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  • Ben Turner

THE FRENCH BOYS, PART 3 - Short Film Collection


The new short film collection from NQV Media is out this week to watch on demand. The French Boys, Part 3 features six shorts collected from the across the Channel in the third of four French collections arriving over the coming weeks. Take a look at each of the short films in this collection below.


FAIRYOCIOUS

Starring: Capucine Lespinas, Ange-Nicolas Castellotti, Marie-Pierre Nouveau

Director: Fabien Ara

When her young son declares that he wants to go to school dressed as a fairy, Alma is scared. She tells her friends, seeking their advice, only to be presented with a barrage of homophobia as they declare that boys should dress as boys and gays should probably be killed. Having not even mentioned the word “gay” herself, Alma becomes increasingly upset that her community are so vitriolic about her son just because he wants to dress differently. A very well-scripted short that mostly takes place around dinner tables, this is a strong commentary on homophobia, holding a mirror up to absurd prejudice and showing it as it is.

THE GRAFFITI

Starring: François Berland, Christian Bujeau

Director: Aurelien Laplace

In this comedy short, the mayor of a small town is thrown into panic when graffiti appears on an ancient monument, which cannot be removed without a specialist to ensure the building is unharmed. The problem is, it says he is fellating the town’s doctor. Torn between wanting to do the right thing professionally and protecting his reputation, the situation descends into chaos as the doctor refuses to help him. Without question, this is a short that would make a brilliant feature film, with these two serious characters made ridiculous by an absurd situation. A fun political farce, this is a fab little film.

EVA

Starring: Emanuele Arioli, Eddy Wonka

Director: Florent Médina

Gabriel has enlisted the services of Eva, a trans sex worker, to help him confront his desires. Though he is unable to sleep with her, she sees in him a different curiosity than the one he arrived with and the evening turns into a very different kind of exploration. A tender film about identity and gender, Eva’s room feels like a timeless bubble of safe femininity and the kind of place where dreams really can come true. She is almost Messianic in her demeanour, gently coaxing Gabriel toward the real reason he is there. A soft and soothing short, you’ll fall in love with Eva; the sex worker providing far more than just sex.

A NEW BREATH

Starring: Victorien Bonnet, Golan Yosef, Stephanie Marc, Orane Braujou, Theo Gerey

Director: Nina Parent

Gabriel has lost his brother. He now uses his old video camera to record the daily occurrences of his life, much to the frustration of his peers and mother alike. When caught filming a handsome stranger dancing at the beach, he is surprised to be invited to do so willingly and as he watches this man through his lens, feelings are awakened within him that replace the grief that had left him paralysed before. A film about awakenings, it capitalises greatly on the windswept desolation of its rural coastal location, with beaches and abandoned barns the location for these moments of self-discovery. With stunning cinematography and beautiful music-free dance, this expressive and enigmatic short is a moving commentary on rebirth after grief.

MASCULINE

Starring: Arthur Leparc, Harald Marlot

Director: Zoé Chadeau

After hooking up at a bar, Arthus and Marin go home together and talk through the small hours. Initially conversation is awkward because the former can’t understand why he has slept with a drag queen, but as the night wears on, their encounter becomes an education as he begins to see that this potential newfound soul mate is far more than just an act or a dress. A real-time romance that sees polar opposites find solace in each other, this sweet encounter raises a plethora of social questions as it observes the couple slowly fall in love. And, of course, the director couldn’t resist giving us a full drag number at its conclusion.

THE TIGHTROPE WALKERS

Starring: Manuel Blanc, Solal Forte, Audrey Bastien

Director: Gilles Tillet

Vincent is on holiday with his friends at the beach where he sees Jean-Christophe, an older man to whom he is instantly attracted. They hook up, but when Vincent realises that he is responsible for exposing himself to HIV the pair head to the hospital for emergency treatment. With Jean-Christophe a refreshingly strong character who bears none of the responsibility for Vincent’s naïveté, this is a wonderfully modern take on the logistics of sex and HIV in the twenty-first century. A superb character portrait that’s actually pretty damn funny, this is like Theo & Hugo at the beach with added humour and without the kink.


The third in the quadrilogy, this instalment of The French Boys maintains the standard of the previous two with a clutch of superb shorts from l’Hexagone. The Tightrope Walkers is my favourite, but all six are so diverse that choosing a favourite does feel like comparing fondue and bourguignon, although The Graffitti did make me megalol for sure.


UK Release: 4th February 2022 on VOD, released by NQV Media.

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