The first film we saw was called Investigating Desire, a collection of seven short films ranging from 4 minutes in length to 20 minutes. It was a very eclectic mix but about half way through, during the short changeover period between two of the films, I feel I need to make an observation:
"Um," I whisper to Close Encounters, with a slight giggle in my voice, "this is basically pornography isn't it, dressed up as a set of arty films!"
"There's no grunting or groaning," replies Close Encounters quietly, ever the serious film buff, "so it can't be porn!"
Not that I'm complaining of course, I see nothing wrong with enjoying a bit of porn every now and then :-).
To my mind, the penultimate short film of the collection was the most unusual, and also in fact the shortest. It was called Dan's big hands and after the films before it, I thought I had a pretty good idea what Dan's big hands would be good at! It turned out to be a kind of video which accompanied a song. The song started out
I want to get lost in Dan's big hands,So far so good, but with lines like
Lose myself in Dan's big hands,
Round my neck, tighter yet,I ended up feeling very confused! Is that meant to be reference to Erotic asphyxiation??
The next film we went to see was called Fariytale of Kathmandu, which was a documentary about gay Irish poet Cathal Ó'Searcaigh on one of his visits to Kathmandu. It was a very disturbing film, because it turned out that Cathal Ó'Searcaigh spends his time there befriending boys who're only just over the legal age of consent. For sure he helps them by buying them things, that's the charitable work he does there, but then they seem to end up back in his hotel room for activities. Although many of the boys don't seem to mind too much, none the less it feels very much as though they're being taken advantage of. Indeed, the premise of the film is that although his behaviour is legal, nevertheless the relationship with the boys is an exploitative one, akin to or equal to sex tourism. Perhaps the most disturbing fact is that Cathal Ó'Searcaigh doesn't see anything wrong with his behaviour, otherwise he wouldn't have invited the filmmaker to Nepal with him!
Lastly, we went to the closing gala of the festival, where the film Baby Love was being shown. To my surprise, as we're sitting down a familiar voice suddenly says to me:
"Hey, GB, how you?"
To my surprise it's my colleague M, seated right behind us next to his new boyfriend! It's really good to see him, although so many scenarios suddenly start rushing through my mind. Close Encounters knows all about how I really met M, however M's new boyfriend just thinks that we know each other from work! And neither M or his boyfriend know about this blog of course!! What had we been discussing before M noticed me? Luckily, before the opportunity to give away any more secrets presents itself, the proceedings begin. There are a few speeches about how well the festival has gone, an interview with Vincent Garenq who directed the film we were about to see, and then finally the film itself.
Although the film addresses some serious issues, it's also a comedy. The plot is a bit contrived, engineered to make the happy ending possible, but none the less it's very enjoyable. In a nutshell, the gay pediatrician wants to be a father in spite of his boyfriend's strong veto, but eventually it all happens and all broken relationships get mended :-). It very much reminded me of my own paternal aspirations, although since I don't have a boyfriend now, I seem to be further away from that than ever :-(.
Luckily no opportunity for socialising arises after the film, and we bid farewell to my colleague M and his boyfriend almost as soon as we've stood up. Close Encounters needs to rush off, so I go out onto the street to find a taxi. Soon I'm travelling back home, but on the way when I turn my phone back on, I receive a txt msg from a nice guy that I met recently called V. He can go out on a date with me the following night after all, so I start feeling a bit happier. And in spite of the fact that I'm right back at the start with V with numerous hurdles to overcome, I feel even happier when I recall one particular fact about him. V has a lesbian sister, who therefore might one day might need a father for a child, and a friend or boyfriend of her gay brother might be an obvious choice! Even though I'm not getting any younger, there's still hope :-).