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last update 27.Sep.17

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furious desires Furious Desires
This collection of five shorts from Brazil, Mexico and Italy explores the issue of yearning from a series of distinctly off-centre perspectives. All of these films are darkly personal, and they vary in degree of lustiness, sexuality and intensity, ranging from comedy to thriller. But each has something to say both about raw human longing and also the bigger picture of sexuality within society.
release US/UK 26.Sep.17 • 17/US TLA 1h34               18 themes, language, sexuality • 25.Sep.17
The Daytime Doorman   4/5   O Porteiro do Dia
dir-scr Fabio Leal
with Carlos Eduardo Ferraz, Edilson Silva, Fabio Leal, Joao Vigo, Antonio Herbet, Gabriela Miranda
16/Brazil 25m
ferraz and silva
The Daytime Doorman Earthy and relaxed, this short film kind of has two disparate halves. At the centre is sound recordist Marcelo (Ferraz), who has a crush on his doorman Marcio (Silva), a married father of two. But they go out for a day bicycling together, and when Marcelo gets overheated, Marcio gives in. But Marcelo's gay friend Hugo (Leal) is annoyed about this. What follows touches on prejudices that exist within the LGBT community, as a raucous party in the building draws anger from some residents. Leal's filmmaking is boldly unapologetic, never shying away from sex or nudity and making up for a low budget with sharply defined characters and situations. So the central idea of a straight man releasing his inner desires is provocative without being too confrontational. Even so, the film's structure is rather meandering and random, leading to a low-key conclusion that feels gently optimistic.
Xavier   3.5/5  
dir Ricky Mastro
scr Ricky Mastro, Eduardo Mattos
with Andre Guerreiro Lopes, Gregorio Musatti, Netuno Trindade, Rodrigo Audi, Alessa Previdelli, Natan Felix Matiusso
16/Brazil 13m
lopes and trindade
Xavier Without ever pushing its themes, this quietly observational short offers a hopeful approach to what might be considered a tricky situation. It centres on Nicolas (Lopes) and his 11-year-old son Xavier (Musatti). At school, Xavier's teacher is worried because he seems distracted and isolated, only spending time with older boys. And at home, Xavier is far more interested in his older surfer dude cousin Filipe (Trindade) than the flirty female cousin Tais (Previdelli) his own age. So Nicolas decides to tap into the family's musical heritage and write a song letting Xavier know that he loves whoever he turns out to be. Director Mastro shoots this in oblique ways, observing the characters from a distance, which allows him to play cleverly with the sound mix while including lots of silent, curious glances. Obviously, Xavier doesn't understand his own desires, but Nicolas' decision to encourage him rather than to stifle him is powerfully moving.
The Other Side   4.5/5   Al Otro Lado
dir-scr Rodrigo Alvarez Flores
with Eduardo Gomez, Juan Pablo Muro, Giancarlo Ruiz, Marina Carbajal, Edward Coward
16/Mexico 15m
muro and gomez
The Other Side This short may be a bit starkly intense, but it's so strikingly well shot and acted that it really gets under the skin, especially as it weaves together two very big themes. It centres on Felipe (Gomez), a young cashier who befriends the mechanic Claudio (Muro). They enjoy nights out clubbing and days indoors snuggling. But when Claudio's parents catch them, they quickly send Claudio across the border into the USA. And Felipe has little choice but to follow. The film is assembled as a series of sun-drenched flashbacks as Felipe makes his epic journey across the desert. It's earthy and dusty, with a terrific sense of light, sound, colour and physicality. Some of the romantic moments are a little softly focussed, but the connection between these young men feels very real, as does their yearning to find a place where they can be themselves and find happiness. And where this all ends up is seriously emotional, an epic journey in 15 minutes.
The Tiger’s Fight   4/5   El Tigre y la Flor
dir-scr Denisse Quintero
with Hoze Melendez, Jose Pescina, Daniel Rivera, Brenda Castillo, Myriam Bravo
16/Mexico 17m
melendez and pescina
The Tiger's Fight A vivid sense of the setting and culture makes this short film unforgettable. In a Mexican village, the residents prepare for an ancient ritual aimed to end a long drought: the men will dress as tigers and fight each other after giving bright red flowers to their intended women. This year, young Nicolas (Melendez) is participating, training with his friend Pablo (Pescina). But as the fights begin, Nicolas gives his flowers to his friend Santiago (Rivera), so he can offer them to Nicolas' sister Lupita (Castillo). But when Nicolas confesses that he wanted to give his flowers to Pablo, the two have their own private wrestling match. The film is shot to a very high standard, with feature-film production values that sharply place the characters in this cultural situation, which is colourful and fascinating. It's also visually witty, from the lurid red flowers to the tiger masks the boys wear with their stripey onesies. Then in the final scene, the underlying emotions are powerful and clever. The film may feel a little timid, like Pablo, but it's thoroughly engaging.
Loris Is Fine   3/5   Loris Sta Bene
dir Simone Bozzelli
scr Simone Bozzelli, Luca de March
with Andrea Arcangeli, Manuela del Beato, Milutin Dapcevic, Antonetta Marcozzi, Mattia D'Agostino, Lorenzo Picco
17/Italy 23m
Loris Is Fine An experimental short, this film eschews a proper narrative for a series of scenes that piece together to tell a story that has rather provocative implications. It opens with a dreamlike image of 23-year-old Loris (Arcangeli) embracing a king, his boyfriend Valerio, who is HIV-positive. But in the gritty reality of his life in a small flat with his aunt (del Beato), he is planning something. The idea seems to be that he will hook up with an older man (Dapcevic) with the intention of contracting HIV so he can be with Valerio without fear. Loris appears to be completely open about all of this with his aunt, who is strikingly matter-of-fact and wants to meet this unseen Valerio. The film is beautifully shot and edited to let seemingly random scenes tell this story, although other viewers may see an entirely different narrative. This low-key, observant, vague approach is inviting, mainly because there is a constant sense of curiosity about what is going on in Loris' mind. So it's evocative, no matter how you interpret it.

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