Powerful and Dark Short Films
I just finished watching Guest House Film first collection of shorts which I found to be amazing—each of the films is a gem and we do not always get that in film anthologies. What I really found interesting is that the films are dark but they shed light for me. I love a film that makes me think and when you get a half dozen at one time it is that much better. Congratulations to Rob Williams on this.
“Spring” from Hong Khaou may only be thirteen minutes long but it will give many hours to think about it. Here is a step into the world of S/M sex when a young man meets a stranger for sex and he undergoes an experience that changes his life forever. At first I watched with mouth agape and it was not until later that I realized how powerful this film is. We see two men talking about doing something and the younger of the two seems to be a bit nervous while the older one seems to be completely confidant. They enter a room together and the older guy tells the younger to take his clothes off and we then see some disturbing scenes of S/M sex and as much as you want to turn away you can’t. It is if we are voyeurs watching something forbidden but know that we cannot stop. The film is disturbing yet fascinating and excellently acted.
“Remission” directed by Greg Ivan Smith really got to me. A man is in a cabin somewhere waiting to get the results of a biopsy. He seems to become more and more apprehensive and he suddenly realizes that he is not alone and his sense of despair rises. This is an interesting study of the nature of man. I was on the edge of my chair throughout.
“Winner Take All” directed by Camille Carida is about Ryker, a man of seduction and good looks but with a dark sinister side. He invites his two lovers to a private show and has them fight over him. He is to be the prize. Alex Mapa plays a slave. Of all of the films, this is the only one that is somewhat predictable.
“Promise” by Lalo Vasquez tells the story of two lovers—Stu (Korken Alexander) and Chris (Rick Cornette) who live together but have an open relationship. They are getting ready to marry and decide that their relationship is to be monogamous after the ceremony. Stu recently broke the rules and Chris confronts him with the evidence the night before their wedding. This is a look at a relationship that is dying and both men do things that they will regret. There is a very powerful rape scene in the film.
Jim Hansen and Jack Plotnick directed “Video Night”, the shortest of the films. An evening that begins in fun suddenly takes a turn when something is discovered in the day’s shots. I can’t say anymore.
Finally we have “Communication” in which an Orthodox Jewish student unexpectedly inherits the estate of his estranged mentor, and discovers a painful truth about their final days together. Jacob (Rudi Vodanovich) is mentored by Andrew (Alexander Campbell). Jacob was not aware of Andrew’s sexuality until he went to his house for dinner and his lover, Charles, was there. It is not long before Joseph realizes how Andrew feels about him. When Andrew dies after falling from a ladder, he wills everything to Jacob. The film not only deals with homosexuality but also with intergenerational dating. It is a film about inner struggles, religion, and life. Christopher Banks directed.