Sunday, November 12, 2017

DREAM BOAT: Tristan Ferland Milewski's gay cruise doc might possibly put you off both cruising and gays

OK: TrustMovies may be exaggerating a bit in his headline, but this new German documentary -- DREAM BOAT -- about (what I presume is) a popular gay ocean cruise seems more like being trapped within New York City's annual Greenwich Village gay parade for one week straight (or in this case, one week gay). It's heavy going, to say the least, and there's no easy exit -- unless you'd like to swim ashore. Fortunately, the film's writer/director Tristan Ferland Milewski (shown below), keeps the running time to a reasonable 93 minutes, which is a blessing, though his film still seems on the long and repetitive side.

In it, we meet a half dozen or so fellows of various ages and nationalities who have come on the cruise to maybe meet someone "special." Thus we flit from man to man, learning a little about the history and hopes of each.

They're a nice enough bunch, I guess, but as what we learn goes no deeper than what we might in a minimal few moments of conversation with any of them, we neither see nor hear much that merits attention.

Cruises mean, however, that you are rather a captive audience, and since these are the guys Herr Milewski has chosen for us, we're stuck with them and so must make the best of it.

Among these fellows is one from Poland (via Britain, I believe), another from India who's afraid to come "out," a Palestinian who had to leave his homeland due to being gay and is now thankful to the country of Belgium for taking him in, and another fellow who is wheelchair-confined and who talks about his olden days as both a "looker" and an athlete. These are all marginally interesting and would have been more so had Milewski spent a little more time with them.

Instead we get numerous shots of the cruise ship, the ocean, the rowdy goings-on (there's a bit of nudity and even a few moments of full-frontal fellatio along the way), and of course beaucoup Halloween-Gay-Parade type personages. But oddly, we get little sense of what the cruise itself is comprised. Are there no group activities? What are mealtimes like? Sometime it seems as though the film might have been shot on the sly.

As ever, coming out to family, friends and co-workers is a big thing for some of our fellows. We also get a smidgen of philosophy and life-advice from one man to another. But there's little new here we haven't seen nor heard elsewhere (just maybe not while on a cruise ship).

By the time the film ends and we get the credit-crawl update on a few of these guys, this provides what I suppose you'd call a "happy ending." Though none of it appears to have occurred due to the cruise itself.

From Strand Releasing -- and in English, German, French and Arabic, with English subtitles -- Dream Boat opened in New York City a week ago at the Quad Cinema and will hit the Capitol Theater in Cleveland on December 12 (for the first day of Hanukkah!). Otherwise, it's been all GLBT festival screenings. But Strand promises a home video release, which, if you are interested, you can get by clicking here and then clicking on either the DVD or Blu-ray link, which you'll find under the suggestion, Pre-order Now.

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