For those yearning for something new in the gay narrative department, then this engrossing thriller is one for you.
It tells the story of opera loving Tim Cornish; a model student studying for his University finals, that is when not courting the attention of paleontology lecturer Dr Ivo Steadman, a man whose love of fossils does not prevent him for taking an active interest in the youth of the day. As the two become one in seemingly no time, Ivo impulsively confesses his love for Tim. Yet this is a young man who loves to be loved, provided you donít say it to his face. With his feelings for Ivo subsequently turning as cold as the snow-clad Alaskan glaciers of their pre-arranged trip, itís only a matter of time before Tim, in Ivoís absence, turns his attention to the welcoming smile of Isabel Winwood, joining her for conversation and a lot more besides. Upon his return however, is Ivo prepared to let go of the love of his life, without a fight?
Adapted for the small screen by Kevin Elyot of Clapham Junction and of late Christopher and His Kind fame, this decidedly dark tale of love and betrayal has a lot going for it and not just the series of chilling twists and turns that you would expect to find in a drama based on the novel by Ruth Rendell, writing as Barbara Vine. For here Lee (The Wolves of Kromer) Williams as cutie Tim and Marc (UK TVĎs Hustle) Warren as redundant lover Ivo shine throughout, with the intensity of their initial passion for each other, providing a marked contrast to their later scenes of a love, turned cold. Then again, this is a story of murder. Not that this is a spoiler, given within minutes of the opening Tim is heard to confess to the act itself. Told in flashback for the main part thereafter, the result is a work full of menace, one that keeps you guessing right up to the end and not just as to the identity of Timís confessor.
Sure Tim is a Dorian Gray type character; a beautiful young man with a life full of promise, only to end up as a tormented soul. And yes, intertwined into the cinematic fabric are feelings of sadness, regret and moments of poignant reflection on what could have been. But itís a tale beautifully told, complete with stunning Alaskan vistas, let alone some sensuous man-on-man action, being as integral to the plot as is its hetero counterpart, with Mikela J Mikael showcasing an acute sense of vulnerability in her role as Isabel. As to the title, such originates from the line "without me, without me, everyday is a misery; with me, with me, no night is too long." And yet ironically what proved to be too long, was the film itself, with its Canadian broadcast brutally cut down to an 85 minute version. Be sure to check out the uncut print, as this atypical gay feature brilliantly runs the gauntlet of emotions; from joy to jealousy and from love to hate and yes, even murder. Well worth seeing.
85 mins edit available on DVD as part of the Optimale / France catalogue
starring: Lee Williams / Tim Cornish, Marc Warren / Dr Ivo Steadman, Mikela J Mikael / Isabel Winwood,
Salvatore Migliore / Thierry Massin with Beverley Breuer / Connie Dorral, Rob Bruner /
Nathan Hayward, Mark Hildreth / James Gilman and Liam McGuigan as Tim
aged 12 and Andrew Murgatroyd as James aged 17.
›› special thanks to Phil for this reader review request; keep them coming!!! ‹‹