Peccadillo Pictures’ Boys on Film series has been going for a few years now and it’s hard to believe it’s up to its 16th volume already! The series pulls together short films from around the globe with an LGBT focus, showcasing directors emerging and established. Boys on Film 16: Possession features 10 shorts from Germany, the UK, USA and beyond.
As it to be expected from the Boys on Film series, the shorts all vary in style and tone but there’s always something to satisfy most viewers. The release opens with Golden, a touching 3-minute short following a young boy who has golden skin. He grows up feeling different from the world around him and as he matures, he begins to realise that he isn’t on his own after all. It’s a sweet start to the collection and easy for most LGBT people to relate to I’m sure.
One of the most striking shorts included here is German film B. Told using dolls, the short explores the secret desires of a woman who is dating a man but harbouring feelings for a woman. There is no dialogue and the use of dolls is surprisingly effective. It’s a well-written and directed piece and certainly one of the strongest shorts.
Another strong moment is Chance, which tells the story of a man grieving over the loss of his wife. He spends his days visiting a bench that bears a plaque in her honour, and one day he meets a Muslim man who is dealing with his own grief and dark secrets. The two men don’t speak the same language but as they spend more time together, they form a close bond that is both surprising and touching.
Elsewhere on the collection Alex and Paolo take their one-night-stand on an impulsive holiday in Away With Me, a man falls in love with deaf man he meet at a subway station in Sign, and Follow Me tells the story of a teenager madly in love with his art teacher. The amusing UK short When a Man Loves a Woman packs a nice surprise at the end that left me chortling away to myself.
One of the most ambitious shorts is PYOTR495, which was made in Canada and Germany. 16-year-old Peter meets a hook-up from an app only to find out the man is part of an ultra-nationalist group that abducts and attacks gay men. The short is very disturbing but there’s one hell of a twist, which is foreshadowed in the opening moments, that will leave you surprised.
Boys on Film 16: Possession is one of the strongest releases in the series for a while. All 10 of the shorts are solid with plenty to offer and lots to say. All genres pretty much are covered and it’s amazing to see what talent there is around the world. If you’ve bought the previous 15 releases, you’ll want to add this to collection. If you’ve not dipped into them for a while, it may be time to rekindle your relationship with Boys on Film.
Cast: Maximilian Gehrlinger, Susanne Bormann, Alex Ozerov, Alanna Bale, Max Rositsan Directors: Various Writers: Various Certificate: 18 Duration: 120 mins Released By: Peccadillo Pictures Release Date: 12th June 2017