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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

THE MALE GAZE: BOY TROUBLE - Short Film Collection

Boy Trouble is the new instalment in NQV Media’s short film collection The Male Gaze, continuing their anthology of gay shorts from around the world. This collection has gathered four diverse films from Argentina, Mexico, Austria and Peru; take a look at each below.

BILLY BOY (Argentina)

Starring: Patricio Aramburu, Miel Bargman, Santi Grandone

Director: Sacha Amaral

Alejo is struggling to find meaning in his life, hooking up with men online while trying to find a girlfriend, balancing responsibility as a landlord with friendships with his tenants. Not admitting how sad he is, this short chronicles a series of episodes in his life over the course of a few days. While it serves as a character portrait of an unfulfilled man, there really isn’t much narrative here and feels somewhat inconsequential. Alejo isn’t an interesting character, so this blasé depiction of his fumbled adulting feels like the cinematic version of a millennial whinge.

VERANO (Mexico)

Starring: Jaime Bernache, Erick Aceves

Directors: Rafael Ruiz Espejo & Luis Pacheco

Jaime aimlessly rides the streets of Guadalajara on his motorcycle, only to find himself drawn to a sex worker named Verano. This ill-fated encounter brings Jaime face to face with his desire, but the volatile firework he’s pursuing simply cannot be restrained. Shot in square camera stock, this dream-like short feels like a Polaroid photo, a memory of teenage obsession with the bad boy that Mama warned us about. With barely any dialogue, this sparse but nuanced drama is well-acted, albeit light on plot and slow in pace.

FABIU (Austria)

Starring: Kristóf Gellén, Birgit Stimmer, Günter Tolar

Director: Stefan Langthaler

Arthur has lived his whole life with his wife, but following a terrible illness that has left her paralysed, she now needs 24 hour care. A live-in nurse named Fabiu comes to stay, whom he soon discovers to be from Hungary and gay. His curiosity sparked, he tries to forge a relationship with the young man, only to end up confused about his own feelings. Depicting a very late sexual awakening, this is a beautifully performed short film that examines what is considered appropriate for older gentlemen. And Fabiu’s reaction to him is nothing but kindness and patience. A fascinating character piece, this is a compelling portrait of a moving moment late in Arthur’s life.


Starring: Ali Cabanillas, Victor Contreras, Marco Antonio Miranda

Director: Dennis Perinango

Diego finds himself drawn to the group of gender non-conforming friends who play volleyball together on the outskirts of his town. When he spies his colleague Pedro also watching them, he realises that his fascination comes from questioning his own sexuality, but ss Diego and Pedro cross the line of friendship, this newfound relationship surely cannot last. Set in a rural province of Peru, Diego’s romanticism of a land far away (the titular country that no longer exists) gives way to a yearning for his own authenticity. A moving short about being gay in the back end of nowhere, this is a short film that says a lot with characters who say very little.

These four shorts are all shrewdly observed fragments of realism, harvested from South America and Europe. While all are worth your time, it is Fabiu and Checoslovaquia that stand out proudly from the others.

UK Release: Out now to watch on VOD on Amazon Prime, released by NQV Media


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