we see of the developing relationship between the boys is beautifully played. Not that this sensuous tale of sexual awakening is not without its gay pay off, given the two men and by no surprise do get up close and personal come close of play, even if it's oddly something of a silhouette affair. The man-candy is however SO easy on the eye.

›› available on DVD from Amazon.
›› check out the Official Trailer on YouTube.
›› posted: Tuesday, 6th June, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - the copious monty. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 


›› Wonderkid ‹‹

a short film by Rhys Chapman.

2016 | 31 mins | UK.

a poignant short on coming out in the so-called beautiful game.

principal players: Chris Mason as the Wonderkid, Leeshon Alexander as Johnny and Troy Glasgow as Cumbo.

Official Synopsis:

After earning a dream move to a London Premier League club, Wonderkid should be on top of the world. The reality? He's faced with callous friends, a hostile changing room, vitriol-filled messages on social media and, crucially, Wonderkid's having to deal with himself. The film highlights the key issue - why should his sexuality be an issue?

Dave says:

This compelling British short dares to tackle the ultimate sporting taboo; namely coming out in the so-called beautiful game. It's an issue that's at the heart of this work, as the raw emotions of a talented footballer are laid bare, with the Wonderkid yearning to give his all to the game, yet held back from displaying his full potential by not being able to "be himself" on the pitch, and indeed to those around him. That is, apart from his agent Johnny; a man only too aware of his client's desire to come out to one and all, but equally conscious of the ramifications such sexual openness could have on a series of lucrative endorsement and media deals and moreover, his cut therein. The result is a Mexican standoff, one that finds the Wonderkid holed up in his hotel room longing to break free, only for promises of coming out from his agent, forever accompanied with the line - "when the time is right". Only when is the time ever right?

Played for all its worth by Chris Mason, an actor recently seen in a pivotal role in the final series of the acclaimed UK crime drama Broadchurch and made with the full support and moreover the participation of a number of Sky Sports pundits, this short repeatedly asks the question - why should one's sexuality be an issue? The answer is it shouldn't be and well, it's not, that is in seemingly every other sport, bar football that is. And it's here that the writing team of Matt Diss, Terence Corless and director Rhys Chapman score big time, achingly showcasing the inner turmoil of a young man yearning to be his sexual self, yet too afraid to be seen in a gay bar. Sick of the ingrained homophobic comments both on the terraces and from his teammates and with the weight of "playing it straight" dragging him down, something clearly has to give and give it does, even if the key act itself is surprisingly not shown, opting instead for a voiceover styled commentary to say it - like it is.

That said, this is still premier league material, with the narrative not afraid to show overt man-on-man lip-service, whilst addressing the central issue at hand. It's a subject that I've written about on more than one occasion and here cue Undercover: Hate on the Terraces and Inside Sport Special - The Last Taboo, although perhaps the most cutting comments came during the HARDtalk interview with Robbie Rogers; now a US international footballer who in February 2013 publicly come out as gay. That he is not the only professional footballer who is gay, goes without saying. Yet as the closing credits of this poignant short roll, you have to wonder just how many real life Wonderkids yearn to set their spirit free, yet feel either financially or mentally compelled to remain in the sporting closet?

›› check out the FreeView on the official website.
›› posted: Monday, 24th April, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 


›› Everybody Is Having Sex... But Ryan ‹‹

a short film by Brian Pelletier.

2009 | 14 mins | US.

a gloriously gay-to-the-core piece about finding the one.

principal players: Jeremy Lucas as Ryan, Mark Strano as Dustin and Alan Palmer as Toby.

Adapted Synopsis:

When it comes to dating, aspiring dancer and all-round cutie Ryan has the worst luck. Fortunately, or perhaps not as the case may prove, his best friend Dustin has a plan to find him his Mr Right.

Dave says:

Frankly, there's nothing really special about this short film from writer and director Brian Pelletier; yet there's no denying that is has a comical charm all of its own. It tells the story of Ryan, who as the title implies, isn't getting any manflesh in the night, or the day for that matter and whose mission to get laid seemingly almost always takes second place to the rampant love life of his best friend Dustin and here cue an early screen appearance from Mark Strano of Out to Kill fame.

Sure, the dance sequences are blatantly OTT and yes, some of the characters are all but stereotypical, but that said this is equally a gloriously gay-to-the-core piece about finding The One, be he at times right in front of you, with the ever nimble Jeremy Lucas in the lead playing the sitcom styled comical tightrope just right, to the point that you know that our boy will not be spending the night alone, come close of play. Sexy, camp and somehow irresistibly charming, as ever check out the FreeView link below and see what you think.

›› check out the FreeView on YouTube.
›› posted: Monday, 17th April, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 2+ stars. 


›› Closets ‹‹

a short film by Lloyd Eyre-Morgan.

2015 | 18 mins | UK.

a gem of a sci-fi styled coming out short.

principal players: Julie Hesmondhalgh as Penny, Tommy Lawrence-Knight as Henry and Ceallach Spellman as Ben.

Adapted Synopsis:

Tommy Knight (The Sarah Jane Adventures) stars in this light-hearted drama as Henry, a teenager struggling with his sexuality in 1986. Hiding in his wardrobe, he time travels to the year 2016 where he meets a similar teenager, Ben, occupying his same bedroom. Offering each other both support and friendship, it isn't long before they come to realize that despite the thirty year time difference, some things all too sadly, have remained the same.

Dave says:

Beautifully played throughout, this gem of a sci-fi styled coming out short poignantly showcases the timeless emotions of being true to both yourself and to those around you, courtesy of two teenage boys who by way of a time-travelling wardrobe, find that they share more than just the same bedroom. It's a clever idea that writer and director Lloyd Eyre-Morgan of Dream On fame employs to pointedly illustrate the fact (and here cue the shocking statistics detailed in the end credits) that the ingrained homophobia of school life is an abhorrent reality for all too many, whatever the year be.

Complete with a series of delightful turns from Julie Hesmondhalgh as Ben's unconditional loving mum and in particular from leads Tommy Lawrence-Knight and Ceallach Spellman who between them vividly portray the "coming to terms with their sexuality" emotions of the boys, this is a work in which the real star of the show is the script itself, with the closing cross-cutting narrative wonderfully juxtaposing the differing time frames and the coming out experiences of both young men. Poignant, sweet and uplifting in equal measure, it's no surprise that this short film won the Best British Short award at the IRIS Prize Film Festival of 2015. And that frankly - says it all.

›› available as part of the BOYS ON FILM #15 shorts compilation - Time & Tied.
›› posted: Sunday, 16th April, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 


›› Gorjetas - Tips ‹‹

a short film by Mauro Carvalho and Thiago Cazado.

2016 | 18 mins | Brazil.

a webcam boy goes that extra inch to generate tips.

principal players: Thiago Cazado as Mário and André Aires as the Robber.

Adapted Synopsis:

Broke and in need of money fast, gay boy Mário has taken to earning tips from showing off his cute body; webcam style. Only when a robber interrupts the show demanding money, rather than call the police, Mário decides to turn the situation to his financial advantage.

Dave says:

Here's a short film that's sure to bring a smile to your face, courtesy of MACA Entertainment; namely the home of many a sexy short for the boyz. To that end, this scenario was in many ways ripe for the taking; that of a webcam boy who is more than happy to go that extra inch to generate tips. And generate a lot he does, with co-director, writer and star of the show Thiago Cazado frankly all too realistic as the all-round cutie of the piece, getting down and dirty webcam style to the point that you almost feel that you could be watching a live broadcast; playing with his nipples, whilst wearing nothing but a jockstrap that perfectly shows off his prize ass-ets.

Yet for all of the light entertainment feel of the piece, the narrative is not afraid to touch upon some serious issues and in particular the dire need for money, not refreshingly for drugs or the like, rather in this case for health insurance and moreover, how a close-up camera - webcam style, can all too often hide the financial hardship of its owner.

That said, there's no denying the sensuous side of this work, even if it's something of an odd mix, juxtaposing comical asides by way of Mário's somewhat clichéd clientele, with the alarming act of armed robbery, let alone a climactic sexual scene that surely would have been the opposite way around? Whatever, this short reaffirms Brazil as one of the leading producers of gay short films that seductively mix drama with sex appeal, being proudly gay to the core. Frankly, need more be said, other than check it out below - oh, I see you already have!

›› check out the FreeView on YouTube.
›› posted: Tuesday, 21st March, 2017.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

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