Top positive review
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I won't let that beauty pass me by
on 21 July 2007
Logan is a 13 year old male living in a Santa Cruz neighbourhood. Lions have been seen in the surrounding areas, and the populace are taught to hate and fear them. Logan identifies with these maligned creatures - shunned and avoided by the rest of society. Although aware that he is gay, Logan is unable yet to voice this to his best friend; his masturbatory fantasies about older guys at school and Lycra-clad wrestlers on TV are confined to the privacy of his bed at night-time. In the course of the film, Logan develops an attraction to an older boy at school - Rodeo - who is also an outsider, and aims to seduce him through phone sex and friendship.
'Wild Tigers' is an incredibly beautiful film, in all senses. Aesthetically it is a stunning work of arthouse cinema, and was widely acclaimed at the Sundance Film Festival. The director, Cam Archer, eschews linear story-telling, and conveys Logan's internal and external struggles through a series of dream-like vignettes. Cam Archer's film background in music videos and arthouse shorts is clearly evident in his portrayal of the adolescent anguish of isolation and lust through a holistic combination of studied camera angles, a haunting soundtrack, and creative visual style. If the sweeping landscape background against static foreground images resonates, it will come as no surprise that Gus Van Sant ('My Own Private Idaho') was the film's executive producer. Malcolm Stumpf is just superb as the tortured Logan, and his awkwardness and facial expressions will deftly re-awaken memories in the viewer.
Cam Archer is certainly a name to watch; with 'Wild Tigers I Have Known' he has created a stunning and original work of art, which strides fearlessly into the realm of young male sexuality which mainstream films dare not tread. Suitable for all ages, from young males to wizened cynics, the film should be approached with an open mind, with no expectations of conventional 'story-telling'. Along with 'The Mudge Boy' and 'Ma Vie en Rose', 'Wild Tigers' is one of the very few authentic portrayals of young gay self-awareness, and is very highly recommended.