The Aussie Boys is available now on Amazon Prime, Peccadillo Pod and Vimeo On Demand.
NQV Media’s ‘Boys‘ series is back, as we take a trip Down Under with The Aussie Boys. In seven short films, we explore themes of trust, love, survival, emerging sexuality, loss and reconciliation as we take a road trip across Australia in the hands of seven directors. This fascinating selection of shorts offers a unique perspective on the male experience while bathing in classic road trip themes of departure, arrival, separation, longing, revelation and self-discovery. However, first nation perspectives and experiences are sadly missing in the shorts on offer, leaving The Aussie Boys feeling like a beautiful but incomplete jigsaw.
Our first short is Burning Soul, directed by Cédric Desenfants. The year is 1727, and the Dutch India Company is at the height of its trading powers. However, two of its employees sit tied facing each other on a beach; their clothes are worn and torn, and their faces are bloody and bruised. Pieter and Hendrick are shipmates who grew up together and survived a tough life on the waves through their connection. But why do they now sit bloodied and battered? Did a rival company capture them? Or do they stand accused of a crime that carries no forgiveness?
Inspired by the founding of New Holland, Desenfants story is one of hidden love, faith and friendship as a beachside court marshall ends in tragedy. But more importantly, Burning Soul encourages its audience to look back and discover the hidden stories of 18th Century LGBTQ+ life. So, after watching Burning Soul, why not explore the true story of Leendert Hasenbosch, a Dutch East India Company soldier marooned on Ascension Island for sodomy in 1725. Our second film is Miles, directed by Christopher Sampson. Sometimes even the strongest friendships hide unspoken feelings, and as Edward, Michael, and Ashley embark on a road trip of healing, those feelings are about to bubble to the surface. But as the classic saying “two’s company and three’s a crowd” makes clear, someone is bound to be left in the cold. Sampson’s road trip drama takes the classic love triangle and explores the impact of hidden desire on a long-held friendship as three young adults finally face the truth.
BURNING SOUL: THE AUSSIE BOYS
Also, exploring themes of secrecy, desire and revelation, our third short, Infidels from director Luke Marsden, needs no words to convey how one night can change everything. Here the orange glow of a street light illuminates an apartment as one partner catches the other with an unknown man. The result is an atmospheric exploration of a relationship tested to its limits by an erosion of trust.
Sometimes two souls collide with a brief intensity that is never repeated. These meetings are random, intoxicating, and often life-affirming. Sometimes they take the form of a random barside conversation lubricated by alcohol, and sometimes they come from a casual discussion that leads to a deep but fleeting connection of minds. Our fourth film Eric, directed by Andrew Lee, explores a meeting of souls in an isolated motel where two young men choosing to escape their past find a brief emotional release in each other’s company. Filmed in black and white, Eric is an understated and beautifully rich snapshot of two men who find companionship when all hope seems lost; one a returning soldier suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and the other a lost and downtrodden young man in search of a meaningful friendship.
The fifth film in The Aussie Boys collection explores the classic road trip themes of revelation, self-discovery and escape as we join a mother and son who have chosen to flee their family home, leaving everything and everyone behind. What Grown-Ups Know, directed by Jonathan Wald, follows teenager Roy and his seriously ill mother, Elizabeth, as they attempt to escape the reality of Elizabeth’s condition through an aimless road trip with no cash. But when they arrive at an isolated caravan park, Roy finds himself attracted to the caravan park manager, Maurice. But as his mother’s health declines, Roy’s confused concepts of trust, sex, love and security will lead to deep fractures in the relationship with his ailing mother.
ALL GOOD THINGS: THE AUSSIE BOYS
Our penultimate short is All Good Things, directed by Simon Croker. We all know the saying “all good things must come to an end”, and Croker’s short is a stunning and delicate exploration of endings and beginnings as Levi and his partner Isaac embark on a final road trip together. Levi is moving from Sydney to Melbourne, and while Issac is excited for him and the new life that awaits him, he isn’t quite ready to say goodbye to his first boyfriend. As Levi and Isaac journey across the country, Isaac films their final, loving and tender moments with a handheld camcorder while desperately searching for a reason to stay together just a little bit longer.
While Croker explores the end of a first relationship, director Brendon McDonall explores a relationship from long ago that never found expression in the final film of The Aussie Boys collection. The Dam is a tender exploration of two men who never expressed their love in their youth. Now much older and maybe a bit wiser, both men reconnect after ten years apart as they visit the dam they helped build many years ago. But as time slowly runs out to explore the unspoken love they have skirted for years, a deep sense of regret bubbles to the surface. McDonall’s film is an exquisite, humourous and tender exploration of a love lost in youth and found in older age.
THE DUTCH BOYS
NQV Media’s ‘Boys’ series is back, as we take a trip Down Under with The Aussie Boys. In seven short films, we explore themes of trust, love, survival, emerging sexuality, loss and reconnection as we take a road trip across Australia in the hands of seven directors.