Category Archives: GLBT Film

“AGAINST THE LAW”— Gay Men in 50s England

“Against the Law”

Gay Men in 50s England

Amos Lassen

Fergus O’Brien’s “Against the Law” is part biopic and part documentary. It uses the story of gay rights activist Peter Wildeblood to explore the nearly forgotten world of gay men who lived in England in the 1950s. This was a time when homosexuality was illegal and gay men were persecuted and prosecuted aggressively. Wildeblood (Daniel Mays) is a shy journalist whose lover, Eddie McNally (Richard Gadd) under pressure from the police, denounces him as a homosexual. With that Wildeblood is caught up in what became an infamous 1954 trial that also targeted his well-known friends Lord Edward Montagu and Michael Pitt-Rivers. This is shocking as compared to today and we learn that rather than silencing Wildeblood, he became radicalized and he went on to document it in a candid memoir that fueled a public discussion about homosexuality thus contributing to its eventual decriminalization (in 1967) in the United Kingdom. It’s a moving story (even though some of Wildeblood’s ideas about the various kinds of gay has not stood the test of time and for that we should be thankful. The real stars of this film are several gay men who are now in their 70s, 80s, and 90s and who lived in England during that time. There are interviews with these men that appear throughout the drama making this film a bit more personal.

The film is based on Peter Wildeblood’s autobiography about his affair with a handsome serviceman he met in Piccadilly and the devastating consequences of their relationship. He has been a very celebrated and well-connected journalist on the Daily Express, with many acquaintances. His journey from Fleet Street via public vilification was very quick and he was imprisoned under the same legislation that sent Oscar Wilde to prison. With his career and personal life in tatters, Wildeblood began his sentence as a broken man. While in prison, he was subjected to a series of questionable ‘medical’ therapeutic measures which were believed to be able to ‘change’ his sexual orientation. When he was freed a year later, he was determined to do all he could to change the way Britain’s laws against homosexuality impacted on the lives of men like him.

The importance of Peter Wildeblood’s case (which was jointly brought against him, Lord Montagu and Michael Pitt-Rivers) is that it brought the debate about homosexuality into the public domain. It eventually led the way to the creation of the Wolfenden Committee on sexual law reform that resulted in the passing of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which changed the lives of thousands of gay men with its partial decriminalization of homosexual acts. This film gives a moving portrait of what it meant to be gay in the 1950s and underlines the importance of understanding our recent history along with the tremendous social and emotional burdens endured by generations of gay men.

The film is a powerful British production that elegantly combines fact and historical drama about an important moment in the struggle for LGBT rights in Britain. The cast also features Mark Gatiss as Wildeblood’s prison psychiatrist, Doctor Landers and Charlie Creed-Miles as Superintendent Jones. Here is the dark reality of the past that people who are still alive today had to deal with.

“THE HIPPOPOTAMUS”— A Disavowed Poet

“THE HIPPOPOTAMUS”

A Disavowed Poet

Amos Lassen

 “The Hippopotamus” is a film about a disavowed poet and the film is filled classically British absurdity in a lush countryside setting and performed by a cast of excellent character actors led by Roger Allam as Ted Wallace. He travels to Swafford Hall, where Matthew Modine, an American, has taken up the manners and means of an English squire and where Wallace is tasked with investigating a series of ‘miracles.’

Now you must be warned that during the entire length of the film, there is voiceover that describes what is happening in Wallace’s head. He is referred to as a “poor, pompous, hippopotamus”.Ted Wallace is a drunk living off of his past literary fame. He is a poet who hasn’t written a poem since 1987. He works as a theatre critic for a newspaper culture section, he ends up seeing a terrible performance of Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” and ends up fighting the director. Soon he is being called into his newspaper editor’s office and is fired.

Later, sitting in his no-longer-favorite pub because they’ve finally refused an extension to his line of credit, he meets a beautiful young woman who claims he’s her godfather. Jane (Emily Berrington) has a “project” for him. He is to visit Swafford Hall, home of her mother’s brother and his family, and investigate miracles that have supposedly been taking place there. Jane has leukemia and after spending what should have been her last few weeks at Swafford with her extended family she has apparently been cured.

Once at Swafford, he resumes his long-dropped friendships with Annie (Fiona Shaw), the aristocratic Lady of the house, and her American businessman husband Michael (Modine).  Their 16-year-old son David (Tommy Knight) and his more rational brother Simon are both there.

At Swafford everyone dresses for dinner although Ted spends much of his free time walking round the fields in a silk dressing gown. They have guests over including the flamboyant Oliver Mills (Tim McInnery), who thinks nothing of telling anal sex anecdotes at mealtimes. Valerie (Lyne Renee) is a very glamorous French woman with a rather plain teenage daughter.

Jane continually hassles him constantly from her home but Wallace is too drunk to be a natural sleuth. It turns out that David is Wallace’s godson and he is obsessed with sex and has no idea that it is inappropriate to talk about penises. Wallace is self-loathing and sarcastic, but he’s blunt without being mean and is actually very understanding of teenagers, and what is normal for them: their obsession with sex, and their desperation to understand the world without the world view to do so properly. David is certainly different but does he really have the ability to heal, or is everyone so desperate to believe that they hang on his every word. If you are trying to find a plot here, forget it— there isn’t one.

We hear a lot about sex, bestiality and underage sexual acts of a sexual nature but I am not sure why. The film is based on Stephen Fry’s novel of the same name and directed by John Jencks.

“THE LOVED ONE”— Dying in California

“The Loved One”

Dying in California

Amos Lassen

When “The Loved One” hit movie screens in 1965, people were outdone. Based on Evelyn Waugh’s book of the same name and adapted for the screen by Terry Southern and Christopher Isherwood, this is a movie that could never be made today. It was considered tasteless and offensive in its satire on the funeral business in California and I loved it. I recently watched the Blu ray release of this satire and I was even more certain as to why I loved a movie that the world hated.

It is not just about death, however. Director Tony Richardson takes on sex, greed, religion and mother love, as well. Robert Morse plays Dennis Barlow. a would-be poet who gets entangled with an unctuous cemetery entrepreneur (Jonathan Winters), a mom-obsessed mortician, Mr. Joyboy (Rod Steiger) and other bizarre characters played by such adept actors as John Gielgud, Robert Morley, Tab Hunter, Milton Berle, James Coburn and Liberace. The film was advertised as “the movie with something to offend everyone” and we easily see why. The story centers around the pomp and ceremony that comes with the daily operation of a posh mortuary and a climaxing idea by an owner of a Southern California cemetery of orbiting cadavers into space since we are running out of burial spaces on earth.

Dennis falls in love with the lady cosmetician (later promoted to embalmer) while making arrangements for his uncle’s burial. However, she (Anjanette Comer) is dedicated to her work and Whispering Glades Memorial Park. Jonathan Winters, in a dual role, is excellent both as the owner of Whispering Glades and his twin brother, who operates the nearby pet graveyard and is patron of a 13-year-old scientific whiz who invents a rocket capable of projecting bodies into orbit. While the film was promoted as being outrageous and offensive, I want to head in that direction. It is indeed offensive not just because of its theme or its insensitivity.

The way that some funeral rituals are practiced in some of the fancy cemeteries near Hollywood are naturally shocking and disturbing and they are vividly and vulgarly revealed shown here as commercial shams. The violent and undisciplined excessiveness of these funerals is seen in its morbid ribaldry. There is too much kidding around with corpses, too much joking in the embalming room, too many scenes of dead bodies and food. For believers, the travesties of the doctrine of the resurrection of soul is sure to offend. By using an obvious American, Robert Morse, in the role of the poet, who is a total dunce so as to offend the British, however, does not really work. John Gielgud is Sir Francis Hinsley, the loved one, the poet’s uncle who commits suicide and for whom burial is arranged. Rod Steiger is repulsive as the hideously epicene Mr. Joyboy, chief of the embalming room.

The novel on which the film is based is a short satire that was written after Waugh’s trip to Hollywood, where he attended a funeral at Forest Lawn and was struck by parallels between the pretensions of the movie industry and the lavish overproduction of the Los Angeles funeral business. The book is laced with the kind of acidly condescending sarcasm that is a British specialty, but Richardson chose to have made an American screenwriter, Terry Southern, the notorious author whose temperament and style were the antithesis of Waugh’s write the screenplay with British Christopher Isherwood, author of the stories that would inspire and who had been one of Evelyn’s Waugh’s chief literary rivals. What we get is a that is not sure what it is satirizing and being offensive. overstuffed satire that can’t make up its mind about what it’s satirizing because it’s so busy extending a middle finger to everyone watching. The film has quite a cult following despite its many problems.

The first half hourhour mocks America’s film industry, with Roddy McDowall as an unctuous studio executive at Megalopolitan Pictures and Jonathan Winters as a producer. It also parodies English class-consciousness, which is dutifully preserved by the L.A. ex-patriot conclave under the leadership of Sir Ambrose Ambercrombie (Robert Morley), who has been knighted for his services as an actor specializing in butlers and prime ministers. From that point on, the script deals with Dennis getting a job at a fancy pet cemetery called Happier Hunting Grounds. In the process, he becomes familiar with the A-list cemetery for humans, Whispering Glades, which is owned and operated by Reverend Wilbur Glenworthy (Jonathan Winters) in an ostentatious and quasi-religious style that exerts cult-like control over its employees.

Dennis falls in love with Aimee Thanatogenous (Anjanette Comer) but she is already in love with her boss, the facility’s chief embalmer, Mr. Joyboy. Unfortunately for her, Mr. Joyboy only has eyes for his corpse clientele and his aging mother (Ayllene Gibbons). In desperation, Barlow gives Aimee poems that he claims to have written himself but in fact has plagiarized from such well-known sources as Keats and Shakespeare. This mixes her up and so she seeks advice from a newspaper columnist, Guru Brahmin, whom she doesn’t know is really a gruff, cynical and perpetually soused reporter (Lionel Stander), who, when cornered in a bar, might just tell a desperate soul that killing oneself is a good option.

At Whispering Glades, Rev. Glenworthy is running out of burial space, and he conceives a plan to extract more profit from the land by converting it into retirement homes, emptying the graves by blasting their occupants into space. The rocketry will be provided by a child prodigy, 12-year-old Gunther Fry (Paul Williams). The first person to receive a space burial is, appropriately, an astronaut nicknamed “The Condor”, and his precedent-setting service is complicated by a web of deceit and blackmail.

There is not a boring moment in the film. There are subplots and twists and turns, some really good acting and really lousy acting. Instead of paying attention to what is going on, it is fun just to ignore the plot and let the offenses entertain and watch the actors trying so hard. The scenes with Mr. Joyboy and his gluttonous mother remind us of John Water. There are many \ cameos by famous actors (who are even listed as “cameo guest stars” in the opening credits). James Coburn is the immigration officer who stamps Barlow’s passport, Milton Berle is a wealthy Angeleno who wants his dog buried at Happier Hunting Grounds, Dana Andrews is a corrupt Army general. We see Liberace cleanly dressed and minus sequins as Whispering Glades’ “counselor”, gently advising the bereaved on coffins and funeral attire with the enthusiasm of a wedding planner. As each guest star appears, the film momentarily pauses as if boasting about the marquee names it managed to attract. But then the moment is over and… the film ends and Dennis Barlow returns to England a sadder man from his American adventures.

The special features include:

  • Trying to Offend Everyone: This 2003 featurette offers recollections of the film’s production by a scattered group of surviving participants, but it only hints at the film’s troubled history. Interviewees include Robert Morse, Anjanette Comer, Paul Williams, Haskell Wexler and Tony Gibbs, who is described as “supervising editor”, although the film’s editing credit is divided between Hal Ashby (future director of Being There) and Brian Smedley-Aston (a member of the editorial team on Performance).
  • Trailer

“THE OLIVIA EXPERIMENT”— Asexuality

“The Olivia Experiment”

Asexuality

Amos Lassen

Olivia (Skye Noel) is a 27-year-old grad student who has started to suspect that she is asexual. To help clear up her issues, she accepts a friend’s offer to try sex with her own boyfriend. However, much goes wrong in Olivia’s first attempt to have sex.

Olivia she goes on a journey to better understand the nature of her self-diagnosed asexuality and to document her “experiment” (allowing the director, Sonja Schenk, to conduct real interviews with men and women of all ages and sexual orientations who frankly discuss first sexual encounters, sexual identity likes-dislikes and the meaning of the act to each individual. These interviews are feathered through the story as a subtle comment on what is happening to Olivia).

Being a virgin is depicted as having a mental disorder and the film is a bit too superficial and cliché-ridden thus making attempts at humor seem silly. While Olivia is attractive and intelligent, she has never been drawn to either men or women and has resolutely remained a virgin. Rejected by an asexual support group and told by faculty advisor that she should “live a little,” she reluctantly agrees to her freewheeling friend Felisha’s (Jen Lilley) generous offer to loan out her hunky, blond, surfer-type boyfriend Julian (Brett Baumayr) for some no-strings-attached sex. The ensuing “Olivia Experiment” becomes the subject of a documentary film that she decides to make with the help of her lesbian camerawoman friend C.J. (Michelynne McGuire).

The experiment quickly goes awry when Olivia responding to Julian’s genial sexual invitations with hysteria and she comes across as neurotic. The other characters, including Olivia’s gay roommate (Dan Gordon), her overbearing mother (Barbara Lee Bragg) and a nerdy mathematician (Kyle More) are simply broad stereotypes. By the time that Julian instead hooks up with C.J., who has suddenly discovered that she’s actually bisexual and we are quite bored.

The endless pressure to have sex is a theme that will resonate with many. We wonder, at first, if Olivia’s so-called asexuality is more emotional way than an actual (self) diagnosis. Her roommate, James seems to think so. We see what Olivia does not see, that the answer to her predicament is right in front of her

“The Gays of Our Lives: The Unvarnished Memoirs of an Aging Fruit” by Denial Leonardo Murphy— A Book of Fairy Tales

Murphy, Denial Leonardo. “The Gays of Our Lives: The Unvarnished Memoirs of an Aging Fruit,”, Creative Types, 2016.

A Book of Fairy Tales

Amos Lassen

The Gays of Our Lives” is a book of “fairy-tales” that follow a group of “fruity friends from Flint, Michigan, or Murdertown USA (as it has been dubbed by the New York Times”. There are also other stories that introduce us “to quirky queers from the larger world”. Flint is a factory town and a difficult place for gay people as we see by the lives of the characters here during forty years. We read about lovers who come and go, about friendships and about the lucky ones who grow old. The guys travel to exotic destinations such as Mykonos, Istanbul, and Venice. As they do, they learn that living a gay-old life has both joys and disappointments. They realize that traveling is much more when done with others like themselves. The stories are loving and filled with gossip and there is a wonderful cast of truly strange guys. And yes, the author’s first name is Denial.

 

“STUMPED”— Regaining Independence

“Stumped”

Regaining Independence

Amos Lassen

In 2011, Boston filmmaker Will Lautzenheiser was preparing to teach his first film class when a regular visit to his doctor changed his life forever. Lautzenheiser had an irritating leg pain that turned out to be a life-threatening infection. Within days, all of his limbs were amputated. Admittedly this does not sound like a basis for a feel good film, so let me tell you that director Robin Berghaus’s documentary is filled with surprises. It is a captivating look at patience, perseverance, and perspective as it explores the physical and emotional challenges that come with a sudden, life-changing event. The fact that Will is a distinctive personality whose first order of business after leaving the hospital is to perform stand-up comedy has a great deal to do with the success of this film.

The film uses an honest, all-access approach so that viewers can experience one man’s struggle to regain independence. We watch as Will’s partner, Angel, adjusts to his new role as a caretaker. The dynamics of the two men’s relationship is sweet, difficult, and complicated relationship but also illuminating and thought provoking. Berghaus expertly balances multiple levels of human drama with fascinating details about the science and medicine behind transplant surgery. This is an unexpected survival story that addresses issues of identity, diversity, and the strength of the human spirit.

“Stumped” is a small movie that does not go much beyond Will and is therefore focused and informative. Here is a young filmmaker who needed all four extremities amputated after a horrifying infection. He was able to have a dual arm transplant during filming. adds new, intriguing material.

It all begins when Will feels a pain two days into his job teaching film at Montana State University and, by the time he gets to the emergency room, staph infection has snowballed into toxic shock, necessitating the amputation. Will commits to full-time rehab, learns to accomplish what he can with limited capacity and prosthetic limbs, and eventually takes to the stage at a Boston improv club with jokes nobody else could get away with making. That positive attitude is part of the reason that the doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital find him to be an excellent candidate for a transplant since the rehab for that is tremendously intense.

Robin Berghaus uses Will’s entertainingly self-deprecating humor without being disrespectful of the greater community dealing with that sort of disability. Will and the film get real laughs rather than ones given jut because of his awful situation. There are scenes of unease including photos of how quickly and thoroughly the infection destroyed healthy tissue to the understandable discomfort that co-exists with. We see Will’s his twin brother’s support and how he managed both simple and complex things. We see demonstrations of what his rehab and day-to-day life is like and other personal information and a lot of facts and medical discussions that might fascinate some. By and large, this is about Will overcoming challenges in large part due to his good attitude and excellent support system.

Will frequently speaks about wanting a lot more control than he now has and we see this as gross-out jokes and when he speaks to Angel, his boyfriend who shows his g visible frustration, especially after Will has tried to lead him through something relatively complicated like cooking. This is a film about a man who wants to be very independent while having to accept that he will need to rely on others’ help for a great many things. We would think that receiving the transplant would change that but the opposite happens, as Will realizes that everything he does in the future will be done with the help of his anonymous donor. I was totally fascinated by the film and I think that most who see it will feel the same.

“SCREWED”— Finding Each Other and Themselves

“Screwed” (“Pihalla”) 

Finding Each Other and Themselves

Amos Lassen

“Screwed” is a Finnish drama film in which seventeen year olds Miku and Elias find themselves, and each other, during a summer in the Finnish countryside. The stage is set for a sensual, beautifully photographed film of a young gay man as he moves into adulthood with a simple statement, “It’s going to be a dry summer.”

Director Nils-Erik Ekblom gives us lyrical and poetic coming-of-age story. Because of an ill-advised rave thrown at home while the adults were away, 17-year-old sexually insecure Miku (Mikko Kauppila) must spend the summer with his bickering parents at their private cottage. There, against the serene and beautiful backdrop of the Finnish countryside, he meets confident Elias (Valtieri Lehtinen), with whom he strikes up an intense friendship, one that leads to physical sexual consummation and mutual self-discovery.

Even with familial dysfunction and troubled parental relationship turmoil, sexuality is refreshingly matter-of-fact. Director Ekblom has said that he wanted to show an uncensored version of the daily life of a young gay Finn on the brink of adulthood. There is nothing special about his being gay and it is regarded as just another point in the film. This is a realistic depiction of a young gay man’s sexual awakening, and the tender and erotic interactions of the two main characters. It is based on the personal experience of its young writer-filmmaker. The mood and pacing of the film are gorgeous as is the film overall.

Seventeen-year-old Miku is just a regular guy whose brother thinks that he has no personality, Because of a party that got out of hand Miku is forced to spend the rest of the summer with his parents who are dealing with their relationship problems. When Miku meets Elias, the two boys realize that the only things they have in common are their ages and the fact that they both live in dysfunctional families. But something is pulling them together. Nevertheless, something pulls them together. Elias forces Miku to deal with his repressed sexuality and this happens as Miku’s parents’ marriage is falling apart. Elias has his own baggage to deal with and finds it easier to just discard Miku from his life instead of starting another broken romance but Miku decides to take charge of his own life and will not let himself be thrown to the side so easily.

“BODY ELECTRIC”— Searching for Himself

“Body Electric”

Searching for Himself

Amos Lassen

Elias (Kelner Macêdo) has been dreaming a lot lately about the sea. He works as an assistant to the chief designer (Dani Nefussi) in a garment factory, and while he’s liked by all, and enjoys aspects of the job, he gets little inspiration at work. He has an active sex life, and even though he recently ended a relationship with older, well-off Arthur (Ronaldo Serruya), the two occasionally still sleep together.

As Christmas gets nearer and work intensifies, he begins to socialize more with the factory workers, choosing ignoring the words of otherwise equitable boss Walter (Ernani Sanchez), who advises him to maintain a division between management and the laborers. One of those laborers is feminine Wellington (Lucas Andrade), a thin and willowy youth who brings Elias to meet his nontraditional family, headed by fabulous drag queen Marcia (Marcia Pantera).

All Elias seems to want out of life is to enjoy his friends. He refuses to limit or categorize those he loves. He finds equilibrium in the company of others. This is the first feature film by director Marcelo Caetano and it is a candid and tender tribute to Brazil’s racial and sexual heterogeneity. Set in São Paulo, Brazil the film follows the work and love life of Elias who loves exploring his sexuality and intimate friendships in his free time. Despite being professional and fairly popular amongst his colleagues at the clothing factory, he has reservations about being open with his lifestyle. That does not keep him from experimenting and oftentimes crossing professional boundaries with his co-workers in an attempt to achieve sexual liberation.

This is a “mood movie” that gives us artificial insights into various workplace, nightlife and societal environments without actually articulating any infringement, abuse or social issues present within these surroundings. We see this in the portrayal of the small clothing factory where Elias works. Although the film makes it apparent that the protagonist has a privileged position there (he is consistently financed by an older gay ex of his), little is said about his exploited colleagues who are under-compensated and struggle to squeeze in extra work hours.

The Brazil that we see here is a tolerant and progressive country, but that does not mean that there is no homophobia and hate crimes. However, what we see here is not a tranquil gay paradise, where judgments are mostly absent and almost every character is a peace-loving, kind soul. In Elias’ work environment we see only open-minded individuals who emphatically accept and welcome Elias, his sexuality and his sexually charged lifestyle. Albeit a positive and desired outcome, this scenario is rarely a reality for openly gay men. It would be wonderful if this were true.

Macêdo’s performance as Elias brings a warmth to the character. The film is a genuine representation of a feel-good niche group from Brazil and touches upon the gratifying aspects of libertinism and open sexuality. We see how individual differences can work towards bringing us closer together instead of our drifting apart. “Body Electric” praises individuality and freedom as our birthrights as it takes an intimate look at a racially and sexually diverse LGBT group living in São Paulo.

“MY FRIEND DAHMER”— A High School Pal

“My Friend Dahmer”


A High School Pal

Amos Lassen

Director Marc Meyers’s “My Friend Dahmer’ is based on the graphic novel by Dahmer’s childhood friend John Backderf and is a narrative biopic that goes deeply into Dahmer’s life during his senior year in high school. Dahmer (Ross Lynch) had a habit of pretending to have cerebral palsy in order to get attention and this inspires a group of boys (Alex Derf, Harrison Holzer, and Tommy Nelson) to create a fan club in his honor, and use him for elaborate pranks (he is so invisible that they put him in every club’s class picture without anyone noticing). Dahmer’s habit of doing dark, odd things is viewed as excitingly taboo at first, and this objectification both pained and thrilled him.

At home, Jeffrey’s mother (Anne Heche) suffers from mental illness. His father (Dallas Roberts) leaves, both of them and Dahmer is abandoned by both parents. When he discovers that he is homosexual, he tries desperately to suppress it. The local doctor, Dr. Matthews (Vincent Kartheiser), becomes his first object of real obsession. Dahmer is mortified by getting an erection during a physical, imagines the doctor dead in his bed, and hides in the bushes with a baseball bat during the doctor’s jogs on a rural road. When “his friends” see him act out increasingly terrifying, violent acts, they begin to regret teasing him. As the days wear on, Dahmer’s sense of alienation grows and the only relief he has is by acting out early horrific crimes.

Because we know who he grows up to be, there is an element of terror that’s often nearly impossible to capture, so Meyers focuses on Dahmer’s psyche over trying to ham up his violent acts. The scares come more from the growing tension of understanding who he is going to become when he graduates as it gets closer to the end, and this is intensified by several scenes of his male classmates rough housing and bragging over their bright futures as Dahmer sits in the corner all alone.

Dealing with a character like Dahmer is very difficult and we have no sympathy for him even though our eyes fill with tears during a scene is which he cuts himself off from the opportunity to turn back from his fate. It is like watching a teen transform into a monster; our tears are not for Dahmer but for what he becomes because of this.

The film toys with audiences who already know what happens after Dahmer barely survives his teen years. The film pieces together a taut psychological thriller that leaves no one innocent, including the audience. I cannot help but wonder why I and others would want to see this film yet is getting rave reviews from those who do see it. Is it because Dahmer is subjected to the cruelty of classmates and experiments with the acid his father, a scientist, gave him to dissolve dead animals. We meet three students from Dahmer’s high school who take an interest in him, and we see that the feeling is mutual, even if both sides are aware that the relationship they have is not really a friendship. The three see Dahmer as a bit of a class clown who can ease the final days of their senior year after seeing him act out in the halls one day after he stopped caring what people think. At school, even the teachers mock him when he’s caught off-guard with a question and Dahmer stops caring about people altogether.

We see the evil that arises every day for some and we do not know if this comes as a result of self-preservation or the desire to get ahead. What Meyers does here indirectly is show that Dahmer’s tormentors condition him to treat others in dehumanizing fashions, without them seeing the consequences. They will be away at college and what they do to Dahmer will stay with him (but that did not matter to them)..

We watch Dahmer begin to adapt to the situations he’s in after spending so much of the film as a loner. What he does becomes a subversive act and there is the tendency too cheer for the introvert to come out of his shell. This is where this transcends its historical attachments to add a new dimension to the story by exploring the myth making that often surrounds our villains and our heroes bolstering their rise to fame. “My Friend Dahmer” adds a whole other layer of intrigue as you see his personality constructed by influences he allows in and the ones he can’t control from the public at large.Ross Lynch is amazing as Dahmer. At times he is awkwardly charming; at other times he is totally chilling.

“My Friend Dahmer” is a captivating and thoughtful meditation on the making of a killer. It’s a serious and audacious attempt to dramatize the inner life of a sick person when he wasn’t quite so sick. We get the idea that Jeffrey Dahmer wasn’t just born, he was made. He began life as an actual human being yet this never undercuts the extremity of his crimes.

Dahmer’s crush on his doctor who he sees jogging each morning from the school bus is a feeling that he doesn’t know what to do with. His home seems to be quite normal on the outside but his mother has been in and out of mental institutions. In her we see the insidiousness of mental illness and the way it creates an atmosphere of instability that affects the people around it. Both his father and himself are unable to deal with it and so Dahmer retreats into the chemistry shed in the rustic backyard of their home and fixates on the insides of animals as if he is trying to find his own soul. He becomes obsessed with this, and when his dad dismantles the shed, Dahmer reacts by faking an attack at school. This is a clear sign that he’s had it with interacting but the three guys think it is cool. While society itself does not create serial killers, it is safe to say that society creates the context for them. With the encouragement of his “new buddies” (who see him as a freak), he begins to have attacks at school.

The movie implicitly tells us that if Dahmer had felt like it, he could have expressed his sexual feelings and then be on another path. Instead, he holds everything within and cannot tolerate the desire that he perceives that those around him can’t tolerate. He could not see his own insanity. In the film we Jeffrey Dahmer for what he was: a young man who could express himself only through the most hideous violence. We also see that what he had to express was real.

“BABY BUMP”— Changing

“BABY BUMP”

Changing

Amos Lassen

Kuba Czekaj‘s “Baby Bump” is a wild, accurate, disturbing, confusing film and these all taken together give us a fun movie. Mickey (Kacper Olszewski) is growing up and as his body is changing, his thoughts go wild. The film is about his character and is told from his child`s perspective. It’s a character study of a kind that focuses on the physiological and psychological changes that happen to everyone when innocence is lost and left behind.

There is no consistent narrative and at times it is a bit vulgar. It is something of a black comedy; an Oedipal story of a small boy trying to pry himself loose from the suffocating attentions of his young mother.

Eleven-year-old Mickey House is frustrated with his changing body He is a loner at school and his mother treats him like a child. The only solace in his life comes from selling urine to his classmates for drug tests. He realizes that growing up is not for kids. Visually this is a gorgeous film even in the scenes that some might find offensive, those that feature butts, breasts, erections, vaginas, hair, blood and other body substances that we see here. It is quite basically a collage of experiences, thoughts and fantasies that uses modern cinematic techniques to get our attention and at times it is shocking, provoking and confusing. It is hard to judge

Kacper Olszewski’s acting because of the structure of the film but he is cute and photogenic and sometimes quite repulsive.