The Danish Boys collection of short films recently released from NQV Media has an unusual common trait across its diverse characters and circumstances. There is a focus on victimhood without redeeming purpose that is individually irritating and objectionable whilst collectively being oddly compelling.
Centered around over familiar gay crucifixion scenes each ode to pain is relieved by rather good writing, direction and acting. Thankfully this raises the characters and situations to a level above cliché.
HOTEL BOY, directed by Michael Sondergaard, is almost exactly the scenario of the jolly Christmas Musical Soho Cinders (review by Queerguru HERE ) in that a married older politician is caught up in a tryst with a much younger man as tabloid journalists circle like vultures. Or the recent Rialto (directed by Peter Macki Burns) where a married man falls for a rentboy. It truly is a tale as old as time, however in this case we learn little about their relationship other than it won’t make it out of the room with them.
POZ, directed by Christian Edvard Hellberg and Helle Rossing plays with the urban myth of the tragic bug chaser who is trying to acquire HIV. It is the most problematic of all the shorts. It borrows from a dark subject but does little to contribute to it. Unless the intended takeaway is the false notion that “Damn that HIV takes a lot of effort to catch”. The focus is on character, culture and drama over virology and so belongs under the theme of masochism and alienation rather than the history of the epidemic.
YOUNG MAN’S DANCE, directed by Mathias Broe, follows a young ballroom dancer whose father resents his performances. The boy transfers this antagonism into a dangerously masochistic relationship with his older dancing teacher.
Are you starting to see the theme across the films yet? External pressure warp gay men’s identity and twist their relationship with sex? It’s enough to get you reaching for your copy of the 1990s classic How to be a Happy Homosexual.
SVANS (FAGS) directed by Martin Reinhard, suggests that fear of homophobia can be greater than the actual homophobia that is experienced. Hmmm, true in some circumstances but of little comfort if you ever end up in Accident & Emergency after a thumping.
Finally, in LADYBOY, directed by Aske Bang, our hapless drag queen suffers several beatings whilst chasing the wrong kind of man in the wrong kinds of places. It turns out that our leads mother also chooses the wrong kind of man and suffers similar beatings. Ain’t life a bitch?
It’s all quite morose but, if you like to indulge in the occasional sad songs playlist, it is the kind of thing that manages to hit a certain spot when you are in the mood.
Review by Andrew Hebden
Queerguru Correspondent Andrew Hebden is a MEDIA & CULTURAL STUDIES graduate spending his career between London, Beijing and NYC as an expert in media and social trends. As part of the expanding minimalist FIRE movement he recently returned to the UK and lives in Soho. He devotes as much time as possible to the movies, theatre and the gym. His favorite thing is to try something (anything) new every day.