a short film by Hong Khaou
2006 | 9 mins | UK
›› Summer
an intimate portrayal of gay first love
Summer by Hong Khaou Firmly putting their rainbow coloured voice where their heart is, leading UK gay film distributor Peccadillo Pictures heralded this strikingly realistic depiction of gay first love and if anything, the gay cinematic favourite that is falling in love with your straight best friend. For that is what Will and Leung are, so close in fact that they spend the summer together and on this particular day find themselves walking through London's Hampstead Heath, contemplating life in general. Or to be more specific, thinking and talking about sex, a subject that soon gives way to Will boasting of his knowledge of the act itself.

Only Leung cannot help but wish that the lips that were those of Will's girlfriend, were instead his. A desire that is destined to come out in the open when a game of 'wish upon a falling leaf' gives way to a bout of manly wrestling, that in turn sees Leung plant his lips firmly upon those of his best friend. Only will Will react the way most teenagers would, when you realise your best friend has the hots for you!

Summer by Hong Khaou Written and directed by Hong Khaou, this most intimate of works of the verbal nature delights in turning the celluloid medium on its head, as the audience find themselves not so much watching a short film; rather eavesdropping on a private conversation, as two close friends come to realise that their sexual orientation lies in opposite directions.

True the scenario itself is hardly anything new, having been the foundation stone of many a feature of late, including the like of Krámpack and the festival favourite that was Summer Storm. And yet Khaou triumphs in depicting the emotions that go hand-in-hand with coming out and gay first love in a natural, raw edged style. It is a work enhanced by the performances from Peter Peralta as Leung and Jay Brown as Will who deliver convincing portrayals of their respective characters, backed by a script that is both frank and open about teenage sexuality and experimentation.

Yet unlike other works of this kind, Khaou deliberately chose to end his piece with a cutting closing comment, all of which makes this well-crafted tale an all the more pressing work from a director who surely has more seasonal gems hidden up his cinematic sleeve. Delightful.
screened as part of the 21st London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2007
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue - 'Boys on Film 1: Hard Love' release
starring: Peter Peralta, Jay Brown
Copyright 2008 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #093
›› previous page | back to top | print me ‹‹
click for gay celluloid - home