Monday, June 04, 2012

"James", an important lgbt coming-of-age short film from Sundance, 2009

YouTube’s “privacy policy” was smart enough (probably because I left tracking cookies on) to flash in front of me a recommendation for the (British-Irish) 2009 Sundance short film winner, “James”, a 17-minute by Connor Clements , startring Niall Wright as the teen,  filmed in Belfast.

James is of middle school age, not old enough yet for voice change. In an early scene, a sympathetic male English teacher Mr. Sutherland recommends  “ The Glass Menagerie” (Tennessee Williams, 1973 tv film), when they’re been reading “The Crucible” (Arthur Miller, a 1996 film, play on Drama blog Dec. 9, 2011).  This sounds like advanced stuff for age 13 or so.  Gradually, we learn than James is “different” even as he evades a potentially scary encounter in a public lavatory. His parents are befuffled but he can’t talk to them.  He goes back to the teacher, who calls him courageous but says, to protect his own job and protect himself from the law, he can never let the boy discuss it with him again. So the boy winds up seeing the man from the “public place”.  Not good.

There’s a line in the middle of the film where the father says he didn’t want kids.

Curiously, I watched the YouTube video Sunday night, and Monday morning it had disappeared because of a "copyright claim" by Peccadillo Pictures (a British distributor, link).  But I found the director had authorized embed code on Vimeo, so here it is.  What a coincidence!

The official site (of the director) is here.

I also found a curious film called “Crush 2-2” with Spanish subtitles, in a fuzzy transfer to YouTube from apparently a festival film shot in Carthage, TX (in conservative rural East Texas).  A teenage girl, playing a game called “truth or dare”, tries to play two potential boyfriends against each other, only to find they like each other more than her. No director was named in the credits.  One interesting observation: both boys (rather like "James" above) are well-behaved, "perfect" kids.  Their southern Baptist pastors would have no clue. 

Again, the YouTube video disappeared overnight, same copyright claim. 

Although both films deal with sensitive stuff, both stay within the “PG-13” range of what they actually show.
Note: URL title of the post, "sage" was a typo,   "age" was intended, "but "sage" is stored in URL name.

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