›› Kiko's Saints - Les Saints de Kiko ‹‹

a short film by Manuel Marmier.

2019 | 25 mins | France.

a strikingly realistic depiction of gay manga styled adult entertainment.

Dave says:

Part cinematography, part animation of the gay manga kind, this sexually frank short film from writer and director Manuel Marmier is as beautifully shot, as it's proudly gay to the core.

It tells the story of Kiko (Lika Minamoto); a bored but talented Japanese illustrator on assignment in France who gets distracted from her work when she catches sight of two men, cue François Burgun and Arthur Gillet in the all revealing roles, making love on a seemingly deserted beach. Becoming increasingly obsessed with drawing them, having all but abandoned sketching the lush picture postcard views of the French countryside, her obsession with their muscular physiques becomes all-consuming, as she follows them along the shoreline, by accident losing her sketchbook, but finding instead their copy of a gunji magazine. Taking inspiration from its page, all she needs now are two models willing to let her draw them. Only why search, when all she needs is already in front of her?

Beneath the Japanese culture of rituals, religion and traditions; in particular that of family honour and outside of the western view of sushi, geisha girls and the like, lies the sub-culture of the manga magazine and in particular those who like nothing more than to look at sexually explicit cartoons of all genres. And this work is a strikingly realistic depiction of gay manga styled adult entertainment. Only it's a lot more than that. For here Marmier has crosscut his narrative with staged 'puppet on a string' sequences that are but a reflection of Kiko's soul, one that yearns to break free from the role that her husband expects of her, to become the woman she longs to be.

The result is a compelling work whose sexual content of both the cartoon and adult form, is wonderfully juxtaposed with the breathtaking vistas of the surrounding area, as perfectly framed by cinematographer Caroline le Hello. And whilst, at heart, this is a film about empowerment and how Kiko gained the inner strength to realize her full potential, such a scenario can so easily apply to those gaining the confidence to finally to thy own self, be true. That Minamoto is simply captivating in her role goes without saying, even if no doubt many will have their eyes fixed firmly on the beefcake bodies of the Burgun / Gillet pairing instead. But then, is that of any surprise?

›› available as part of THE MALE GAZE: THREE'S COMPANY shorts compilation.
›› posted: Monday, 6th September, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek, plus. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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