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last update 13.Dec.18

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Male Shorts: International V2 Male Shorts: International V2
The collection of five films is predictably a mixed bag, but aside from the somewhat dodgy opening clip, the other four are well worth a look for the emotional resonance they manage to stir up. Each of these shorts presents its characters naked and vulnerable, looking for intimacy in places that may or may not be healthy. The point is that these men need a connection that's not easy to make.
release US/UK 11.Dec.18 • 18/US Breaking Glass 1h32               18 themes, language, violence, sexuality, drugs • 12.Dec.18
Free Fall   2/5   Caída Libre
mazo and tilano dir-scr Santiago Henao Velez
with Daniel Banol Mazo, Julian Tilano, Miguel Angel Carmona, Alejandro Suarez, David Gomez, Luis Fernando Casas
18/Colombia 14m
Free Fall Sharply well shot and edited to capture the internal thoughts and feelings of a young guy working the streets, this Colombian short is quietly involving. It centres on 16-year-old Jhony (Mazo), who while working as a vendor in the market square in Medellin picks up an older man and takes him to a gay sauna. His life continues as a string of tricks, while he tries to get the attention of Cristian (Tilano), a young guy he likes. Finally Jhony manages to get some time to hang out with Cristian, feeling the flutter of attraction but unsure whether it's reciprocated. Ominous music and prowling camerawork reveal filmmaker Velez's thoughts about this subculture (as does the film's title), making the film feels somewhat preachy. It's the kind of film that reinforces the idea that gay man are incapable of finding happiness, doomed to have a series of grim encounters with ugly old men. Despite the edgy filmmaking, the material feels dated and harsh. And it's pretty horrific if this is how life is in Colombia.
Enter   4/5  
enter dir Manuel Billi, Benjamin Bodi
scr Manuel Billi
with Felix Maritaud, Raphael Fournier, Manuel Billi, Pavel Danko, Alexei Mitelberg Fisher, Jean-Loic Francois
18/France 18m
enter Opening with clips from a vintage silent vampire movie, this French short cuts to a young man welcoming a group of guys into his flat for an orgy. One of the guests, M (Fournier), isn't quite sure about this, and locks himself in the bathroom to regain his equilibrium. In the bathtub he finds a sleeping man, R (Maritaud), whom he knows rather well. Both are feeling rather inebriated, but they also begin to reconnect. This artful film is strikingly shot with clever angles that add to both the internal lives of the characters and the connections between them. The connection between R and M isn't completely clear, and plays out in a playfully zoned-out way that's relaxed, funny and sensual. But since they're both naked, there's an instant intimacy that adds a spark of intrigue, feeding into the emotional link they clearly share. Their conversation is profound and moving. And where this goes from here is somewhat surprising and provocative. And by never pushing a message or moral, it has a lot to say.
Sr. Raposo   3.5/5  
Sr. Raposo dir-scr Daniel Nolasco
with Cassio Borges, Delcides Neto, Diodi Lucas, Geovaldo Souza, Jerry Gilli, Jonnatas David
18/Brazil 23m
Sr. Raposo A freeform collage with a dramatic core, this film uses a godlike voiceover narration to recount the story of Acacio, who in 1995 had happy dreams of a beautiful life with a man and a woman. Images are beautifully shot in picturesque locations, as Acacio (Souza) imagines this life, unable to imagine going back. But he also knows that he's actually alone, not afraid of dying but afraid of getting sick after being diagnosed as HIV-positive. When he starts losing weight, he's sure his time has come and decides to throw a big party to celebrate his last birthday. The film describes his daily life, the men he meets (some of whom turn and speak to the camera). Eroticism ranges from witty fetishes to porn videos in the background. This gets rather surreal, as a wide range of guys are included, some interacting with Acacio and others not, and the narration then switches point of view. The voiceovers are expressionless as they adds details and perspective to the story, and filmmaker Nolasco cleverly includes some media fear-mongering along with a matter-of-fact positive message about the ripples of life.
Haze   4/5   Ocaso
goldman and yaari dir-scr Bruno Roger
with Bruno Bento, Carlos Oliveira, Marina Vianna, Bruno Reis, Gabriel Lima, Lucas Gibi
18/Brazil 21m
bento and oliveira Languidly following two young men as they get up, shower and go to work. They live in very different situations: the student has a nice flat, the construction worker shares a dumpy room. The builder is working on a major project, and enjoys a quiet lunch, while the student listens to a lecture about the use of city space. The film is basically silent, with little dialog, observing these men without comment. The architectural lecture offers some context, touching on how buildings affect people and communities. But filmmaker Roger leaves these things hanging in the air, building a nice sense of expectation about when these two men will meet. Sure enough, at dusk they find themselves seated near each other on the edge of the bay, sharing a cigarette before moving on to a local bar. Even with its quiet rhythms, where this goes is somewhat surprising, as the story embraces both light and dark aspects of life for these two young men. The film may feel somewhat breezy and unsubstantial, but it's very nicely shot and acted to get beneath the skin.
Twice   4/5   Due Volte
twice dir Domenico Onorato
scr Valentina Gamna
with Francesco Arico, Salvatore Alfano, Cristina Cappelli, Silvia Frasson, Rita Davide, Roberta De Stefano
18/Italy 15m
Twice There's a quiet, yearning tone to this short film, which focuses on Diego (Arico), an unconfident 17-year-old who draws strength from his best friend Antonio (Alfano), a cocky rich kid. Antonio likes the attention, but pushes Diego to develop his masculine side and find a girlfriend. On a night out they meet the sexy, earthy Maria (Capelli), and Diego thinks she's the one who can prove to Antonio that he's a real man. Where this evening goes is seriously haunting, as things take a very dark turn that brings up some powerful emotions. The film is beautifully shot in an offhanded way that captures the youthful energy of the characters. Cutting back and forth between outdoor antics and attending church with his mother (Frasson), the film gets under Diego's skin to reveal a complex, troubled soul. His prayers to the Virgin Mary, insisting that he's not gay, obviously reveal the truth about him. As does the way he looks at Antonio. But Antonio just wants his friend to stay the same as when they were little boys. It's a potent comment on the pressures on young people from a society that, with everything that comes along, tells them they don't belong.

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