a short film by Barry Dignam
2003 | 10 mins | Ireland
›› A Ferret Called Mickey
a gentle tale with a bite to it
A Ferret Called Mickey by Barry Dignam Written by Loughlin Deegan and funded as part of the RTE / Irish Film Board SHORT CUTS scheme, this cautionary tale charts the consequences of forcing the pursuit of manly interests on those who clearly do not wish to go down that path.

For eight-year-old Paulie has a liking for pretend tea parties and dressing-up in his mother's high-heels, interests that his father is about to put an abrupt end to, by switching his son's love for all things effeminate, to the bloody sport of ferreting. Now some fathers may have chosen a different direction here. Perhaps taken their son to a football match to develop an interest in the so-called beautiful game, rather than heading off to the woods for a spot of rabbit hunting. Yet this ferret has a mind and a sharp pair of teeth all of his own and put it this way, it isn't long before pretend tea parties are back in!

As one of the first short films made in Ireland to be photographed on Hi-Def and transferred to 35mm, this work charts the well-worn territory of childhood sexuality and the reaction by a proud father to his son's seemingly effeminate nature. Yet whilst this, at heart, marks yet another example of the young boy dressing up in his mother's clothes scenario and here cue the opening of Torch Song Trilogy, Dignam laces his short with his customary cinematic sparkle and certainly the introduction of a ferret in a work of this kind is different, if not unique!

As expected Darragh Kelly in the role the proud father of the piece, plays the part full of macho bravado and yet it is Colin Middleton as Paulie who steals the show, full of the playful innocence of a child. For this is a gentle tale with a bite to it and one that went on to win the noted 2004 Film Four TX award. Need more be said?
screened as part of the 18th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2004
starring: Darragh Kelly, Colin Middleton, Cathy Belton, Emily Bradely, Pat Laffan
Copyright 2004 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #119
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