08 October 2017

120 BPM Beats Per Minute film

over the last couple of days i've written about two gay films that i've seen at the mainstream london film festival ...

yesterday i went to see a french movie called 120 BPM with my friend GB

as usual the text below contains SPOILERS - look away now if you want to see it blind !

i go and see most gay films that i find on the subject of HIV/AIDS - I find both the biological evolution of the virus fascinating (although this film didn't focus on that) and the impact it had on the acceptance of gay people.  writers have suggested that the HIV epidemic forced / allowed gay people to become visible, and the horrendous death toll humanised gay people in the view of general western populations.

i grew up with the tombstone adverts - and the fear that it invoked probably helped keep me alive (and stopped me having sex / accepting my sexuality).  there's a line in the film about France having double the infection rate than UK or Germany - those tombstone adverts really did work !

I don't know anybody who has died of AIDS - not sure if that's a consequence of my late coming out, or my lack of involvement in gay activism.

As is almost inevitable with a film about HIV - there are a couple of deaths ... but the emotions around the death scenes are universal - the scenes reminded me of a vaguely recent death in my family ... and of course i cried !

There's a line in the film, after a sex scene, where the main character asks "was i your first poz guy" ... and it forced me to consider my general reluctance to meet / have sex with guys who are positive.  A recent encounter with a poz guy ended up with me considering taking PEP - but maybe i should be more open to it.  the main character in the film even uses condoms for oral sex ... i'm not sure i could do that !

some of the sex was very good - and as usual i got hard.  in the first sex scene i was thinking that you hardly ever see lubricant being used in film sex ... and a few seconds later the lube appeared on screen !

the director was on stage afterwards - and talked really openly about the film.  some directors try and keep their intentions to themselves (so the audience projects their own ideas onto the film) - but this director was refreshingly forthright.  sadly though he wasn't asked about the slightly strange closing scene - if anybody can explain it, please let me know !

at 140 minutes, i feared the film would be flabby - but it really wasn't.  i don't believe a single scene could or should have been cut.

it really is a great movie - if you get a chance - definitely go and see it.


GB said...

Yes indeed, I also thought that it was a good film :-). All scenes felt like they were faithfully portraying the way things actually happen in real life. However, although I agree with Close Encounteres that no scenes could be cut, I felt that the film would have been a bit better if various scenes had been shortened!

GB xxx

close encounters said...

you're probably right GB - some of the "amphitheatre" scenes (as the director called them) were a bit flabby !