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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

THE MALE GAZE: FIRST KISS - Short Film Collection

The first instalment in The Male Gaze collections from NQV Media gathers pieces from all over the world, starting in Sweden, ending in France and travelling via Indonesia, the USA and Australia en route.

NAKED depicts two best friends dealing with their feelings for each other after they ended up having sex after a night out. Feelings of guilt, resentment and affection conflict within them both as they try to resolve how they feel and what it means for the future. A nuanced character piece that only reveals what happened between them in fragments, this is a subtle film about sexual identity that takes its time to let its characters breathe.

PRIA follows a young man in Indonesia who has fallen in love with his male English teacher and does not want to marry the girl his mother has arranged for him. With a heart-wrenching central performance, this is a fascinating snapshot of a society where homosexuality is a massive taboo but successfully shows the humanity of the needs and desires of both him and his mother. With stunning visuals of both the landscape and their traditions, this is a very strong offering from director Yudho Aditya.

WALK WITH ME sees two strangers meet on the street and agree to go on a first date together. With one just visiting the city and the other a local, their whirlwind evening together tug-a-wars back and forth between brazen spontaneity and adult pragmatism as they decide whether to throw caution to the wind based on this electric night together. A beautiful rumination on living in the now, this is a brief encounter movie like Before Sunrise or Weekend that hits all the right notes.

ONE NIGHT ONLY shows a flamboyant young man and his best friend who go to meet a man he has arranged to hook up with at a party. Dressed in glitter and makeup, the pair feel amazing about themselves until they arrive at a ‘civilised’ party where the people are smart and his date says he isn’t into “femme guys”. Underlining the importance of being truthful to oneself, this is a film that places the gender non-conformity of 2019 alongside the rigidity of the past and does a great job in exposing it for what it is, without a Gen Z-er ever having to climb atop a soapbox.

TAPETTE is a hilarious French comedy about a man confronted with ideas about his masculinity when confronted with the fact he is as afraid of mice as his girlfriend. When his friend suggests that he might be gay, he decides to fully test his sexuality, with a torrent of comedic situations as a result. Un-politically correct but refreshingly frank, this is a very French depiction of sexual exploration with a c’est la vie attitude that makes for very amusing viewing.

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