›› Split Sole ‹‹

a short film by Barnaby Boulton.

2021 | 14 mins | UK.

being able to express your true feelings through dance.

Dave says:

From writer and director Barnaby Boulton comes this well-played short on being able to express your true feelings through dance; albeit if only for fleeting moments and therein, strictly behind closed doors.

Or to be specific, behind the closed doors of an abandoned London theatre that is but the stage for best friends Lewis (Taz Skylar) and Zach (Daniel Larkai) to engage in the art of dance, an intimate form of expression that their so-called friends living in the inner city housing estates of urban life, would certainly not appreciate. All of which gives rise to Lewis complete with girlfriend by his side, throwing homophobic slurs into the conversation, so as to reinforce his macho image to all those around him.

Yet away from the prying eyes of friends and family, both men clearly have feelings for each other that they feel at ease to show by way of dance, even if they portray themselves as straight to one and all, to the point that Zach's mother (Michelle Greenidge) is ever fearful that her son will fall into the trap of gang culture, rather than and unknown to her, put on his dancing shoes for the night. Only what would she prefer; a straight son who ends up behind bars, or a gay son dancing in the arms of another man?

Beautifully played and scored throughout, here we find Boulton strikingly juxtapose the tough guy persona of a man who out of sight finds solace in dance and moreover in the arms of a man who is his friend, teacher, dance partner and perhaps more, given come close-of-play Boulton purposely leaves you guessing as to the nature of their relationship? What we do see however is not only touching, but quite tender in parts, with the Larkai / Skylar pairing all but leaving you yearning to see more of their clandestine friendship and choreographed intimacy. Simply wondrous.

›› available as part of the Channel 4 IRIS PRIZE short films collection.
›› posted: Friday, 19th August, 2022.

Gay Visibility - covert | Nudity - none | Overall - file under ... 3+ stars

›› copyright © 2022 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com ‹‹
›› archive reference #2022024 ‹‹
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