since the release of one gay feature you just have to have seen. Le Clan aka
Le Clan des Hommes aka Three Dancing Slaves is a lovingly-photographed
and highly homoerotic study of bored, beautiful masculinity.
Directed by openly gay French actor-director Gaël Morel
and starring Stéphane Rideau and Nicolas Cazalé, this 2004 feature never made
it on cinema release in the UK, but for OutUK Ross van Metzke has been recalling his great love of the movie.
This is one of the most raw and disturbing homoerotic films I’ve seen in years,
but it manages to escape being deemed borderline pornography and succeeds at being
something greater — cinema.
As the title suggests, brothers Marc, Christophe and Oliver bond and butt heads
over the recent death of their mother and the weak, passive aggressive abuse from their father.
Marc, a body Nazi who in one scene shaves his already bare face and trims his pubes
with his dad standing just feet away, is the rebel. Christophe, fresh from jail and
trying to get it together for his family, is the hypocrite. And Oliver, tattooed,
shy and exploring his sexuality, is the likely homo of the bunch.
Together, against a back drop of drugs, sex and violence, the brothers suffer
the stresses of sexual awakening and exploitation. And director Gael Morel’s film
boasts a mélange of sexual images and provocative dialogue. Metaphorically, a class
of film buffs could have a field day with the sometimes Freudian, sometimes avante
garde psycho-sexual situations at play here.
The most bold statement of this fine line between homosexuality and sexual confusion
is when these brothers, still in mourning as they welcome Christophe home from jail,
sleep together in the nude — their connection goes beyond the lines of what’s normal
but, in their innocence and genuine confusion, it seems normal… as if they’ve done
it their whole lives.
Much of Morel’s film is up for interpretation, but one thing is for certain. For
the voyeur and the truly curious literary mind, there’s enough on display here to
sit contemplating for hours and emotion aplenty to debate in your mind.
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