›› A Stable for Disabled Horses
a short film by Fabio Youniss.
2012 | 13 mins | UK.
starring: Daniel Swan as Benny and Daniel Simonsen as Kanoute.
dedicated to the memory of Sam Harry Potts.
Official Synopsis: "When Kanoute decides to move back to Norway, his best friend Benny throws him a surprise farewell party; just for the two of them. It soon becomes apparent that Benny has a secret that he has to get off his chest before Kanoute leaves, but is it a secret Kanoute wants to hear?"
There's a lush natural feel to this comical, yet equally perceptive piece from writer and director Fabio Youniss, as we come to cinematically eavesdrop on the increasingly drunken conversation of one man desperately trying to express his true feelings, his love, for his best friend - forever. And to his credit, stand-up comedian Daniel Simonsen of House of Fools fame is picture-perfect in the role of object of desire Kanoute; delighted to be in his friend's company at first, only to become increasingly concerned over the direction that Benny's conversation is heading, in particular when his going away present happens to be a T-shirt with a photo of the two emblazoned across the front of it.
Best friends - forever, in A Stable for Disabled Horses.
Yet as good as Simonsen is, the show really belongs to Daniel Swan who packs an emotional punch as Benny; a scruffy individual, ever stumbling for the right words to say. Yet behind his rambling dialogue lies a poignant insight into a life filled with pain; from a devout father who saw his love to dance as unmanly, if not the work of the devil, to the incessant verbal abuse he's subjected to at work; a homophobic environment tolerated so as to be with his co-worker and friend Kanoute.
Filmed in striking black and white and intimately shot and edited, Youniss opted to develop his short from a skeleton script, workshop fashion and here it pays creative dividends. Yet this is far from being a serious drama. Rather this rollercoaster ride of human emotions is hilariously punctuated by a series of one-liners delivered to a comical tee. Sharp, witty, yet also touching, in particular when Benny relates his dream of opening a stable for disabled horses, one where they can be and cue the analogy - free to be who they want to be. Frankly, I loved it and I'm not the only one, as this cinematic gem went onto win the Best UK Short Film award at the prestigious IRIS Prize Film Festival of 2012. And you cannot put it better, than that.
Gay Visibility - covert.
Nudity - none.
Overall - file under ... 4 stars.