Alex and the Handyman

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Alex And The Handyman takes a look at pre-adolescent sexuality in a sweet way. The film precocious nine-year-old Alex, who develops an instant crush on much older handyman, Jared. The child wants the moody 20-something man’s attention, but Jared isn’t that interested in humoring the fantasies of a kid.

The short starts off as a sweet and sometimes funny look at pre-sexual awakening. However, some people will probably be freaked out a bit by the end.

You can watch the whole short here. Submitted by Marvin.

Saturday Church

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Saturday Church tells the story of 14-year-old Ulysses as he struggles to express his personality & sexuality in a hostile environment.

Ulysses, the young protagonist of Saturday Church, is first seen at the burial of his father, a soldier killed overseas. The New York teen, played by Luka Kain, has delicate features and carries an air of quiet about him.

He and his younger brother will now be looked after by both their mother Amara and strict Aunt Rose. The latter does not mince words after Ulysses is discovered trying on his mother’s shoes. “If I ever hear of you even looking at women’s clothing, I will beat it out of you. You are a man. Start acting like one,” she says, enunciating each word with controlled rage.

But the boy is in no way conflicted about his sexual orientation — he’s just surrounded by disapproval. As a form of escape, he imagines his life as a musical, and the movie is dotted with song and dance, beginning with a particularly audacious locker-room scene in which Ulysses’ jock tormentors turn into backup dancers.

For real-life affinity, Ulysses seeks companionship on the pier by Manhattan’s Christopher Street, where he is enlisted into Saturday Church, a program for at-risk queer youth (the program in the movie is based on a real one).

The film was written and directed by Damon Cardasis, making his feature debut. It is a disarmingly and consistently sensitive movie that remains engaging even when its reach sometimes exceeds its grasp (a musical number set in what might be the world’s tidiest homeless shelter for example).

The wonderful cast brings the story home, and Luka Kain in particular is a real find. When Ulysses first puts on lip gloss in a room full of people who accept him, the smile that plays on his face is both ebullient and heart-rending.

The Village

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Wrabel’s music video The Village follows a transgender teen struggling to find acceptance. The five-minute video doesn’t shy away from highlighting the daily struggles of many transgender teenagers, beginning with a scene in which the protagonist’s father bursts in on their attempting to conceal their breasts with tape. “In nature, a flock will attack any bird that is more colorful than the others because being different is seen as a threat,” reads the video’s opening titles.

As the story develops, we follow the protagonist through awkward family dinners and toxic high school hallways until an uplifting ending. Meanwhile, Wrabel croons lyrics about being misunderstood at a piano — “there’s nothing wrong with you / it’s true,” he belts, his cheeks streaked with a rainbow of paint.

Sleepy Sunday *4

milkboys Films, Films & Cinema, Sleepy Sunday 13 Comments

Full-time childhood, an alien time in which everything around us is passed through pure bodies and perceptions. One eye and a soul that follow invisible trajectories; only the instinct and the senses reign, along with the imagination.

I Cormorani takes us on a transfigured journey into this total reality. The film is an experiment in meta-cinema. A direct drive trailing the wandering of Matteo and Samuele: two twelve year old boys who live their long, lazy days of summer between nature and civilisation. The forest, the river and the mall become another dimension for us who observe them.

Their intimacy and complicity transfigures them unaware, in objects, lights, sounds and smells: of life and man, amplifying their objectification in a sublime fashion. Their and our way of being in the world, to find a sense of meaning.

Barbie Boy

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Barbie Boy is the story of Bobby, an imaginative 7-year-old whose favourite toy is the classic Barbie doll. After his father makes a comment, Bobby goes on a personal journey to discover what he should be looking for.

The Language of Love

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“It’s not because he’s a boy… he just happens to be one. And I can’t figure out whether that makes it wrong or special”

Written and performed by 17 year old Kim Ho, it is about a boy at high school coming to terms with his sexuality and his love for his best friend, Sam.

Freak Show

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There are plenty of great films in recent years about finding yourself and staying true to who you are deep down. Freak Show is another one of these films, but it has a refreshingly optimistic feel to it that makes it stand out.

It first premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and is an entertaining, enjoyable, optimistic story about personal identity and fighting back against bullies (not with violence, but with pride and courage). Alex Lawther stars a young, gay high school student named Billy Bloom who dresses up lavishly every day (think: Lady Gaga) yet the film isn’t so much about homosexuality as it is about being totally yourself, and finding a way to survive even if you don’t fit in with everyone else.

Lawther’s performance as Billy Bloom is the most essential part of the story and it really works wonders, as he embraces every last aspect of the character. It honestly doesn’t even seem like a “performance” so much as a genuine expression of individuality and creativity.

Bloom comes from a very wealthy family and when he joins a new school after moving in with his father, he gets bullied and beat up. He stands out as the only weird one in the school, and makes a few friends who help him to navigate the treacherous world of high school.

Directed by Trudie Styler, based on the book by James St. James, the film is fairly lightweight and easy to watch, staying optimistic and pleasant when it easily could be more serious or depressing. This actually benefits the film because it makes it more enchanting overall.