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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

TESTOSTERONE: VOLUME ONE - Short Film Collection

TLA released Testosterone: Volume One, a new collection of short films this week, gathering four pieces centring on gay characters from Poland and the USA. The collection starts with Polish film THE END OF MY WORLD 🇵🇱, which follows a man in the wake of his breakup from his boyfriend of six years. Mourning the partner ripped away from him, he meets another man who seems to possess all the qualities that his ex lacked, but for some reason cannot allow himself to move on. A beautiful film that trumpets just how devastating the loss of a partner can be, the narrative is underpinned by an extraordinary score that echos the gravity of this man’s loss. An exquisite short film. Next is American short IT GETS BETTER? 🇺🇸 in which a middle-aged man watches an “It Gets Better” YouTube video whilst ruminating on his own jaded perception of the world, convinced that for him, it really didn’t get better. Delivered as a monologue to camera, the piece is peppered with theatrically lit dance sequences between two muscular men that aim to illustrate this man’s mental anguish. An innovative idea that relies heavily on its gimmick, this is economically but effectively shot, with a strong performance from Gys de Villiers. The third film in the collection is American comedy KILLER FRIENDS 🇺🇸. Three friends have become so sick of their gay roommate’s bitchiness that they invite him on a camping trip, where they intend to murder him. Sassy, obnoxious and oblivious, he accidentally outwits each of their attempts to kill him in a ridiculous farce that flings sight-gags at the camera with expert accuracy and lands its humour with precision. Its acidic lead engages in excellent Regina George-esque cruelty and the exaggerated caper that surrounds him is hilarious. Finally, THE SURF REPORT 🇺🇸 is an American piece about a man whose partner whilst surfing. Every day he sits staring at a live webcam feed of the beach where he disappeared, but when he goes to visit a psychic to find out if he really is dead, the lines between truth, reality and the dead begin to blur. A Lynchian piece in which characters exist on multiple planes, there are many delightfully unanswered questions in this dreamlike and heady slice of filmmaking brilliance. Of the several collections of LGBT short films released in the last few years, this is by far the strongest. All four films are excellent, albeit wholly diverse. The strongest is probably THE SURF REPORT, but all four could easily have taken that title in any other collection. If this is just Volume 1, then role on Volume 2! OUT NOW ON DVD AND ON DEMAND. Click here to watch and for more info.

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