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  • Ben Turner

THE FRENCH BOYS, PART 2 - Short Film Collection


The new short film collection from NQV Media is out this week to watch on demand. The French Boys, Part 2 features four shorts collected from the across the Channel in the second of four French collections arriving over the coming weeks. Take a look at each of the short films in this collection below.


FALLING

Starring: Solal Forte, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant

Director: Benjamin Vu

Baptiste is the class jock; handsome, charming and popular. When he gets paired with the pariah gay kid Léo for a book report, the two spend an evening together to prepare. Both have assumptions about the other, believing themselves to be worlds apart, when in reality they share much more than they imagined. A steady but subtle piece that takes its time, it allows its characters to breathe and for us to get to know them at the same rate as they get to know each other. At times touching, abrasive, tense; a nuanced script and a pair of complex performances transform this duologue into a rich and luscious short that’s as compelling as it is well-crafted.

THE RETURN

Starring: Yann Gael, Adama Procida, Ernest Pokossy

Director: Yohann Kouam

Willy has always looked up to his big brother, but now that he’s left home he’s found himself falling in with the wrong crowd. As he realises that there might be a side to him that he didn’t realise before, Willy starts acting out aggressively, mirroring the homophobia he sees exhibited in his friends. Is he worse than those who corrupted him, or just overcompensating? Or both? A short that examines the root of violent homophobia, this is a fascinating character portrait that allows its audience to unpick the complexity of its enraged and confused protagonist. A superb slice of nuanced filmmaking.

FOOTING

Starring: Manuel Vallade, Philippe de Jacquelin Dulphé, Catherine Giron

Director: Damien Gault

Marco is visiting his parents from Paris and goes for a run with his retired-policeman fitness fanatic father. As they cross the countryside on foot together, his father avoids the subject of his son’s recent breakup, instead preferring functional chit-chat about work and their family. A music-free short in which their stunted conversation is underscored only by the sounds of their feet hitting the ground, this is a nuanced and subtle piece about a father-son relationship where awkward has become the status quo. A strong short about a very ordinary day in this family’s life.

THE SWIMMING TRUNKS

Starring: Roger Manning, Stanley Weber, Inès Giardino, Carole Franck

Director: Mathilde Bayle

Young Remy is on holiday with his parents when he meets the handsome father of one of his playmates. He finds himself drawn to the much older man, not understanding why he craves affection from him even though he doesn’t know him. As the boy’s imagination runs away from him, he realises that this holiday encounter will soon be over and he’ll need to do something to try and remember this man that stirred something new within him. A sensitive short that toes the line with controversy, this is a film that could easily have plunged into sensationalism but has the restraint to rely on nuance to tell a very normal story of awakening. A brilliantly subtle story with a great central performance from a budding young actor, this is certainly a memorable short.


The second in the quadrilogy, this instalment of The French Boys maintains the standard of the first with a handful of superb shorts from our Gallic neighbours. Falling is probably the strongest, but all four are so vastly different that choosing a favourite does feel like comparing chalk and cheese (brie, or reblochon).


UK Release: 10th December 2021 on VOD, released by NQV Media.

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