THE MALE GAZE: HIDE AND SEEK - Short Film Collection
The new short film collection from NQV Media is out now to watch On Deman. The Male Gaze: Hide And Seek features shorts from Germany, Italy, Brazil, Slovakia and the UK. Take a look at each of the films in the collection below...
Starring: Zev Starrett, Sam Atlas, Rhea C. Tober, Valentin von Schönburg. Directors: Leandro Goddinho, Paulo Menezes.
Lolo is an openly gay 11-year-old whose secret boyfriend doesn’t want to “go public” with him because he considers Lolo and his friends are “too gay”. Though this makes Lolo consider his behaviour, the effortless self-confidence with which his flamboyant best friends deport themselves rubs off on him as he decides what’s more important: being desirable or authentically himself. The kind of narrative you would expect in a teen drama, it’s the cast of young actors that makes this so fresh, with all the youthful joy of dressing up, imitating glamour and kids just playing out with each other. This is a remarkably vibrant and well-observed short, in which you know that these three friends will grow up to happy lives entirely devoid of shame. Which, for most LGBT+ people, is what we all wish we had.
THE DEN (Italy)
Starring: Emanuel Caserio, Daniele Mariani, Laura Sinceri. Director: Lorenzo Caproni.
A married couple are having a luscious seaside holiday when a man appears that knows the husband. Secretive about their history, he arranges a rendezvous where the extremes of their sexual history are reawakened and he finds the perfect way to get his kicks but keep his wife from bumping into his lover. A nasty short about dysfunctional desire, the narrative contrasts starkly with the sun-drenched idyll outside. Feeling like a holiday special of The Fall, this is the realisation of animalistic desire, hidden behind a civilised facade.
HIDE AND SEEK (Brazil)
Starring: Carlos André, Maria Aparecida, Aelson Felinto. Director: Paulo Roberto.
In a remote Brazilian town, two men dance with a girl at a roadside nightclub. As they all find a secluded spot to continue their night, the woman falls asleep, only for the two men to carry on without her. An observational short that takes its time and prefers us to see the characters living than near them talking, it’s a dense film that feels deliberately inaccessible.
IF ONLY YOU WERE MINE (Slovakia)
Starring: Jakub Jablonský, Peter Martincek, Judita Hansman, Claudia Pittnerová. Director: David Benedek.
Dominik is a young student who has fallen in love with Adam, an older educated hipster who hangs out with Bratislava’s intellectual elite. The relationship feels unequal, but Dominik is desperate to make it work, especially as his jealousy is ignited by all the men that Adam is constantly with. A film about obsession and the difficult side of first love, we see Adam through Dominik’s eyes and though we know he’s doing nothing wrong, the filmmaker sweeps us up in the younger boy’s neuroses, where his feelings of self-worth are tied to the success of this love affair. A complex character portrait, this is a solid short anchored by a strong performance from its lead.
NO STRINGS (UK)
Starring: Aaron Cini, Richard Hay. Director: Eoin Maher.
Bryn, a reclusive young Welshman invites a man to his London apartment for sex, only to be frustrated when the stranger asks to stay over because the Tube has stopped running. Reluctantly agreeing, the two get to know each other as the night wears on, with Bryn explaining how he’s intent on returning to his small town because he finds it impossible to make connections in the city. But all the while he’s ignoring that he’s making one if those connections right here. A sweet romantic movie about that initial spark of love, this is a sweet Before Sunrise-style short with a nuanced performance from Richard Hay.
UK Release: OUT NOW to watch On Demand, released by NQV Media.