Boys On Film 19: No Ordinary Boy Review
by Joe Page
Boys on Film is back for its final teen year with No Ordinary Boy. As a pillar of the queer community on screen, the LGBT+ short film series has reached its 19th year and leaves its teenage years behind with a bang.
Michael Joseph Jason John
Director Scott T. Hinson
Following a chance meeting on the subway, two men come into each other’s lives, albeit briefly. The first man, known only as Number 8 is clearly more interested than his lover, as his attempts at learning the hunky second man’s name are evaded.
As Number 8 daydreams about what could have been with his mysterious lover, unaware of the danger he is in. This opening short of the Boys on Film 19: No Ordinary Boy is a chilling reminder to the gay hook up culture to be careful who they let into their lives.
The Fish Curry
Director Abhishek Verma
An animated short follows Lalit as he gets his hair cut and prepares a fish curry for his father. The man has fallen in love and wants his father to know. The problem is that it isn’t one of the girls he has been dreaming about all day, it’s one of the boys.
Director Abhishek Verma has uses a bleak colour theme to capture the isolation gay men may feel when their culture doesn’t accept them, and your heart will go out to Lalit as he gathers his courage to come out to his father in this beautiful illustrated short fllm.
Director Dean Loxton
With the revelation of the MeToo movement headlining our news, Meatoo reveals another group at risk of exploitation and sexual harassment.
In an audition for a part, a young actor is made increasingly uncomfortable by a casting director, whose lascivious stare knows no shame. From the close-ups of the director’s lingering gaze to body shots of the actor, it is clear that he has entered an environment that many will sadly recognise.
Whilst the outcome is left unseen and unspoken, Director Dean Loxton uses subtle screenplay and a far away stare to powerfully reflect the MeToo movement.
Director Amrou Al-KAdhir
Run(a)way Arab follows two points in time as we see a drag queen getting ready for a show and a young Nazeem watching his mother Halima put on her makeup.
After spending no doubt countless hours watching her in the mirror, you can understand how confusing her disdainful reaction is when Nazeem tries her make up for himself. Despite having just asked Nazeem for his opinion on which shoes to wear, his mother instantly scrubs his face and labels his actions indecent.
‘This is the first and last time you do this.’
Director Amrou Al-Kadhi shows how the attitudes of our parents change us, and years later we see the fierce Queen Za Dream, dressed in dangling beads and make-up that reflects her mother in the mirror.
Beyond Here and Now
Director Jannik Splidsboel
A rather sad looking Italian Tony arrives to a ‘cold and grey’ Copenhagen and before long finds himself leered at by one of the locals, Oskar. The two share a drink before heading back to Oskar’s new apartment for an awkward interaction before Tony does a runner.
Amidst the worried looks and cigarettes, it soon becomes clear everything isn’t quite as it seems with Tony when a man enters his hotel room with no name and a set of instructions and before long he’s knocking on Oskar’s door in the middle of the night, much to Oskar’s glee.
The next morning though, Tony goes to work and it seems the only solace he can find on his brutal trip to Copenhagen is with the oblivious Oskar.
Director Jake Graf
In the winter of life, Chris watches children play, reminiscing over the forced choices and dictated gender roles.
Two past lives run side by side as we see the run-up to a fateful night. One, a life that Chris wanted with the love of his life Julie, compared to the life Chris was dealt with.
Dedicated to all of those who could never be their true selves, Dusk is an insightful look into the unheard and under-represented transgender life before social attitudes started to change and is an eye opening, overdue voice for the unspoken.
Blood Out of a Stone
Director Ben Allen
At the start of their first ever date, Michael goes above and beyond with an unconventional task to woo Dan, who is completely out of his comfort zone. An ingenius idea on Michael’s part though as the pair have ample talking points and before long a connection sets in. All you Casanovas out there should write that one down.
Online dating sites and hook-up apps have certainly revolutionised the gay dating scene, making Michael a rare specimen. Audiences will likely be divided though as unfortunately though, the same can’t necessarily be said the same for Dan.
No More We
Director David Färdmar
Hampus and Adrian have come to the end of their relationship. For Hampus it seems to be a bit of a relief that a toxic relationship is finally in its final days but Adrian hasn’t taken it quite so well.
Set in reverse chronological order, we see the couple help themselves and each other through the break-up and Adrian’s sad face and unnoticed attempts at saving the relationship will have you longing for them to kiss and make up.
Unfortunately though, when it’s over, it is over.
Jermaine and Elsie
Director Leon Lopez
In the winter of her life, Elsie is the formidable, somewhat opinionated old lady we all love to see on screen. Whenever a new carer arrives she isn’t afraid to let them know how she feels about the whole sordid situation.
Unfortunately for Jermaine, he is no exception.
Over time the two form a special bond as the ever-patient Jermaine takes Elsie in his stride.
Jermaine and Elsie is a heart warming short about cross-generational friendships and the pain of losing someone too soon.
Director Marco Alessi
Raf likes to dance. Whether it’s in his room with his mate, or at the club whilst he eyes up the boys across the bar.
But what do they see when they are looking back? A mystifying young man dancing like no one is watching, or a try hard who dances because everyone is watching?
With almost no dialogue and a disco pop tune throughout, Four Quartets is the perfect final short as Boys On Film says goodbye to its teenage years.
Another incredible journey from start to finish courtesy of Peccadillo Pictures. Boys on Film 19: No Ordinary Boy will have your heart yearning, wrenching and breaking with each film. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
Are you a big fan of LGBTQ+ cinema? Why not check out our Benjamin film review? The latest on-screen British romance from comedian and director Simon Amstell.
In cinemas March 11th 2019.