Boys on Film Youth in Trouble (2013)
All shorts in Movie:
Also separate because of the quality and subtitles:
Prora (Stéphane Riethauser):
In this deserted former Nazi holiday camp and communist military complex, teenagers Jan and Matthieu embark on an adventure that could change everything. Whilst exploring their surroundings they confront their identities and ultimately put their friendship at risk.
This Is Not A Cowboy Film (Benjamin Parent):
Last night, Brokeback Mountain aired on TV. Vincent watched it and found himself emotionally compelled by the story. Whilst chatting with a classmate in the school toilets, he takes advantage of the break to describe the film as only an adolescent can.
Boys on Film: Youth in Trouble is the ninth edition of Peccadillo Pictures’ successful series of gay themed short films. This collection looks around the world to Brazil, Australia, Spain, Switzerland, France, Canada and the UK, to explore the challenges of being a young gay man in a wide variety of scenarios.
At its most interesting Youth In Trouble shows us the inside of an Australian prison, in The Wilding by director Grant Scicluna. Recalling Alan Clarke’s prison masterpieceScum, The Wilding is a gritty and naturalistic short in which two inmates develop an intimate relationship amid a culture of prison violence. The film thrives on its realistic casting, particularly lead Malcolm (Reef Ireland), and it feels that director Scicluna has potential amongst the burgeoning Australian crime cinema.
Pariah director Dee Rees’ intriguing Colonial Gods looks with bite upon the racist treatment of Somali and Nigerian immigrants in Wales. While somewhat meandering in its plotting, this is a rich film in its social commentary, performances and visual ideas. It also makes for a great sonic tapestry of voices, with Arabic, Nigerian and English dialogue spoken in a variety of accents.
The collection occasionally lapses into an excessive tendency for earnestness. Canadian short Deep End does very little to dramatise its moral dilemma, in which young boy Dane struggles with his older brother coming out. Swiss/German filmProra also wears thematically thin in its exploration of sexual tension, on a backdrop of a derelict Nazi holiday camp (presumably a metaphor, but for what exactly?) Brazilian short Family Affair never breaks free of its limited location to say anything pertinent, in spite of its convincingly claustrophobic atmosphere.
However, UK director James Cook creates some incredibly tense moments in psychodrama Together. Though the film suffers from a few directorial missteps (odd angles and overly flamboyant lens choices) and an abrupt twist in the tail, it is clearly made by a director with a sense to entertain.
Spanish director Carlos Montero smartly builds a darkly numerous psychological thriller in Easy Money. The film sees Spanish rent boy Jamie (Mario Casas) in too deep, when he arrives to service a middle aged client who mistakes him for a hitman. Montero brilliantly keeps us guessing for the entire 15 minute duration.
Finally This Is Not A Cowboy Film is a comical tribute to Ang Lee’s Oscar winningBrokeback Mountain. Set entirely in school toilets the film amusingly captures a group of male and female teenagers grappling with the frontiers of sexuality.
Boys on Film: Youth in Trouble is a shorts collection that walks the thin line between issues and entertainment, but when the two coalesce it is a real success.