FILM REVIEW: Only Trumpets

February 6, 2019

Only Trumpets

Directed by Tristan Scott – Behrends

Longing for a touch the casual encounters section cannot satisfy, Tristan, an outsider among outsiders, navigates sex and love in the digital age. The film follows Tristan (played by Xavier Jimenez March) as he looks for fulfilment through dating apps and casual sexual encounters. A glance across the bar leads to an evening of passion with an unnamed angelic equal played by rising star musician and artist Daniel Crook.

This colourful short film of 9 mins from  writer/director by Tristan Scott- Behrends is a delight, it’s bold, tender, and has the just the right amount of poke you quickly between the eyes with some carefully observed narrative about living a gentle Queer Fem life in the world apparently consumed with toxic, demanding and unfulfilling representations of masculinity.  Premiered at 2018 Outfest Film Festival where it was selected at “Best of the Fest” it’s got some NSFW parts, unless of course you work in Prowler in which case stop watching great short films on your phone and serve some customers!

If this all sounds very worthy for a subject topic then it is, but luckily the skilful cinematic breadth of Kelsey Talton filming allows the art involved to wrap the narrative up in this beautiful, beguiling story of one queer man’s search for real connection on the dance floors of  GayMetropolis.   There are echoes of Torch Song Trilogy in the opening scenes and Jean Genet’s framing of bold colour and shadow flow throughout the short film.  The soundtrack washes over us in an otherworldly feeling of just out of grasp music, familiar but strange.

It’s got a delightful brutal hand, is filmed in a candid but dreamy way, it’s tongue so firmly shoved in the cheek it’s gown in, like irony gone cancerous and just when you think the bitterness goes to the bone we witness the surprise of loves’ resurrection. A moment!  That moment when you see him, capital H, capital I, capital M.

This femme male extravagance celebrates sex joyfully and is fluid in its sexual abandonments sensually filled with compassion, affection and attention, although we are still voyeurs of this, of actors  Xavier Jimenez March & Daniel Crook coupling, watching someone else’s pleasure, framed, filmed and presented to us for our consumption. It reflects our loneliness back to us, our search for connection, the isolation of being different on the gay scene.   But hey, let’s fuck the deconstruction and just enjoy the ride.

This is a modern queer parable told with care about the importance of acceptance via unconditional self-love, the triumph of hope over despair and how a night that changes everything, changed nothing.

It ends as it starts – still, reflecting and what seemed to be pathos is now revealed to be an understanding  of the cycles we chose to wind ourselves into.   This ending/beginning referencing our lives, our loves or breaths, out and in, one after another, giving us life, driving us onwards.


You can check it out here.