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REVIEW: The Italian Boys – a series of short films

Brian Butler October 30, 2020

New Queer Visions Media has put together a tantalisingly intriguing bunch of five short films looking at young gay love.

As short films usually are, they are not fully-fledged Hollywood style productions but sometimes teasers that could lead to much more development if they are given their wings.

Uproar centres on two young men who divide their time bewteen petty crime and football. It’s moody, and literally dark as its major scene is a murder at night, involving the film director Pier Paolo Pasolini .

Tidal Time with its haunting choral music and wonderful underwater film sequences tells the story of a poor fisherman and his young son Flavio, who nearly drowns . Ten years later, the father who has given up fishing and spends his days mercilessly bludgeoning dead octopuses in a fishery discovers his son is having a gay love affair.

His ensuing violence only ensures that his son will run off with his lover for a new life. It’s a film heavy on symbolism Рthe octopus being a creature that deceives by camouflage.

The Dummy is a totally weird exploration of as I took it , a young man’s journey towards puberty and sexual self-awareness . It features a lifelike shop dummy or mannequin with which the boy becomes fascinated and which eventually comes to life and walks off. Lots of potential here for development and explanation, I felt.

Lazarus Come Out is a  touching story of a middle-aged Catholic priest’s sudden revelation of his queerness, ignited by a young man’s desire to put on a play about the raising of Lazarus in his church, enlisting his beautiful boyfriend to write the script. Lazarus in some writings is thought to have been gay and extremely close to Jesus, and the film maker draws on this theory for this achingly beautiful love story.

Glue is a highly opaque  piece about two young men who seeem to grow towards each other, almost by accident when one is on the rebound from a previous gay liaison. Their midnight swim leads to their separation and the intervention of a trans woman creates a puzzling unresolved ending.

There’s a lot here to be interested in and who knows some maybe further developed. The films are available on Amazon Prime video and Vimeo

Details of how to watch at nqvmedia

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