LOVE: AUGMENTED - Short Film Collection
Updated: Jul 13
Love Augmented is a new collection of short films from Mattioli Productions, available to watch on streaming platform FilmDoo. With five short films from the US, the collection features films featuring and created by people from across the spectrums of gender and sexuality. We see a man trying to bulk up to distract from his demons, a woman on the verge of a breakdown, romance at a strip joint, MISSING and a killing spree at a dystopian wayside brothel. There’s a LOT to get your teeth into here, with films all produced by visionary pioneer A.J. Mattioli. So let’s take a look at each of the films.
Starring: Linus Ignatius, Blake French, Crystal Ward.
Director: Linus Ignatius.
A young man is feeling small and trying to bulk himself at the gym to make himself feel more significant. Obsessively charting his gains and drinking repugnant protein concoctions, he is trying to make his presence felt with a HIV diagnosis hanging over his head. A darkly comic yet subtle short that speaks little but says a lot, it delves deep into masculinity and male body image. With long observational shorts that linger long enough to expose the absurdity of the fitness industry without poking fun, its lead (who also wrote and directed the piece) is eminently relatable and an Everyman for anyone who felt inferior in the gym.
HOW TO FOLD A FITTED SHEET (USA)
Starring: May Kelly, Franchesca Davis, Jesse Regis.
Director: Tony Clemente Jr.
Bellamy is having a terrible day. She’s being deported back to Britain, her girlfriend won’t help her get a green card, she can’t access her bank account and now she can’t seem to fold her fitted sheet. As the pressure mounts, she comes apart at the seams. A comedy told through clever editing that weaves time narratives together, the story focuses on the phone call to her bank, which is hilariously identifiable as the customer service agent makes her jump through GDPR hoops and whose affability thinly veils his corporate disregard for humanity. Witty, whimsical and playful, this is a fun short that will make you wonder how exactly one folds a fitted sheet...
NEON BOYS (USA)
In a New York gay club, go-go boy Ricky falls for the new recruit Shawn, who is recently released from prison and straight. He’s there to make money to see his daughter, from whom he is estranged. As the two get closer and their relationship develops, so too does Shawn’s increasing realisation that being with a man will not help his chances of a reunion with his daughter. A sweet short about doomed romance, this is mostly played out in the rooms of a nightclub with the two earnestly browbeating in their underwear. With his trials mounting, Shawn is the realisation of the downtrodden who have been dealt a raw hand and for whom it is impossible to pull out the other side. Despite its neon-drenched jockstraps, its characters are so universal that I defy anyone to not feel for them as the situation snowballs.
Starring: Lucas Iverson, Franchesca Davis, Jesse Regis
Director: Tony Clemente Jr.
In a series of brief vignettes we follow Darren as he tries desperately (or hopelessly) to make a connection with someone, regardless as to who it is. Performed entirely without dialogue, each moment toes the line between fantasy and reality as he works his way through scores of encounters across all sexes. A sweet and fun little film, it’s worth every second of its five minute runtime.
INNOCENT BOY (USA)
Starring: Unique Jenkins, Kamy Bruder, Michael Vincent Berry, Ian Michaels.
Director: Brock Cravy.
In a trash-filled crack-den in a forgotten Texan backwater, the terrifying drag Momma lives with a group of hustlers, who prey on their customers to fund their addictions. When a murderous cowboy appears, a young trans boy sees the opportunity to feed his rage-filled hunger. Drenched in pink and blue neon, this grim short feels like a twisted fairy tale, where Momma is the wicked queen and the graffitied walls and waist-deep trash her kingdom. From grown men thirsting for milk at her teet, to whimpering old women mewling for their next hit, this is the stuff of dystopian nightmares masterfully composed like a screamingly alive Lachapelle photograph. Underscored by a menacingly electro beat, this feels like an exposé of the underbelly of the underbelly, where squalor and butchery is art. This is bleak but fascinating, disgusting yet beautiful, repellent but achingly moreish.
OUT NOW TO WATCH ON DEMAND. AVAILABLE ON FILMDOO.
Click here to watch and for more info.