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  • Ben Turner

THE DUTCH BOYS - Short Film Collection


The new short film collection from NQV Media is coming soon to watch On Demand. The Dutch Boys is a collection from our neighbours in The Netherlands, who brought us clogs, windmills, tulips, The Vengaboys and now five short films about young Queer men. Take a look at each of them below...


BRICK

Starring: Reinout Scholten van Aschat, Lourens van den Akker, Coosje Smid, Manou Kersting

Director: Viktor van der Valk

Jeffrey works at a brick factory by day and returns to his pregnant girlfriend each night. But the stability of his world is rocked when Kevin arrives, whom he is instructed to look after at work. When Kevin misreads the signals and comes on to him, Jeffrey’s knee-jerk panic is clearly masking something much deeper inside him. A hyper-subtle examination of toxic masculinity, this is a short about sexual awakening with all the guttural vehemence of someone who isn’t willing to accept who he is. With sharp editing underpinned with the heavy sound effects of his factory, this is a bleak and cold film that pulls no punches in depicting one man’s rejection of his urges.

SOUTH OF HEAVEN.

Starring: Tom van Kessel, Tine Joustra, Julian Moon Snijder, Milan Boele van Hensbroek

Director: Marco van Bergen

When Elias returns to his hyper-religious family for his birthday, he is shocked when his boyfriend from Amsterdam appears to surprise him. Still far inside the closet at home, they all sit for an uncomfortable birthday dinner and sparks begin to fly as secrets begin the trickle out. Strong performances, a tight script and strikingly domestic cinematography, this is a strong short with a neatly packaged narrative that ticks all the right boxes.

LUKAS BY THE SEA

Starring: Matthijs van de Sande Bakhuyzen, Kay Greidanus, Tamar van den Dop, Julia Akkermans

Director: Jordi Wijnalda

Lukas is staying up late through the night in an alien city, desperate to make a connection with someone - anyone - before morning. Through webcam chat rooms, the red light district and seedy bars, he moves from person to person, encounter to encounter, halted only by the sunrise. A musing on the isolation of city living, this is a short about how despite being never alone, a person can still be desperately lonely. In the vein of Before Sunrise, this follows a creature of the night, where the inevitable dawn is what masks his nocturnal truth. A nuanced and thoughtful short that is anchored by its charismatic but contemplative lead, Lukas’ night by the sea is one of confused discontentment, playing out enigmatically on screen.

DANTE VS. MOHAMMED ALI

Starring: Bas Keizer, Gijs Blom

Director: Marc Wagenaar

At a village boxing match, Wolf refuses to fight his best friend Alexander. As the locals turn against him, Wolf tries to convince his friend to leave the village for good, but the power of this insular community means that Alexander struggles to even contemplate leaving. An artistic short with dream sequences aplenty, this is an experimental arthouse piece full of dreamy-eyed boys staring into the middle distance against an overcast backdrop. A film about the impracticality of romanticism, the film is drenched in classical music and references to literature, playing out against the rustic hardness of the Dutch lowlands.

BEAUTIFUL ALEXANDER

Starring: Florian Regtien, Dimitar Nikolov

Director: Marc Wagenaar

Alexander is on holiday, but hiding away in his cabin on the beach. As he watches people bathing and playing, his eye catches a handsome young man dancing on a diving board and he becomes fixated on him, even venturing outside to try to meet him. A sweet and mostly silent short that depicts a burgeoning sexual awakening, there is a Rear Window-esque uneasiness about this too, as Alexander can hide his obsession behind his binoculars. Sun-drenched, this is also an ode to the simplicity of long hot summers, of the kind we simply don’t have in the UK.


Our Dutch neighbours have absolutely outdone themselves here, with this diverse collection of short films. Whether on a sandy beach, in a small village or a sprawling metropolis, The Dutch Boys gives us five varied slices from a perfectly-formed pie, although you would be forgiven for thinking the Dutch a morose people from this collection, seeing as only its final film slips into a pair of rose-tinted glasses! But with five shorts from four strong directors, this is the perfect showcase for the talent lurking just across The Channel.


UK Release: 21st May 2021 On Demand, released by NQV Media

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