Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Favorite Gay Films - #5 Drôle de Félix (2000)

Brokeback Mountain is coming out on DVD in 2 weeks time, so I figured I would look back on some of my favorite gay-themed films . I remember a time when watching a gay movie was a very liberating thing to do; here I was watching characters that were going through experiences I was going through or wanted to go through, it was and still is a huge influence on my ongoing coming out process.

This French film follows young care-free Felix, who discovers letters from his long-lost father after the death of his mother. Felix sets out to find his father and travels from the north to the south of France, and what follows is a distinctly warm beautifully shot road-trip film. The story is divided into various segments, each one starts with a title such as 'My cousin' or 'My sister' and in each one we meet the person being referred to (clearly these are metaphorical relationships). What I really enjoyed about this movie is that it speaks directly about the nature of family and how strangers can be put into situations where they act and respond to each other in a familial way. I also really enjoyed the fact that although the main character is gay and in a loving relationship (we see his partner at the beginning of the film), his sexuality is almost incidental to the plot but is never hidden. This is not a perfect movie, and there is one segment (My Sister) that brings the film's gentle pace to a grounding halt, but the overall impact of the story and the warmth of Felix (played beautifully by Sami Bouajila) carry it through to the end.


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