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on 18 August 2009
Like its predecessor in the series, this is a truly excellent collection of nine short films, with the added benefit that more care has been taken this time to ensure an international flavour, including films from Sweden, France, Germany, Mexico and Australia. It's unusual for short film compilations to maintain a consistently high standard throughout, typically having several 'fillers' thrown in; here, however, almost without exception, the films are superb (and several sport a welcome dark or supernatural twist). They comprise:-

*The Island (Canada, 6 min): A mix of narrative and animation as a film-maker imagines a 'homotopia' in response to homophobia - putting all homophiles together on an island. A provocative, original formulation that combines outspoken humour with a dose of bitter poignancy.

*Cowboy (Germany, 35 min): An urbanite estate agent in his 30s visits a decrepit farm in the countryside, hoping to purchase the land. He meets a quarrelsome yet buff, young farmhand, generating an escalating and tense eroticism. An atmospheric film that ascends into horror, with a genuinely startling denouement. Outstanding.

*Kali Ma (US, 16 min): A 'teenage' male of Indian origin is regularly bullied by the most popular guy at school. After he comes home crying following one particularly rough beating, his mother decides to visit the popular guy's home and exact her revenge. An excellent juxtaposition of black comedy and pathos, and a most original take on an otherwise common theme.

*Lucky Blue (Sweden, 28 min): 18-year-old Kevin is taken to a caravan site by his aunt for a summer vacation, where he meets Olle, a young handyman working at the park. Whereas Olle is quiet and painfully shy, Kevin seems brash and disdainful. A drunken midnight kiss, which Kevin denies in the morning, leaves Olle confused and hurt. A sweet and tender tale - a brief respite from this generally dark collection.

*Love Bite (Australia, 2 mins): Two teenagers smoke pot after school; one of them is desperate to confess a hunger that he is no longer able to hide from his friend. Entertaining and fun, if all-too brief.

*Bramadero (Mexico, 22 min): An abandoned construction site high above the bustle of Mexico City provides a location for two young men to perform a silent, prolonged mating ritual. A wordless and explicit, passional and violent, posthuman and sensual, communion between bodies.

*Weekend in the Countryside (France, 16 min): Two good friends, Marc and Pierre, take a trip to visit Marc's father at his sprawling countryside villa. Sunshine fades as Pierre rejects Marc's advances towards him - but will Marc face unexpected consequences? Another excellent, tense short with an intensely dark undercurrent.

*Working it Out (Australia, 6 min): An apparently assimilated, monogamous homophile couple spend their 45 minute gym session arguing about a 'stranger' who smiled at one of them in the changing rooms. A humorous film, if a somewhat tired theme.

*Futures (and derivatives) (USA, 18 min): A bumbling US law firm has an important client due at 8am, so they hire a temp to work all night producing a presentation. The next morning: the client arrives, the presentation is set up - and things take a mystical turn... An aesthetically strong, yet somewhat bizarre finish to this collection.

Overall, a fantastic compilation, with eclectic originality and a strand of sci-fi / fantasy (which seems to be an emergent trend). A collection that will easily bear multiple viewings. Highly recommended for all.
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I would want to have this DVD even if it just had Lucky Blue, which I find very tender and touching, and very originally done. It is the most affecting karaoke on a caravan site I have ever seen - this is not something I would expect to like particularly but here it really surprised me, with the adult characters and the two boys all contributing to a memorable experience - not forgetting the wonderful strings of stage lighting ... and a blue bird ... Cowboy is equally fine but very disturbing. I certainly wouldn't forget this film that sounds ominous notes fairly early on, is very sexy in the early stages, but shifts into something quite different. Kali Ma is funny and abrasive and really quite special, well worth seeing, on the extreme lengths a Hindu mother may go to to protect her son from a bully, while Working It Out is also very funny but in a more tried and tested kind of way - none the less amusing for that, though, and it is very well cast. Love Bite certainly doesn't outstay its welcome (2 mins), and is effective. The others are less good: personally I don't like the poster-boy eroticism of Bramadero although I imagine it would work for many people, and Futures and Derivatives is particularly weak - I have watched it twice and still can't see any point to it! I think perhaps that offices and film don't go well together? And this one certainly doesn't match the drama or glamour of the one in, say, The Devil Wears Prada.
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The second volume of the ‘Boys on Film’ series contains nine shorts ranging between three and thirty-five minutes in length. In terms of origin, there are two from Australia, two from the United States, and one each from the following: Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, and Sweden. All are very well acted and professionally shot (although the camera on the Mexican entry judders). My own rating of each film produces one two-star movie; three three-star movies; and five four-star movies. None, in my opinion, merits five stars.

So, what do we have here? The worst is the Mexican film ‘Bramadero’, a grindingly slow pornographic quasi-ballet on a high-rise building site. No words are spoken and frankly I was bored. The three three-star films are (1) ‘Kali Ma’, a sixteen-minute student piece of slapstick with the all-American (or, rather, Indian-American) Mom protecting her precious son; (2) a three-minute gory joke from Australia called ‘Love Bites’ (the clue is in the title); and (3) ‘Weekend in the Countryside’, an odd film from France, the point of which escapes me.

Now for the five best on the disc: (1) ‘The Island’ is a comic quasi-animation feature full of Canadian irony; (2) ‘Cowboy’, lasting thirty-five minutes is an award-winning dark German film, suitably from the land of the Brothers Grimm; (3) ‘Lucky Blue’, the Swedish entry, is named after the budgie that escapes from a caravan on a summer camping site where Olle (the disc’s cover-boy) works, and Olle’s life is about to be changed by the arrival of Kevin; (4) ‘Working It Out’ is another Australian movie that tells one joke, but this time takes six minutes to do so; and finally (5) ‘Futures (& Derivatives)’. Except for a five-second excerpt, this last is not really a gay movie at all and yet is better than many of the others. Who’d have thought a PowerPoint presentation could be so affecting? It has an excellent soundtrack.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 February 2014
Not really alot I can say about this, yea it's not amazing. But I did enjoy two of the short films. Lucky Blue & Kali Ma. But some of just awful awful awful. I wont name them inacse you buy the DVD and love them. I wont spoil it for you. But in this collection you get the following:

The Island - Dir. Trevor Anderson (Canada) - 5mins
A filmmaker with a vivid imagination considers, with the help of animation, a piece of fan mail he received. What if all the gays in the world were put on an island?
Official Selection, Newfest and Frameline Film Festivals

Cowboy - Dir. Till Kleinert (Germany) - 35mins long
An estate agent goes to investigate a prime piece of property in the countryside whereupon he encounters a mysterious farm boy. A mutual attraction develops, albeit uneasily, and the pair indulge in a bout of passion amongst the haystacks. Meanwhile, out among the corn fields, a horrifying fate awaits them...
Winner, Iris Prize Short Film Festival, Cardiff

Kali Ma - Dir. Soman Chainani (USA) - 15mins long
When an Indian mother finds out her son is the victim of a vicious homophobic bully, she delivers her own brand of vigilante justice. Part electric action thriller, part exhilarating comedy, `Kali Ma' finds the secrets that divide mothers and sons and the love that brings them together.
Winner, Best Short Film, Rosebud Awards

Lucky Blue - Dir. Håkon Liu (Sweden) - 28mins long
A balmy summer night. A camping site somewhere in Sweden. The grand emotions, the shy teenager, the first love, caravans, karaoke and a bird... This is the story of a boy who, in spite of his insecurities and fears, finally finds the courage to express his love in his own special way.
Winner, Best Short Film, Gothenburg Film Festival

Love Bite - Dir. Craig Boreham (Australia) - 3mins long
Noah and Gus hang out and smoke weed after school. As the munchies kick in, Noah feels compelled to share a secret desire that has been tormenting him. An uncomfortable Gus thinks he knows what's up. He has no idea...
Official Selection, Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival

Bramadero - Dir. Julián Hernández (Mexico) - 22mins long
The beautiful and erotic Bramadero finds Hassen and Jonás on the outskirts of Mexico City. Away from it all, they've found a spot where they can seduce one another and merge into one; where sex becomes desire, desire becomes love, and only death will separate them.
Official Selection, Frameline, Seattle and Toronto LGBT Film Festivals

Weekend In The Countryside - Dir. Mathieu Salmon (France) - 16mins long
Pierre is invited to go on a weekend trip to an old country house belonging to best friend Marc. The property is overrun by Marc's frighteningly unruly dogs. Marc assures Pierre that they are harmless, but when Pierre rebuffs Marc's sexual advances, the canines turn nasty.
Official Selection, São Paulo and Istanbul Short Film Festivals

Working it Out - Dir. Tim Hunter (Australia) - 5mins long
Marcus and Peter go to their local gym for their usual workout, which is disturbed by a buff and handsome man called Jeremy. The pair bicker over the sexy Jeremy, accusing one another of either cheating or being all-out paranoid. In the end, though, Jeremy will have his way...

Futures & Derivatives - Dir. Arthur Halpern (USA) - 18mins long
A group at the law firm is caught off guard when asked to produce a presentation for an important client. They subsequently hire a bookish temp to pull an all-nighter. Not only does the temp finish the power-point presentation, but he leaves behind a trail of magic that will change the perceptions and sensibilites of the office staff forever.
Official Selection, Brooklyn Film Fest, LA Shorts Fest, ReelHeART
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on 8 May 2014
They are smart, intuitive, and entertaining. The young men in the films are interesting and/or beautiful. It's a lift to watch these characters.
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on 20 May 2014
I love independent film making. These story's tell life of a voice that been MUTED... I don't care how BAD some of the performer are.
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on 15 September 2011
Great service and a really nice present. Delilvery was as discibed and recieved in top comdition with no damage. I would recommend purchasing DVD's from them.
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on 17 October 2009
An excellent series of short movies, most have a limited budget but that doesn't stop some of them being great. Two of the shorts are really good. Get your fast forward button ready for some of the others.

*The Island - an island only for gay people's the theme here - a mix of animation and storytelling, it's not a great idea and a heavies too much on cliche.
*Cowboy - Fantastic. Gritty, pent up and full of suspense. The idea is a guy visits a farm with the idea of developing it into real estate... little does he know what's waiting for him... contains mild gore.
*Kali Ma : some comedy moments, a little slow and missing some action
*Lucky Blue - a great feel good movie about finding romance.
*Love Bite - short & funny
*Bramadero - absolute pants.
*Weekend in the Countryside - get that fast forward button ready!
*Working it Out - two guys in a gym meet a third... full of cliched.
*Futures (and derivatives)- artistic & bizzarre.
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on 15 October 2014
Always good variety & stories you can relate to on Boys On Film.
This one's no different. :-)
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on 3 October 2015
well the mexico section went beyond method acting. neary choked on my popcorn
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