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a short film by Samuel Leighton-Dore.

2014 | 15 mins | Australia.

escaping from the reality of life; drag style.

principal players: Lucas Pittaway / Julian Maxwell, Malcolm Kennard / Rob Maxwell, Richie Finger / Madame Clitora, Stephanie King / Poppy, Matt Levett / Asher, Airlie Dodds / Girl, Paul Reichstein / Door Drag #1 and Ray Chong Nee / Door Drag #2.

Official Synopsis:

A young football player, Julian Maxwell, finds himself struggling to support his unemployed, recently widowed father, while fighting to keep safe the secret he once shared with his mother: he's not only gay, but performs a drag act in a local bar.

Dave says:

Crosscutting his work with more cuts than a lumberjack on overtime, here we find writer and director Samuel Leighton-Dore tell a story about family, loss and the desire for sexual expression in circumstances less than welcoming, as we encounter the complicated life of Julian; aka Lucas Pittaway of Snowtown fame. Cast here as a closeted teenager struggling with the death of his mother and his father's inability to cope with the responsibilities of parenthood, his escape from reality is to drag himself up for the night under the guise of playing football; an act that brings in the money to pay the rent. Only for how long can Julian keep his passion for drag a secret, when his father's new girl spots something in his football kit that's certainly not meant to be worn on the pitch?

Well-played throughout, this is a work ingrained with a real sense of danger and unease, a dramatic backdrop that's wonderfully juxtaposed with the cabaret atmosphere of the drag scene, as we witness Julian now transformed into his alter ego take to the stage to lip-sync to the swing inspired production number Showtime and here cue the lush vocal work of Isabella Kearney-Nurse.

Complete with an appearance from the one and only Cindy Pastel, namely the inspiration behind Hugo Weaving's character in Priscilla, frankly there's a lot to like here, being professionally shot and scored throughout, even if Leighton-Dore proves to be a bit of a tease, having delivered a cliffhanger styled short, purposely leaving you wondering if the new girl in his father's life will keep Julian's secret safe, let alone whether or not a kiss is ... well, that would be saying. What can be said is that and for all of its positives, of which there are many, the incessant crosscutting of the narrative, whilst keeping the big reveal for the end does somewhat undermine the story itself, one that sees Julian clearly having the hots for a neighbour, only for the reality of life to hit home and in more ways, than one. Say no more.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek . 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

nudity guide: bare-arsed cheek from lead Lucas Pittaway.

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