Author Archives: Kahloon

A Guide to Boys on Film – from a first timer


by Robin Finetto, Boys on Film 19

Recently released, this is the 19th volume in the BOYS ON FILM catalogue, but only my first time watching the series. BOF 19 wraps up its teenage years compiling and celebrating ten short LGBTQ films under the header ‘NO ORDINARY BOY’. Although all dealing with issues of identity and sexuality of some kind, none of these films are alike. Ranging from comedy to romance to thriller, even animation, the collection boasts directorial voices from around the world, many recounting their own experiences.


Some of my highlights include:


Dean Loxton’s MEATOO, following an actor being auditioned by a casting director whose behaviour and demands turn more and more predatory. Although written and shot in one day, MEATOO seems flawlessly calculated, with a bubbling atmosphere and a slick 4-minute runtime. Inspired by casting experiences of his own, Loxton says “It was only a few years later, looking back, that I saw it for what it was – a hotel, only the director, me half naked. I was twenty – I felt for the lads in their late-teens waiting to go in. Some had their mum’s with them that I doubt were allowed in the room.”


THE FISH CURRY, is one of the short films that makes BOYS ON FILM 19 as eclectic a collection as it is. Directed by Indian animator Abhishek Verma, it tells the story of Lalit, a young man finally coming out to his parents over their favourite dish, a fish curry. The intimate story is paired with striking visuals and a haunting cartoonish look, reminiscent of the films of Sylvain Chomet. With the short animation Abhishek Verma seeks to compare love to food, “it should make people understand that love is like food – it helps you to be happy, it can take away your hunger. There’s no point in making a separation based on sexuality, religion, colour, caste, or class. It’s all about love!”


JERMAINE AND ELSIE by actor / director Leon Lopez moved me more than I had anticipated. Especially well written and acted, it’s a short film touching on topics such as race, identity and the kindness between strangers. We follow young black carer Jermaine, docile and kind, as he looks after the older, more opinionated and outspoken Elsie. Their characters clash initially, mostly due to Elsie’s strong personality and old-fashioned views, but Jermaine’s big heart wins her over, and we are soon touched by their friendship too. When Jermaine is suddenly replaced, Elsie is determined to find out the truth about her friend.


Ben Allen’s BLOOD OUT OF A STONE offers a perfect romcom set-up – the romantic Michael sets Dan a series of challenges before their first date in order to form a more immediate connection – but also tells a quietly introspective and timid story. Through the challenges Dan finds himself out of his comfort zone and uneasy, yet can’t help taking a liking to Michael’s honesty and charm. The wistful and sensitive atmosphere aids in bringing director Ben Allen’s real dating experiences to life.


“It’s a comment on how this new age of apparent choice can leave a lot of people feeling stranded – this applies to everyone, not just gay people. It’s also talking about tribalism within the gay community. How certain types of people might feel that they can’t be with someone else who is a different type.”


With DUSK, written and directed by transgender filmmaker and actor Jake Graf, we arrive at what feels like the stand out of the collection.


As an older transgender man Chris Winters looks back on his lifetime, he considers the choices he has made and the what could have beensif he was born into a different body. The pressures and views of society in the mid to late 1900s paired with the alternate reality in Chris’ head almost give the film a dystopian or science-fiction like atmosphere, but the pressure of feeling like you don’t fit in couldn’t be more real. Although DUSK explores elements of the transgender experience, the film will connect with lots of audiences.


Jake Graf was inspired to make the film after a trans man emailed him about his experience of societal pressure and of not being comfortable with his identity until his 70s.


It was compelling to see how these short films would feel threaded together. As a filmmaker myself they were motivating to watch, and I was moved more than I had anticipated by some of them. It was inspiring to see how these directors and filmmakers brought their own experiences to life. I am curious and excited to work my way back and catch some of BOYS ON FILM’s previous collections.

Pride and Protest

ARE YOU PROUD? by Ashley Joiner

Are You Proud? celebrates Pride, it explores the joys and division of the LGBTQ+ protest movement of then and now

Statement by Ashley Joiner:

A few years ago, when a partner’s mother, a LGBTQ+ activist, asked whether I would be attending Pride, I answered with a resounding “No”. I felt a total disconnect to what I perceived Pride to be. Her response was: “You don’t know your history!”. She was right – I didn’t. I had no knowledge of Section 28 and knew only of rumours and lies regarding the AIDS crisis. Exploring our history has helped me to understand why I grew up as an isolated young gay man filled with shame and fear. I knew I had to make this film in the effort to prevent anyone else feeling that way.  

Are You Proud? is an exploration of a community that has tirelessly campaigned for my existence; the lives and battles fought that aren’t discussed or taught in schools, of a community that I am a part of, and is a part of me. 

This is the film I needed to see when I was a child, and as a young gay man coming out. Making this film has emboldened me to continue the fight that so many have fought before me, and I hope that it encourages others to do the same.


Screenings

There will be Q&A screenings with Ashley Joiner and contributors around the UK from July. The first event is on 2nd July Genesis Cinema Mile End (in association with Fringe Film Fest) follow by 3rd July at Picturehouse Central.

Details https://www.peccapics.com/areyouproud (click on screening tab)

https://www.peccapics.com/product/areyouproud/
With Lady Phyll, Peter Tatchell , George Montague, Ted Brown, Lisa Power, Michael Cashman and more

The Boys Are Back In Town!

All the boys came out to play last night at the launch of BOYS ON FILM: TIME & TIED at Picturehouse Central.

With London finally bringing us a scorching week of sun, many bums still filled up the seats at a SOLD OUT show for the new collection of gay British short films. Patrick Cash, our host for the evening, introduced each of the filmmakers onto the stage. To start off the introduction, Leon Lopez (star of G O’CLOCK, who stepped in for director Mitchell Marion) discussed the chemsex scene and how the director wanted the film to start a conversation within the community. Charlie Parham spoke about the gentrification of Soho and the London scene in NIGHTSTAND.

Following Charlie, directors Brian Fairbairn and Karl Eccleston explored the use of Polari in a way that hadn’t been used before in their comedy PUTTING ON THE DISH. Tom Frederic discusses SAUNA THE DEAD and the zombie as a metaphor for the ways in which we are unable to empathize with the other on an emotional level, caring more for the physical and the sauna being one of the best places to explore this. Producer David McGillivray made a conclusion on the controversial short, TROUSER BAR, and the labour of love that went into making the film and the struggles he faced a long the way. The night was almost complete but unfortunately director Lloyd Eyre-Morgan of CLOSETS could not attend.

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The audience then tuned into a surprise performance from the UK’s hottest girl band, DENIM. In which Charlie Parham (Aphrodite) and Amrou Al-Kadhi (Glamrou) star/writer of NIGHTSTAND, took to the stage with two other DENIM girls (Chrystal and Shirley) and performed a short medley of hits. Be sure to check out their full 2 hour set in upcoming shows across the UK.

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After an hour and forty mins of wigs, heels and a magical journey through time, the audience joined the Peccadillo team and the filmmakers for the afterparty sponsored by the lovely Barefoot Wine. It was great to see all of the audience come back for a drink and discuss the shorts amongst each other. We at Peccadillo want to thank you all for the continuous love and support for the BOYS ON FILM collection and allowing it to grow over the years, BOYS ON FILM 15: TIME & TIED being our biggest release yet. The shorts are touring as part of the POUTfest LGBT Film Tour this summer across the UK, and will be released on DVD and for the first time on Itunes worldwide across all English speaking territories on Sept 12

 

 

Kaurismaki’s – The Girl King

We’ve started the week in regal style with the release of THE GIRL KING now available on DVD and VoD. You can now explore the controversial world of Queen Kristina and find out about her royal scandal from the comfort of your own home.

Typically for the idiosyncratic Kaurismaki, who spent over a decade bringing the film to the screen, THE GIRL KING, is not a straightforward period film. It is not intended as a traditional costume piece but as an intense, actor-centred psychological drama about one of the most interesting an mysterious personalities of all time, explains Karuismaki. Queen Kristina was a revolutionary thinker, a connoisseur of art and science, a precursor of the feminist movement and a strong and visionary politician, a new European.

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This historical epic set in 17th century Sweden is very much a modern tale of a young woman fighting for her freedom and desires. Raised as a prince under a conservative Lutheran court, Kristina began to rule at the age of 18, quickly challenging everyone’s expectations in an all-male court by taking the lead and fearlessly rejecting its conservative rules. When faced between her country, a male suitor and her religion, Kristina caused a scandal when she chose not to marry and instead anointed the alluring Countess Ebba Sparre as her “Bed Companion”. With a love for the philosopher Decartes, Kristina embarks on a journey of self-discovery in which her authenticity and bravery outshone the many obstacles that came her way.

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Directed by the renowned Mika Kaurismaki and led by rising star Malin Buska as the fearless monarch, the film is a powerful story about the importance of staying true to yourself and as Kaurismaki explains: “I hope young people can identify with this film as many are in a similar situation to Kristina and they don’t know what they want to do with their lives. They want to have the freedom to make the right decisions. It is a universal story about how you want to live. It is as resonant today as it was 500 years ago.”