Boys on Film: Cruel Britannia review

Boys on Film: Cruel Britannia is the latest collection in the LGBT short film series produced by Peccadilo Pictures. The collection has been well curated to fit in with the pun of the title with all films hailing from the UK and being thematically linked by (varying extents and interpretations of) cruelty. Perhaps more than any of the other collections (we reviewed Protect Me From What I Want and Pacific Rim earlier in the year) Cruel Britannia feels like a real mixed bag. Whilst the whole collection is enjoyable, some shorts are miles and away stronger than others.

The three films which stood head and shoulders above the rest:

I Don’t Care  25 mins

Starring Iwan Rheon of misfits fame (the creepy yet loveable invisible one) as Luka, an artistic and pensive soul who feels trapped in his small town due to obligations to his sick mother, takes a day off to ”live his youth in a day” only to have his life turned upside down by the dangerously alluring Dan. Wistful, moving and featuring a cracking cameo from Paloma faith, I Don’t Care is a charming film that’ll have you questioning your own desires.

We Once Were Tide 18 mins (image above)

Sharing quite a few themes with I Don’t Care, the pleasingly entitled We Once Were Tide follows Anthony and his life spent between caring for his sick mother and loving his caring boyfriend. We Once Were Tide is sentimental, without being saccharine, moving, without being heavy-handed and one of our favourites from this collection.

Man and Boy 19 mins

Arguably the strongest film of the bunch, Man and Boy certainly provokes reaction. Starring Eddie Marson who recently knocked our socks off in Tyrannosaur, this film forces you to question your preconceptions and judgements. With a narrative that flicks forward and back in time and had us flicking between anger at the characters, anger at the film and ultimately, anger at ourselves. A fascinating piece of storytelling that merits multiple viewings in order to really make up your mind on what, you think, you just saw.

Our review of Boys on Film: Cruel Britannia comes ahead of its release on May 28th 2012. Duration: 150 mins, RRP: £15.99. Watch the trailer below:

By Jamie McHale

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