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6 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a closer look
Between them, PPR and TLA seem to have cornered the market in gay films, and Circuit is yet another highly-recommended gem from the PPR stable (see also 'Summer Storm', 'Krampack', 'Sugar', 'Close to Leo' and 'You'll Get Over It').

I was delighted to have my preconceptions about this film proved wrong. I had my doubts as to how deep a drug-fuelled LA...
Published on 29 April 2006 by Son of Nietzsche

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misguided and vacuous
I expected a really good film here and got a confused and strangely empty experience instead. Certainly it looks great, the actors are chiselled, buffed and pumped up within an inch of their lives so there's certainly no lack of eye candy. Unfortunately the acting skills do not match the visuals, the script is really weak and as such the film just becomes a series of...
Published on 20 Feb 2008 by bluebeloved


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a closer look, 29 April 2006
This review is from: Circuit [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
Between them, PPR and TLA seem to have cornered the market in gay films, and Circuit is yet another highly-recommended gem from the PPR stable (see also 'Summer Storm', 'Krampack', 'Sugar', 'Close to Leo' and 'You'll Get Over It').

I was delighted to have my preconceptions about this film proved wrong. I had my doubts as to how deep a drug-fuelled LA circuit-party movie could be, thinking that perhaps the basis of its attraction would simply be a few half-naked sweating bodies and some high-octane sex. Well, Circuit definitely offers these things - having managed to assemble not only a hot-looking cast (Andre Khabbazi and Paul Lekakis in particular) but also some talented actors - but it additionally offers a tumultuous journey into the lethal attraction of drug use, and a stark examination of the gay obsession with youth and beauty.

After a homophobic incident, John, a closeted and uptight small town policeman, transfers to LA, where he is immediately seduced by the laid back, anything-goes environment. From the moment of his arrival in LA where we see him cruising down Sunset, laughing in amazed disbelief at the openness of the gay couples holding hands in the streets and the unrepentant brashness of West Hollywood, it is clear that his repressed soul is about to explode out of the closet with a vengeance. A chance meeting with a stunning hustler (Andre Khabbazi) becomes a friendship that will unalterably turn his life, and his principles, into something unrecognizable. So begins the descent into a mindless whirlwind of pumping muscles at the gym, pumping drugs into his body, pumping his body to the beat of the party circuit, and frenzied pumping with various strangers.

Inevitably there are consequences to John's conversion, and a toll will be borne on his old friendships and his physical and mental well-being. Less predictable, however, are the many other elements to this film - the ruthless movers and shakes behind the party scene who will do whatever it takes to reel in an extra dollar, the suggestion that it is possible (for some at least) to build a substantive life outside the drug/party circuit, and addressing the primordial status of youth and beauty as the sine qua non of a meaningful gay existence.

This really is an excellent film, and the only reason it didn't get 5 stars was because it did not have that heart-wrenching factor that I, personally, look for. Nevertheless, I have watched it several times now, and highly recommend it. Well-acted, thought-provoking, harsh and occasionally disturbing (wait and see how Paul Lekakis's character prepares for a performance - ouch!!), this is definitely a film that you will want to watch again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It should not try to demonstrate so much, 3 Jan 2013
By 
This review is from: Circuit [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
A dramatic film about the conjunction of three things that become deadly when put together under the guidance of a fourth one.

First you have techno music that goes along with partying as a total lifestyle. Those parties or rave parties if you prefer are the moment when everything is possible, when all risks are negated and forgotten, when for a few hours, generally about ten, you can do what you want, and particularly what is forbidden. A rather vast share or slice of the young people pie want to try and the older you are the more addicted to it you become. And in fact it is not only techno music that can have this dimension.

Second you want to look good, and in this culture to look good is to have strong and hard muscles, to be some kind of muscle man and you end up taking steroids, and all other hormonal complexes to increase your muscular structure. You also have to do a lot of lead pumping or beef pumping. You become then desirable, you become an object, a live object that finds its pleasure in being looked at and desired. Some will go slightly further and get on the stage to just make it a profession, on the stage of showbiz or the stage of hustling. The result is often the same: you start living in the light and stars of an artificial sky that does not exist except in your own mind.

Third, and that is one option, you enter the gay planet and of course the AIDS trip, and then you can go further down everyday since you have to perform and to perform you have to take drugs that are short lived and that blur and dull your own sensations which means you need more of the stimulant to get up again and perform. The vicious circle that leads to an overdose sooner or later and then it will be too late.

The fourth element is the supervision you get from some entrepreneur who only aims at exploiting the mine. He organizes everything, hires the place that has to be a big hall easy to equip and evacuate eventually with higher floors that provide the party-revellers with all the equipments they need to amplify the partying with personal and more intimate ventures. That man is exploiting the show people on the stage, who are artists in spite of all, as if they were chattel, and even maybe cattle since when one is finished it has to be shot, and we all know we even shoot horses from time to time.

That mixture is set of course in Los Angeles and in Hollywood and then the rest is script writing to get a scenario that can hit the road with suspense and enough titillating to attract the voyeurs but not too much lest it would mean the film could be X-rated. You are targeting young people over 15, so please keep quiet enough and try to sound pedagogical, especially about the vanity of age, youth, as if the number of years had any sense when two minds meet, when two souls communicate.

And yet there is something attractive and even fascinating in that film: the slow discovery that love has nothing to do with this. Love needs some permanence, some natural passion, some trust in the other, some trust in nature and natural means to achieve that passion and the sentiments and desires that go along with it and that can even consider any physical intimacy as not necessary most of the time. Two men can find their satisfaction in just loving each other in all kinds of everyday activities, even chores.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, 31 July 2013
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I. Gershon (Tel Aviv, Isreal) - See all my reviews
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When I first watched I thought it was a B-rate movie - the acting and directing aren't polished - but then realized it was continuing to come up in my thoughts, as it captures some profound realities of gay life in the big city very accurately.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misguided and vacuous, 20 Feb 2008
This review is from: Circuit [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
I expected a really good film here and got a confused and strangely empty experience instead. Certainly it looks great, the actors are chiselled, buffed and pumped up within an inch of their lives so there's certainly no lack of eye candy. Unfortunately the acting skills do not match the visuals, the script is really weak and as such the film just becomes a series of ineffective montages. It lacks coherence and depth. One scene where the dj listens to music, purses his lips and watches as an ex couple fight - the camera technique is laughably cringeworthy and cliched. None of it rings true. We are not given enough to believe in or empathise with any of them and as for the main character's misplaced attactment to the pretty hateful and misogynistic hustler, that just serves to make him seem all the more shallow. I was completely lost as to why the character making a documentary was even included other than a facile and misfired technique to try and get beneath the characters flawless skin, that and why on earth he would need so much money up front to just carry a camcorder around? Dont get me wrong, I was desperately trying to root for them all and get into their psyches, but the film meanders along without any plot intrique to pull you in. Its a big "so what" really, nothing new is uncovered, we know drugs and endless partying can be soul destroying, dangerous and time limited, we dont need a really long film like this to tell us. Alot rests on the main character and he really does not have that skill - his acting is far too self conscious and lacks conviction. It's all like watching a poor dress rehearsal - and the women are strangely one dimensional. I got far more from the documentary on the same topic "When boys fly" which was powerful, involving and effective. Try that instead, this really offers nothing more than temporary eye candy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film and cogent warning of the dangers of hedonism, 8 Sep 2009
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Loved this film a fantastic but real reminder of the dangers of drugs. Can`t rate this high enough.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not great., 16 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Circuit [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
Just sufficient mark for effort. Not great.
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Circuit [2001] [DVD]
Circuit [2001] [DVD] by Dirk Shafer (DVD - 2005)
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