Thursday, December 3, 2020

NQV Media hits a bit of a speed bump with its newest compilation, THE AMERICAN BOYS

This may be my fifth or sixth viewing of one NQV Media's thoughtful, artful and entertaining groupings of short GLBT films from around the world, so I suppose the reason why the one from the USA stands out as the least of the bunch should not surprise. America appears to be growing increasingly stupid down the decades, with more than forty per cent of our electorate having voted for a second term for a President who, over his entire career, has been a scam artist as well as a bigot, bully, coward, crook, fool and fraud. Of course we mustn't equate movies with politics. But still...

The short films in THE AMERICAN BOYS are generally missing what the other collections offer. There's little sense of history, community, class, economics, genuine philosophy (the short Billy's Blowjob sports some ersatz stuff) or much else except what's right in front of us: the immediate subject at hand. Which is mostly about being gay, along with the love object that often goes with this.

That said, the first film of the six shorts featuring this set of "boys" is the most artful of the lot. THESE THINGS TAKE TIME, written and directed by Jerell Rosales, offers a 20-minute tale of a boy, his dad, his teacher, and his "girlfriend." It's equal parts sweet, humorous and sad.

, written and directed by Prash Sampathkumaran, explores in just 11 minutes hero worship and what music means to kids and adolescents. It's quick and handled pleasantly enough.

In TWO FISH, a couple of friends reunite after one returns from a European vacation to face some things that were maybe unspoken/unexpressed but which have now clearly progressed. Written and directed by Antoine Dupont-Guerra, it also lasts just 11 minutes.

The American Film Institute logo precedes YOU CAN PLAY, a 19-minute movie that offers everything from foreshadowing and secrets revealed to sports and character building (or destroying). Directed by Anders Helde and written by Dennis James Clarke and Helde, this was a little too paint-by-numbers for my taste.

proves the (intentionally) funniest film of the bunch, an "is-he-or-isn't-he" discovery comedy. Written and directed by Matt Chupack, the film is glossy and fun, with a good performance by Miles Tagtmeyer (above, center left) as the confused one.

The final offering here is, for TrustMovies, the weakest as well. BILLY'S BLOWJOBS, written and directed by Michael Hyman, features Wilson Cruz (above) in the leading role (the receiver, not the giver) who also produced the film. With music via Chopin, the 17-minute movie is mostly exposition and is as obvious as, well, America itself. 

I don't want to disparage these little films, as they are relatively harmless. But after all the other compilations from this fine company, I guess I was expecting more. Distributed via NQV Media, The American Boys hit streaming this past Monday, November 30, and is available now -- for purchase or rental. Click here for more information.

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