THE AUSSIE BOYS - Short Film Collection
The Aussie Boys is the new short film collection from NQV Media, continuing their series of LGBT+ anthologies from around the world. Take a look at each of the shorts included in this new collection below.
Starring: Teo Falck, Rasmus Hansen, Rasmus Callmer, Eddy Shore
Director: Cédric Desenfants
It is 1727 and a ship from the Dutch East India Company has been shipwrecked off the coast of New Holland - now Australia. Hendrick and Pieter have spent their lives together sailing the seven seas, but since the demise of their ship, their true feelings for each other have been revealed, only for the others in the crew to violently reject their “sinful” love. Based on a true events, this short relies little on dialogue, instead using flashbacks to illustrate their story as they await trial from the captain. Lusciously shot with striking period detail, this is a shrewdly observed reenactment of an important - but forgotten - moment of queer Australian history.
Starring: Nathan Draman, Jye Whatson, Madi Jennings
Director: Christopher Sampson
Three best friends - Michael, Ed and Ashley - embark on a road-trip along the Australian coast as Michael is struggling with a bereavement. Ed and Ashley are both in love with Ashley and while both are there to support their friend, they are also pushing their own agenda. Michael must choose between the two in this dreamy love triangle, frolicking on windswept beaches and walking the cliffs at sunrise. With the earnest singularity of young love, their mantra of “I’m here for you Michael” is positively chanted at him from all angles, when what they mean is “please pick me!” Every line is drenched in subtext, as the pair pine for their dreamy surf-bleached buddy.
Starring: Joel Horwood, Joshua Morton, Duncan Ragg
Director: Luke Marsden
Three men converge in an apartment at night. Two are having sex while the third processes what he sees. A silent short that focuses on tiny interactions between them, this relies too much on charged eye contact and proxemics, unfortunately rendering it narratively inert. It’s pretty to look at and you can probably work out its plot by the end, but until then it’s a trio of people not speaking at times when they absolutely would in real life.
Starring: Daniel Webber, Kallan Richards, Serena Coady
Director: Andrew Lee
In a roadside motel, a soldier suffering with PTSD invites his neighbour - a shirtless drunken lad rejected by his friends - to his room for a drink. Both are lost and looking for a connection, although maybe of different kinds. Beautifully shot in black and white, the tension that builds between them is palpable, with the subtext louder in the room than what they are actually saying. And while an Afghan woman haunts the soldier, this building pressure-cooker of emotions is stunningly acted by its leads who ooze masculinity underpinned by something more human.
WHAT GROWN-UPS KNOW
Starring: Stephen James King, Susie Lindeman, Daniel Roberts
Director: Jonathan Wald
Teenager Roy and his poorly mother live on the road, having having left his father. Staying temporarily at a trailer park, Roy slowly falls for its manager while his mum tries to find work to pay their rent. A coming-of-age story about the dawning of responsibility, this is a deeply moving portrait of a lost soul and the blurred lines between wanting a lover and wanting a father figure. A nuanced and emotional piece, the film holds up well two decades after it was made, resting on three very strong performances at its centre.
ALL GOOD THINGS
Starring: Joe Klocek, Jayden Byrne, Laurence Coy
Director: Simon Croker
Levi and Isaac are high school boyfriends in the summer before one of them goes to college. Preparing to break up, the couple go on one last road trip, where Isaac realises that he is far from ready for his relationship to end. A sad ode to the melancholic inevitability of the doom of teenage love, this is a nostalgic piece about how you can’t enjoy your final days when you know that’s what they are. Wistful and increasingly tender, this is a charming and sweet film that will give you all the feels.
Starring: Chris Haywood, Martin Vaughan, Felix Haywood, Blake Bowden
Director: Brendon McDonall
Two lifelong friends reunite in their old age and revisit the dam where they used to swim together as boys. Their longings for each other have long been suppressed, but with one of them now dying, these feelings now bubble up to the surface. A moving and beautiful short about the tragedy of lost love, this a beautifully acted piece that reflects perfectly the years of longing and sadness that has led to this moment.
With a whole variety of slices of life from Down Under, The Aussie Boys is a strong collection with some real gems included within it. The strongest is Eric, but the whole ensemble gives a rounded equanimity to gay life in Australia, just as NQV Media’s collections have now done all around the world.
UK Release: Out now to watch on VOD, released by NQV Media.