27 October 2015

Abrase (2015)

Abrase (2015)

Director: Toshadeva Palani
Writer: Toshadeva Palani
Genre: Short movie
Country: USA
Language: English
Duration: 8 min
Year: 2015

Stars: Christian Adams, Michael Bordenave

Powerful and psychedelic. Abrase is the transparent picture of the fading love of two men, remembered. Prepare yourself to be deeply lost in an ephemeral tale and efflorescent images. Sadly, this title does not have an official Internet address. All we know is that Abrase was directed by Toshadeva Palani, and starring Christian Adams and Michael Bordenave.

The fading love of two men, remembered. A relationship once vivid, now dissipating into a fog of partial remembrance; the memories of heartbreak and loss that bend and change as the years go by.

Abrase | Short Film from Toshadeva Palani on Vimeo.

24 October 2015

Ruben (2012)

Ruben (2012)

Director: Thijs Verhoeven 
Writers: Hans Arendshorst
Genre: Drama, Short, Short Movie
Country:  Netherlands
Language: Dutch
Duration: 14 min
Year: 2012

Stars: Erick Brons, Anneli van der Hulst, Jim de Groot

This movie is about a young boy Ruben in search of his homosexuality and experience harassment & violence from where the problems of acceptance begins. He found out his love for boys when he has a date with Mike. His parents and little sister don't know about his struggle and harassment at school. This film is going to be used in education for acceptance of homosexuality and against violence.

20 October 2015

Wasp (2015)

Wasp (2015)

Director: Philippe Audi-Dor
Writers: Philippe Audi-Dor
Genre: Drama
Country:  France, Lebanon, Switzerland, UK
Language: English
Duration: 72 min
Year: 2015

Stars: Hugo Bolton, Elly Condron, Simon Haycock

Olivier (Simon Haycock) takes his boyfriend James (Hugo Bolton) on a romantic break to his house in the South of France. Whilst is France they bump into Caroline (Elly Condron), an old friend of James’ who has been dumped by her boyfriend. The couple agree to let Caroline join them for their vacation but Olivier is less than happy at having a third person around for the duration. As the days go by Olivier and Caroline clash but soon they realise their dislike of each other may actually be covering up something more surprising.
Wasp is the feature-length debut of Swiss writer/director Philippe Audi-Dor. The film features only three actors and takes place in and around a beautiful house in Gordes, Provence. One of the first things you notice is that Wasp is incredibly understated and that’s definitely one of its strengths. Audi-Dor doesn’t feel the need to make his characters veer off onto monologues to move the plot along and often the silences in the film speak volumes about the characters.
The central plot focuses on the arrival of Caroline into the midst of Olivier and James’ romantic break. Early on in the movie Caroline questions whether either men have been with a woman before and Olivier confesses he has but not since he came out. It’s established early on that the strong-willed Caroline is happy to push whatever buttons she needs to in order to get a reaction and despite an initial dislike between her and Olivier, the two characters start to be drawn to one another.
It’s at this point that the film gets really interesting. We’ve seen countless films exploring closeted characters that are attracted to the same sex but we’ve never seen a film before where a man who identifies as gay begins to question if he is indeed gay or possibly bisexual. The way the story unfolds is really intriguing and we commend Audi-Dor for doing something different and unexpected. The tension that builds between Olivier and Caroline does so expertly and at a believable pace.
We really don’t want to give too much else away about the plot but all we’ll say is that there are plenty of surprising twists and turns as you head to Wasp’s climax. Audi-Dor has assembled a stellar cast for the movie with all of the leads equal to one another in terms of their performance. Simon Haycock does a great job of conveying Olivier’s conflict through his emotive performance and he has superb chemistry with both Hugo Bolton and Elly Condron. Bolton makes what could have been a fairly flighty role rather meaty and Condron has great fun playing the devilishly manipulative Caroline. The trio works really well together and they really excel in the scenes where the tension threatens to boil over.
Audi-Dor, who wrote the movie and directed it, also deserves special comment for what he’s achieved. The film doesn’t feel low budget and the cinematography captures the stunning location really well. It’s not easy to make a film with only three actors compelling and whilst this could work well as a play, Audi-Dor’s direction makes it an intriguing character study and he gets superb performances from his actors.
Wasp isn’t due to be released until Spring 2015 and we think you should be making a note in your diary to see it now. With strong central performances, an interesting and original premise, and stunning direction it’s a film that took us by complete surprise. We’ll be keeping an eye on Audi-Dor to see what he does next and we’ll also be closely watching the careers of Simon Haycock, Hugo Bolton and Elly Condron.
Source: entertainment-focus.com

The Young and Evil (2008)

The Young and Evil (2008)

Director: Julian Breece 
Writers: Julian Breece
Genre: Short movie
Country:  USA
Language: English
Duration: 15 min
Year: 2008

Stars: Vaughn Lowery, Diana Elizabeth Jordan, Reggie Watkins, Eric Pumphrey, Mark Berry

The five-year-old black gay short film, The Young and Evil, recently resurfaced online as a cautionary tale for gay men of all ages. The intention may have been to garner sympathy for the main character, instead it comes off as a horror movie chronicling the origin of a villain.

Directed by Julian Breece, the film tells the story of an 18-year-old black gay teenager Karel Andrews (excellently portrayed by Vaughn Lowery) living life on the edge. Burdened with caring for his debilitated mother and be an Out homosexual in an urban neighborhood, Karel adopts a lifestyle of dangerously causal unprotected gay sex. Upon hearing the news from a doctor that he tested HIV negative despite his risky sexual activity, the young man reveals that he actually wants to contract the virus.
“My favorite thing in this world is to get fucked,” he tells the doctor, “I like getting fucked so hard, I don’t know who I am when it’s over. I like high-risk, sometimes HIV infected cum. and I’m not giving it up.”
This is where the short film derails. One could speculate through subtext that Karel wanted to be punished for his sexuality, for being gay. One could speculate that Karel was turned on by the thrill-seeking adrenaline rush of engaging in high risk sex. One could speculate that Karel just didn’t care about life in general so he lived it like each day was his last.
The problem with all of that speculation is the filmmakers leave all of the heavy lifting for the audience instead of carrying the weight themselves. This is a trend that is heavily adopted in black gay short films and web series.
It’s never made clear why Karel lives the way he does. Throughout this short film we just see random scenes of a character likely created based on the writer reading a newspaper or blog headline. The internal conflicts and motivations of the main character is never really examined at all. This is a huge oversight given the fact that Karel is depicted to be so self destructive. It turns out the writers devoted most of their attention in building the character Naaman, played by Mark Berry.

As Karel continues his quest to become HIV positive (seriously, this is the ridiculous premise of the short), he finds his way into a dark candlelit sex party. It’s here that he sees Naaman, an older man in his 40s that Karel recognizes from an online video of men speaking on their positive HIV status.
Karel follows the live-in maintenance man of the complex, Naaman, down to the basement of the building where he tries to seduce him. The more reserved elder man of the two clearly recognizes the game that Karel is attempting to play, opting to try to talk sense into the teenager instead.
What follows is a amazingly brilliant, superbly acted and well written pair of scenes that (almost) makes us forget about the shortcomings of the previous dozen. Seeing Naaman reluctantly resist the young man’s advances as Karel quickly calls audibles to adjust his plays was more engaging than any scene in any black gay web series to date.
By the end, however, we’re still left scratching our heads. What did we just see and what was the point of it all?
Was the message: Avoid unprotected sex? If so, Karel was an HIV negative man who wanted to be positive, unprotected sex was the best means to an end in his case.
Was the message: Beware of older HIV positive sexual predators? If so, Naaman did his damnedest to avoid sex with the teenager at all costs until he reluctantly gave in to unrelenting advances. The younger HIV negative man was the predator here. On top of that, whose to say the older man didn’t eventually grab a condom before giving in when all was said and done? The scene cuts off before that moment so Karel may have done all that for nothing.
The only points and messages I could muster from watching this film was:
– Black Gay men love sex, lots of it. Especially unprotected sex.
– Black gay men are weak and self destructive. (even our Naaman eventually gives in to temptation)
This short had to potential to examine possible causes for dangerous lifestyles and behaviors. It could have examined the larger issue of depression in the black gay community. It could have delved into the pressures young black gay men face in urban communities, which often leads to depression and/or risky sexual activities.
The story of Karel was essentially the origin story of a killer or predator. In the context of the world created, we know that once he reached his HIV positive goal, he would continue to have unprotected sex and possibly infect others. That is the only thing that explains his intentional efforts to become infected himself, to infect others. If suicide was his goal, there are much more effective ways to kill yourself. Especially since HIV is not the death knell that it once was.
So if you view The Young and Evil as a horror film (with emphasis on ‘evil’), it works well as a prequel to a larger and more interesting story. Still, given its shortcomings, the skilled directing, strong acting performances and amazing last couple scenes of the film make this a must see.

16 October 2015

Perpetual (2015)

Perpetual (2015)
Morke Rum (original title)

Director: Peter Lavrsen 
Writers: Flemming Klem, Jakob Thomsen, Peter Lavrsen 
Genre: Drama, Short, Short Movie 
Country:  Denmark
Language: Danish
Duration: 26 min 
Year: 2015

Stars: Mads Hjulmand, Sofie Topp-Duss, Nicolas Wollesen

Morke Rum (Perpetual) is an unconventional love story that centers around a private booth at a seedy sex club. The young Sebastian explores his sexuality and seeking sex/love online. He meets the older Jacob, who takes him to a sex club. In the new and frightening surroundings Sebastian surrender and in their subsequent meetings love sprouts, at least for Sebastian. Outside the darkness of intense togetherness, the reality penetrates. Jacob is full of lust and not love. So when Sebastian’s hopes are disappointed and Jacob pulls away, Sebastian return to the dark room to restore the lost with a stranger.

15 October 2015

Kiss Me Softly (2002)

Kiss Me Softly (2002) 
"Kus me zachtjes" (original title)

Director: Anthony Schatteman
Writer: Anthony Schatteman
Genre: Short movie
Country: Belgium
Language: Dutch, Flemish
Duration: 16 min
Year: 2002

Stars: Ezra Fieremans, Tim Bogaerts, Marijke Pinoy 

17 year old Jasper lives in a very grey, small town. In his family, he cannot be himself. Jaspers dad is a singer, named Lukkie Luk. All the attention in the family goes to his career. Jasper searches a way to handle this and is faced with the typical questions in the live of an adolescent. Questions that will not be answered when he stays in his own routine.

14 October 2015

Alex and the Imps (2015)

Alex and the Imps (2015)

Director: Ryan Grippi 
Writers: Ryan Grippi 
Genre: Short Movie 
Country:  USA
Language: English
Duration: 13 min 
Year: 2015

Stars: Josiah Jacoby, Klein Wong, Rodner Saldago, Kara Goldberg

Alex and the Imps is a coming of age story about a teen magician coming to terms with who he is and learning to love himself for it in a world where everyone is against him. Inspired by the "It Gets Better Project" this story is a salute to the unusual qualities in all of us that make us who we are.

La dérade (2011)

Director: Pascal Latil 
Writers: Pascal Latil 
Genre: Short movie 
Country:  France
Language: French
Duration: 24 min 
Year: 2011

Stars: Valérie Vogt, Yoann Moëss, Adrien Stasiulis

Two lovers talking on a beach in France. One hides the fact that he is in need of a heart transplant. He knows that someone has to die so that he may live. But to find out who it was that died so that he may live.

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