›› Brick - Steen ‹‹

a short film by Viktor van der Valk.

2013 | 13 mins | Netherlands.

a gritty tale of repressed sexuality.

Dave says:

Directed by Viktor van der Valk and co-written with Kasper van Beek, this gritty tale of repressed sexuality has a lot going for it, thanks largely to the moody performance from Reinout Scholten van Aschat who stars as Jeffrey; a working class lad who lives with his father-in-law (Manou Kersting) and heavily pregnant partner Wendy (Coosje Smid), that is when he's not working at the local brick factory.

Bored by a repetitive daily routine that has all but killed his joie de vivre, all that is about to change when he's asked to supervise a new worker by the name of Kevin (Lourens van den Akker); namely a man who wastes no time in letting Jeffrey know how he physically feels about him. Shocked by his sexual advance, Jeffrey retreats into the loving arms of his partner. Only can a sexuality now ignited, but so easily extinguished?

Well-played throughout, with van der Valk nicely building up the tension by way of a score than matches Jeffrey's feet increasingly stomping around the factory floor; his inner anger all but set to explode over a man who has forced him to decide between finally letting his true sexuality run free, OR forever remain closeted to the world, seemingly too afraid to give up the life, no matter how mundane it is, that he has. It's a tale that's been told many times before and yet here we find the narrative laced with many a telling line, including the cutting comment from his partner who asks if Jeffrey's scared, referring in her mind to his impending fatherhood, only and unbeknown to her, to the mixed emotions of a man filled with disgust for all things gay and yet equally attracted to desires for same-sex intimacy. All of which makes for a powerful piece in which you just know that somewhere, something has to give. Say no more.

›› available as part of the NEW QUEER VISIONS shorts compilation - THE DUTCH BOYS.
›› posted: Tuesday, 6th July, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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