BOYS ON FILM 2
In Too Deep
5 060018 651637
The title of this collection In Too Deep (sounds, well, it is, a bit ‘nudge-winkery’, but the reference is to one contribution (Kali Ma), set near a swimming pool, and implicitly to some sexual / emotional encounters in the nine movies on offer here. Two are from the USA, both set in New York City, two from Australia both set in Sydney, and one each from Sweden, Canada, France, Mexico (Bramadero, a word meaning number of – ambiguous – things. It is practically a dance piece, two beautiful men meet, it is hardly social-realism, maybe it is ‘magic realism’ in a building which was either abandoned in mid-build, or possibly it is on a major public holiday but the occupied buildings we see are not en fête; no bunting, no banners, no people, and is deserted. The men have sex, and… stirring… it is). The actors and director, as in the rest if these reviews, will be unnamed, as they are available on Peccadillo’s website.
Canada’s and one of Australia’s contributions are very short, The Island shows the Director-performer, (Trevor Anderson) trudging through northern Alberta, the snow is deep, but so packed he can walk on it – for a person from damp, ‘temperate’ Ireland, it’s just a bit seeing him walk on water. ‘The island’ is imaginary, a macho man phoning-into a US talk show suggested that all “homos” should be dumped on an island to “give each over AIDS”, and die out. Do such people think we breed? Where do Gay women fit in? And are there no bigots in Canada? If there are, no Canuck seems prepared to own up to it. While going walkabout in snowy Alberta Trevor daydreams about this “homo Utopia”, at which point the film bursts into full glorious [Techni(?)]color and animation. The full northerners’ nonsense notions about warm countries comes in full spate. Sun, check; sex, check; sangria, or vino anyway, check. There are no typhoons, hurricanes, or tsunamis. This too-short short is a real charmer.
Love Bite involves two teenage blokes (mid / late teens), in one of their bedrooms, smoking a spliff. One attempts to tell the other, very handsome, bloke, that he has a secret. For some reason said bloke thinks he is queer and is disgusted, a wee piece unlikely in a major Oz city these days, but let that particular hare sit — the boy is a werewolf. The end of the vid is very gory. The performers are Will Field and Aidan Calabria. The other item is Working It Out about the problem of a couple in a commercial gym, one is consumed with jealousy. His partner tries to calm him down. The chap isn’t having it, he is the sort of person who ‘dresses’ for the Gym, his ensemble is red, including a baseball cap he wears reversed. (Is this a ‘dig’? The fashion among US teens died the death about 1990.) Needless to say Mr. Jealous is the one who gets off with the guy who joined them on their exercise machines. The tale is a bit glib, the performers were not terribly engaging and gyms are not very photogenic. This is not an ex cathedra statement, probably everybody else who has watched this little comedy of modern manners thought it was hilarious. I was slightly bored, and would have gone on to the next item, if i were not in ‘reviewer’ mode. The actual next (and last) ‘item’ was Futures & Derivatives.
It was interesting because one could barely grasp the gist of the thing. It is, on the face of it, about a portly ‘businessman’ trying to impress a (very Big Business)-man on how up to speed is the accountancy (?) firm he works for. It isn’t, really. An outside expert is brought in to put a ‘presentation’ onto DVD, said ‘expert’ works through the night. There’s an arnacho-hippie under that suit’n’tie. He creates a serviceable DVD, though it also contains images of calm seas and cloud formations. He decorates the office walls with large paper flowers and other decs. Which turn-on the office drones when they arrive the next morning. Mr. Big, Mister Beauchamp (pronounced ‘bo champ’) seems to be able to take all the extraneous effects in his stride, and the contract (content unspecified) is given to the company.
Lucky Blue refers to a budgerigar, the pet of a travelling family, ‘carnival’ workers, in Sweden. An image of Lasse, the cute son of the family, is on the cover of this vid, behind his shoulder is the back of Kevin (Kevin? – in Sweden?) the tall, slender, blond boy he lusts after. The end of the yarn has Lasse singing a silly love song to Kevin. It is, officially, a contribution to a ‘talent show’ – the boys kind-of get away with it. And, implicitly, live happily ever after. Yes, it is sweet, but not tooth-, or mind-rottingly so.
The puzzlingly named Cowboy, from Germany, features an estate agent or surveyor, played by Oliver Scherz, sizing up a farm that has fallen on hard times; rusty machinery, a house dissolving into the overgrown vegetation. He encounters the only resident, a beautiful wild boy; tall, slender, blue-eyed, blond (any devout Nazi’s wet dream, possibly more than metaphorically), played by Pit Bokowski, (info for impatient persons who may want to Google his ‘particulars’ asap). They meet at the ruined farmhouse and out-buildings and engage in interestingly explicit sex, the wild boy remains on the farm while the estate agent drives away to his city home, and girlfriend.
Weekend in the Countryside features the lovely Théo Frilet and Pierre Moure, and a ‘mature’ man who seems to be the owner of the farm, or small estate, the two young men are staying on. The narrative is slightly off-centre. Théo’s character is afraid of the dogs the man keeps. The latter is relaxed about the matter, (it is not stated – but the great Napoléon was, after all, – terrified of cats), but Pierre Moure’s character, apparently is not. Théo / Charles, goes to swim in the nearby river and encounters the three barking dogs. He takes to his heels, trips, and takes up a self-defensive, fœtal, posture, lying on the ground. The dogs’ master calls them off and apologises. Théo leaves the town by train, the other young man goes to the station, and sneers through the train window, “pedé”, Englished as “faggot”, but he had approached Charles in the shower. He placed his hand on Charles’s (rather lovely) bosom – and was, gently, rejected. So who was the queer? This is an interestingly ambiguous ending – it probably would not be as effective in the Anglosphere. It’s not that we are ‘superior’, or more ‘advanced’, we are actually more crude. Think of the situation bisexuals find themselves in, in the US and the UK, despite the – English, in particular, taking a high and mighty attitude to ‘America’. Incidentally, this isn’t ‘Anglophobia’, a Mortal Sin according to Ireland’s ‘revisionists’, – it is a observable fact of sexual culture.
Kali Ma is set in New York City, and features what is (or was) called in the US an ‘East Indian’ mother and son i. e. not a Native ‘Red Indian’ (a designation deeply resented by Native Americans). ‘Ma’ is played by Kamini Khanna, who is, well… oblong She is seen, in the opening scenes dancing, singing – and cooking. Almost simultaneously, it seems, we see her son in, presumably his High School, ogling a honkie athlete (?) showering. He then goes to the
locker room and changes his clothes, we see his (Manish Dayal)’s fine, quite athletic, body. There is a close-up of his neat bum, wrapped in his gunks (underpants for the uncultured). He gets beaten up by a honkie (Brendan Bradley) and is seen lying in the locker room with messages written all over his naked body. One is the ambiguous “Property of Kit” (it may not be ‘Kit’ as Manish’s lovely neck is not flat), “Fag” is prominent. ‘Kit’, if my well-out-of-prescription specs are not failing me, is not the boy in the shower.
This is where cuddly ‘Ma’ (I hope this isn’t a Hindi or Urdu word) becomes ‘Kali’ (goddess of destruction and even death). This has happened before, and her son had told her the bullying was a thing of the past. She is seen martially tramping to the house of the honkiie boy, (on a rather grand Estate / Scheme, the kitchens are 21st century ‘state of the art’ (yes; I live in a hovel)). When she raps on his door, he (Brendan Bradley) is sneerily amused. He makes crude remarks about the boy he enjoys bullying. She chases him around his own house, and and out into a swimming pool area. There they have a (very funny) fight, choreographed by Ron Keller of KFX Entertainment. Miraculously, she ties him to a metal chair with her pashmina, and tosses him into the pool.
Her son (his name is spoken in the course of the action, but I can’t interpret it, yes, not merely poverty stricken, but ancient too) appears at this point. He dives into the water, unties ‘Kit’ and revives him.
In the next scene, the boys (in the same now very dry-looking, clothes they were seen wearing in the course of the action are sat at a table. ‘Ma’ places the feast she has prepared before them. Then orders them to “EAT!” They look slightly rebellious at first, but when she barks the order at them, they grab – at the same piece of bread. Neither of them really objects to this improper piece of table manners.
What happens next is left to the viewers’ imagination[s] – fevered in my case…
This wee gem, sorry for the cliché, – but it is, – was “Written and Directed by Soman Chainani, and was “Made in partial fulfillment of the Degree Requirements of the MFA [Master of Fine Arts – we hope] Film Program at Colombia (New York City – we hope, arís – upstart]. Not being familiar with Indian sub-continent languages, and too idle to ‘Google’, we don’t know this person’s gender, (possibly a Gay man?)
If this spritely, professional-looking movie is only ‘partially’ part of a Colombia University degree, they are clearly worth having.
There is one slip in continuity, as noted above. Other ambiguities are meant to be there.