FILM REVIEW: The Male Gaze- Three’s Company

Brian Butler September 20, 2021

Three’s a party, three’s a challenge, three’s a threat, and three’s a sexual adventure . Those clever distributors at nqv media have put together a disturbing, intriguing and sometimes funny set of short international films with the theme of Three’s Company.

Golden Boys introduces us to three 30-something men who break into their old private school to recapture their adolescence. But not all the memories are good ones and they have to come to terms with the melancholy dark side of their past.

In Breaking Cells, two couples – Rico and Eva and Friedrich and Julia seem to be having a whale of a time camping in the forest. But when Friedrich’s repressed sexuality surfaces things take a dramatic and unhappy turn for the worst.

The Middle Of the Lake starts with a family gathering behind their butcher’s shop to honour the memory of the family’s patriarch after his cremation. But when son Vincent announces he will leave unexpectedly early with his boyfriend Olivier, the news ignites a barely- covered anger in his brother Thierry. Can it be reconciled in the name of their dead father ?

The most disturbing of this collection is Gilles , which deals with stereotypical enmity, prejudice and violence towards a perceived threat. The victim is a Gay man who trying to keep the peace unleashes hateful and brutal violence in the two men he meets in the street. It’s a truly shocking story, that is all too common.

Kiko’s Saints is sexually explicit escapism with graphic full-frontal scenes. Kiko is a Japanese illustrator on an assignment in France who chances upon the sexscapades of two bearded muscle bears among the sand dunes. Her obsessive voyeurism leads to unexpected results and an escape from her manipulative marriage. Its clever melding of realism and Manga is beautifully depicted.

With Thelma is a touching, warm and funny story of unexpected parenthood. When 3-year-old Thelma is separated from her parents because of a volcanic eruption grounding all planes, two Gay men -Jean and Vincent – agree to look after her. Its light comedy points up a truth that there may be a parent lurking in all of us. Star of the piece is Thelma Balboni – she loves the camera and the camera loves her.

The films are available via