FURIOUS DESIRES - Short Film Collection
Last week saw the release of TLA’s collection of gay short films, Furious Desires. With each film focusing on a different aspect of desire, the five pieces come from Mexico, Italy and Brazil, with each an intriguing slice of what it’s like to be gay in these countries.
The Brazilian DAYTIME DOORMAN kicks off the collection with the story of a gay man who begins an illicit affair with the concierge of his apartment complex. Married and with children, the doorman has never been with a man before, but as their tryst continues, they have to work out what the nature of their relationship is; simply sex or something deeper. An interesting snapshot of a brief period in these characters’ lives, we follow the story from the gay character’s point of view, when maybe it would have been more interesting to view it from the doorman’s.
XAVIER is another Brazilian short, this time following a father who is trying to understand why his young son gravitates toward older boys, refusing to socialise with boys his own age or girls at all. A touching piece about a parent trying to identify with his son, this is a simple but effective film that depicts a nuanced image of childlike desire without any judgement from parent or filmmaker alike.
Mexican THE OTHER SIDE follows Felipe, a young man whose love for Claudio takes him on a perilous journey. Upon discovery of their sexual involvement with each other, Claudio’s family send him across the border in order to split the couple up, so Felipe sets out on foot to follow him. A well-structured and concisely executed short, this is an effective piece that plays on the audience’s involvement with their relationship, while also toying with a non-linear narrative.
THE TIGERS FIGHT, another short from Mexico, shows a group of friends as they prepare for an ancient ritual in their community that marks the start of adulthood. While part of the tradition involves the presentation of flowers to a girl they want to woo, one boy decides to subvert the tradition, wanting instead to give the flower to his best friend. A fascinating piece about an unusual localised tradition, it gives commentary on the importance on these traditions to small communities, whilst also showing how hard it is for someone unconventional to comply with them.
The selection concludes with LORIS IS FINE, an Italian film that begins as Loris, a twenty-three year old man who has recently learned that his boyfriend is HIV+, is waiting for a man he has met online. Their encounter is intended to infect him with HIV. Believing that by infecting himself he will be able to prove his love, Loris later begins to realise that maybe his decision was a lot more foolish than he initially imagined. With the story played against the domesticity of his family with whom he lives, this is film that shows just how irrational love can be.
Altogether, the collection sticks strongly to its central theme. Desire drives characters to do many things; whether it’s a perilous journey or deliberately contracting HIV, each piece depicts how desire can become all-consuming and the fervently intense motive for everything you do. The strongest piece is probably The Other Side, but all are strong LGBT shorts.