WEEKEND or ‘How queer everything is today! And yesterday things went on just as usual’.
This might come as a shock to some of you – unless you’ve ever seen me use my wrists or try and do something around the house – but I’m a lifetime subscriber to gay. This may also come as a surprise to you – I avoid Queer cinema like Christina Aguilera is about to avoid everyone ever.
I’ve spoken to a few other gay men around my age, and many have agreed -a majority of Queer themed films all follow the same pattern. Some attractive people stumble through some TERRIBLE dialogue – and then there’s a sex scene, another sex scene and then a romantic conclusion followed by a ~lovemaking~ scene. So when I saw the trailer for Weekend I was similarly uninterested. Oh a film about how homosexual men are unable to form lasting relationships? This is something we need to be reminding ourselves about? What next? A film about lesbians moving in together?
It wasn’t until twitter was flooded with the tears of homosexuals that I decided I’d make the effort to see Weekend and I was more than pleasantly surprised.
After a big night out – Russell heads to a club in the hopes of not going home alone. One thing leads to another, and he meets Glen. After a one-night stand, the two find themselves spending the entire weekend together. But what happens when you throw yourself at a stranger?
The script in this film is pretty stunning. It plays out like a well-crafted two person play at times. Scenes of lengthy, intimate dialogue, which is performed by the two mains – Tom Cullen and Chris New – quite wonderfully. The soundtrack is also incredibly subtle, but carries the film perfectly.
I do, however, feel like Weekend suffers due to its own nature. It’s as if writer/director Andrew Haig felt that in writing what is essentially a modern gay romance – he was forced to confirm to the models of other films dealing with gay men. That is to say, there’s a ton of nudity and sex that’s so overt, it feels almost completely at-odds with the rest of the film. The camera has this incredibly charming voyeuristic approach to the film, hiding behind corners, catching glimpses of the unfolding relationship from a distance. But whenever there’s sex or nudity, it drops on your chest like … well I’ll let the film be the graphic one for once.
Do I think the film would have been stronger without the blatant and, at times, polarizing sex? I do. But I’m also incredibly excited that Weekend seems to be at the helm of pushing Queer cinema into a more mainstream stage. To see these kinds of storylines on screen – and done in such a well-crafted way, is an honor. And I hope this is just the beginning for Queer cinema.
I found Weekend to be heartfelt, heart-wrenching, and I left heartened (not hardened, you sickos).