Some gay shorts arrive with a message, some with a twist, some are there just to entertain you and some, as here, prefer to ride the cinematic waves with a decidedly dark tale of sexual awakening.
Not that this is apparent at first, given this is the seemingly sweet tale of three gay geeks who spend the day lusting after the object of their desire; that of an All American Boy only too aware that his athletic frame is courting their attention. Yet what he isn’t aware of are the sexual fantasies that each boy, in turn, plays out in his mind, as he plays football with his friends. From a devout Catholic, to an aspiring medical student, to a seasoned romantic, each take time out to flirt daydream style with the man himself. Only as dreams give way to reality, could it be that someone has already hit on their hero right before their eyes?
Shot in glorious super 16mm and inspired by the poem After School, Street Football, Eighth Grade by Dennis Cooper of Weak Species fame, this beautifully crafted tale from Mark Pariselli like many a gay short, 306 and Broken Hart included, rejoices in telling a story devoid of words, in this instance crosscutting between reality and fantasy to showcase a trio of surreal, if overtly gay set pieces. Only and unlike the John Greyson classic that is Lilies, Pariselli remains surprisingly coy when it comes to depicting the bare basics of bathing, having opted to leave physical attributes to the imagination, even if by doing so, a somewhat censored look and feel remains throughout.
That said, Pariselli’s keen attention to the light, shade and detail of his piece rightly secured a series of film festival screenings, including being shortlisted for the prodigious 2009 IRIS Prize. Infused with the striking imagery of its theatrical styled sequences and effectively scored, clearly this is a director to watch and a short whose dramatic conclusion speaks volumes on first love, loss and ultimately of coming-of-age. Need more be said? (Gaycelluloid.com)