Saturday, September 12, 2020

Streaming now, and in a darker mode: NEW QUEER VISIONS: RIGHT BESIDE YOU

Clearly titled with an eye toward irony, the latest installment from NQV Media -- NEW QUEER VISIONS: RIGHT BESIDE YOU -- makes that titular proximity mean both everything and nothing simultaneously. This is certainly the darkest compilation of GLBT shorts from this distributor that I've thus far seen. And if it is not maybe the best of the lot, it is certainly worth viewing and pondering.

This collection of five short films offers three that can in no way be interpreted as having a happy ending; another might have one in the best of all possible worlds, while one simply exists as a kind of brief character study. Another "plus" here is that both bisexuality and transgender are interestingly explored for a change. (Not for nothing was NQV's original company name New Queer Visions: Most of what we see harks definitely toward the gay.)

From Mexico, MY MOTHER'S LOVERS (Los Movios de mi madre) is all about a teenager, his best (and only) friend, and his mom. Dark as pitch and beautifully handled, the 22-minute film was written by Lorena Moleres and directed by Samuel Montes de Oca León

The 13-minute BOOTYFUL, from France, introduces us to a lithe and beautiful black man who attracts and is attracted to both men and women. What does this mean to our hero? A full-length film might further explore this; what we get here is a very nicely filmed introduction, well-written and -directed by François Barbier.  

ONLY WHAT YOU NEED TO NOW ABOUT ME (Apenas o que você precisa saber sobre mim) involves skateboarding, friendship, identity and ersatz closeness. As written and directed by Maria Augusta V. Nunes, this 15-minute film, in Portuguese from Brazil, handles a delicate subject with finesse, understanding and absolute empathy for all concerned.

JUNK refers to the drug and is by far the darkest of the short films presented here. Family, fallout, hard drugs, hopelessness, love and the need to save all jockey for position as our heroes' predicament grow more dire. From the United Kingdom, running 24 minutes, and written and directed by Joe Morris, this is another movie that cries out for expansion. (Though it might just be too much of a downer for many filmgoers.)

The most upbeat (well, maybe) is saved for the finale, as HIGH TIDE explores what happens when a hugely closeted (from himself, as much as from anyone else) Muslim man meets and finds himself attracted to a hunky younger fellow. From The Netherlands, running 22 minutes, and written and directed by Claire Zhou, the movie may open your eyes to the benefits of first closing them.

NEW QUEER VISIONS: RIGHT BESIDE YOU, with English subtitles and running 95 minutes in its entirety, is available now via digital streaming. Click here and scroll down for info on how to view the film.

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