›› My Sweet Prince ‹‹

a short film by Jason Bradbury.

2019 | 12 mins | UK.

a striking portrait of a young man's sexual isolation.

Dave says:

Written and directed by Jason Bradbury of We Once Were Tide fame, this short film vividly depicts a gay teen's burgeoning online relationship with another young man; both of whom seek the friendship of those who walk a different sexual path in life.

Only here don't think of the digital broadband speeds of today. For set on the Isle of Wight in 2003, here the narrative achingly depicts the dawn of the internet age; namely the days of modem dial-up connections, frustratingly slow download speeds, alongside VHS tapes, video cameras and mobile phones of the basic variety. Yet as antiquated as such technology is today, back then it was revolutionary, bringing internet access to the world and to gay boy Tommy (Yoni Roodner), the opportunity to have a MSN Messenger chat with another gay teen who goes by the name of 'Mysweetprince' (Harry Saward). Only is Tommy ready for the next step, in the form of an online video call with the man himself?

Like many a short film before it and no doubt after, this poignant piece ends just when the story starts to focus on a relationship, that could be. Between then however, there's many a bittersweet scene to be had, in a work that finds Bradbury delight in intercutting the narrative with grainy fragments of teenage video diaries, at times almost Jarmanesque in style, that together showcase the dark side of Tommy's nature, hanging out with a crowd heavy into solvent abuse, solely down to his unrequited longing for a hetero member of the group who's clearly off limits.

The result is a striking portrait of a young man's sexual isolation, seemingly the only gay on the Isle and of his desperate need to connect with another gay teen; albeit via the internet, unable as he is to come out to those around him. Yet this is also a cinematic testament to how fast IT changes and what was cutting-edge technology once, now belongs in a science museum. A telling work; indeed.

›› available as part of the Peccadillo Pictures shorts compilation BOYS ON FILM #21 - Beautiful Secret.
›› posted: Thursday, 16th December, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

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