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3.9 out of 5 stars27
3.9 out of 5 stars
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 10 March 2014
This all-British collection in the Boys On Film series is not one of the best, I don't think. Nightswimming doesn't makes sense - when has there ever been a nightwatchman at a swimming pool who goes round in the dark, with a teenage couple who have decided to break in and spend the night there? And then the boy teases the middle aged nightwatchman who clearly fancies him almost uncontrollably? Not a single gesture is convincing, although visually it keeps your interest from one frame to the next and is quite atmospheric.
A film set on the Isle of Wight is simply dull, one of two about a young man looking after his mother. The other, I Don't Care, is rather better, with a good lead. He's attractive in an unconventional way, and comes across as an individual. However the other boy who appears, who is gay, is wrongly pitched, and I found the character unappealing which spoilt the film.
Diana is one of the two best, a short film showing a young boy who seems quite far along the path to presenting himself as a woman, and is rejected by his Indian family. Not only is he rather beautiful, his despair is well caught, and highly cinematically. There is real intensity in the images.
Another quite interesting film shows an SM encounter where a 20-year-old man puts himself into the hands of a thirty-something man for a rather unnerving scene. It is unsettling but did have something to say, without being simplistic, sensationalist or conclusive - quite a feat in itself. It does convey a sense of dangerous eroticism.
A revenge teen party drama seems unaware that all the characters are awful, thereby failing to generate any interest, as well as feeling very set-up. It wants to be very daring, but isn't.
Best of the bunch is the first, All Over Brazil, about a boy's interest in glam rock and the clothing that goes with it, set against the World Cup Final - this one is a real gem, not a very high quality print, but interesting, which means the shortest two are actually the best, and by quite a margin.
Another deals with a horrible persecution of a man who likes younger teens, but it is so unpleasant and obvious in the stance of the characters that its nastiness feels completely unwarranted - there's nothing to be learnt from this.
Obviousness is also the key feature of an encounter between a Muslim girl and a transvestite who get stuck in a lift together.
And finally, there's a mysterious drama about a chef who fancies a young apprentice, although he's married with children. It intersperses enigmatic looks with the slicing and kneading of ingredients, and promises more than it ends up giving. The most interesting thing is that the chef is played by an actor called Jonathan Firth who looks like Colin Firth - presumbly a brother, or cousin who looks very similar. The filmmaker had clearly seen A Single Man, as the music is very similar to that film, with the Firth presence - however the comparison doesn't do the short any favours.
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on 28 May 2012
Having enjoyed all of the previous boys on film , but found maybe a few shorts didnt work for me , this is the best yet , enjoyed each short and think it is a shame that this should just be classed as gay when it is a showcase of great film making . Not all are easy to watch but they are really thought provoking [ not just the usual romance/ sex/ comedy / fluff] .Britain at its best [ remember when there was actually something good on the tv] .
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I have found that normally the first few films on the Boys On Film series of DVD's are a little poor, then they get better. But Cruel Britannia is different. I really did enjoy the first film, All Over Brazil (even tho it has a silly name), and pretty much enjoyed them all A nice change for the Boys On Film series.

I did find “Spring” a hard film to watch. Without giving too much away I know there is some pretty kinky stuff out there, but that film was too much for me.

And “What You Looking At?”, while I don't want to talk about this film as I would give too much away please watch it, it really does make you think & it's a very powerful film even tho it is only 9mins long.

Film 1 – All Over Brazil, 9mins
Film 2 – Nightswiming, 14mins
Film 3 – I Don't Care, 24mins
Film 4 – Spring, 13mins
Film 5 – The Chef's Letter, 14mins
Film 6 – We Once Were Tide, 18mins
Film 7 – What You Looking At, 9mins
Film 8 – Man And Boy?, 19mins
Film 9 – Diana, 11mins
Film 10 – Downing, 17mins
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on 24 November 2013
This is a selection of 10 short films by up and coming directors all with a gay theam - all made interesting viewing and 3 or 4 were excellent both in acting and direction
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on 19 October 2014
Why not 5 stars? Put simply, it lacks special features. The highlight is the award winning Night Swimming. It's unnerving enough to keep the viewer captivated to the very end. I recommend watching it alone before a second or third watch with friends. I first saw it, in an art gallery (listening through headphones), during a film festival. It is a moment in time and brings forth many thoughts of 'what if?' and 'what led to this moment?' If only for Night Swimming, this DVD is well worth a look.
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on 28 January 2013
Content 4+ stars. Release...well...
I purchased this as an import from the U.K., as it has not had a U.S. release. Thankfully I have a DVD player that will play it, but (hint to Peccadillo Pictures) AN ALL-REGION BLU RAY release would have been far preferable.
As for the content - I purchased this for Dominic Leclerc's "Nightswimming" (which I'm thrilled to finally own), but I found all 10 of the shorts here to have been engaging, thought-provoking, and quite enjoyable.
Now...where's that BluRay??...
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on 13 June 2014
or you can gather a number of friends and watch them as a group.

If it's the latter, you will be talking about the films late into the night. Have some beverages and food on hand. Prepare to enjoy yourself first while you watch the films and next when you all discuss them.
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on 18 February 2015
Something different ....just. i can take or leave this to be honest.
For me this is a film ide watch once and then it will be left in the collection for a rainy days.
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on 9 October 2014
I bought this one because I saw 'Nightswimming' on the dutch Gay network as well as the short 'Spring'. Ik hope the other films have the same tension or erotic sphere.
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on 25 March 2014
most of them little gems, in this way the greater public can see new work by new directors.
buy it
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