|Tyl Von Randow, David Fitchew and Andrea Kelland in The Colonel's Outing It's something we all fear. Growing old and being alone. It's a terror which is tackled tenderly in new film The Colonel's Outing.
The short is the third film from Auckland charitable trust Number 8 Films and continues the tradition it began with Teddy and Communication of telling the types of gay stories we do not see on screen; such as love between bears and love between men of different generations.
In The Colonel's Outing they delve into being gay in old age. They introduce us to elderly writer Tristan Jones (Tyl Von Randow), who is cooped up in a retirement home re-reading his novel with the bitter title Our Duty To Die over and over again. Then Colonel (David Fitchew) arrives and moves in, changing both their lives as they fall in love under the watchful eye of the disapproving matron, played wonderfully by Andrea Kelland.
The film is based on an original story by Wellingtonian Steve Attwood, which was adapted for the screen by Director Chris Banks, who along with Producer Andy Jalfon and a hardworking team of up and comers, family, friends and volunteers make up Number 8 Films.
It is a gentle and tender tale which includes complexities which make its length of just less than 17 minutes seem almost inconceivable. The filmmakers have an art of fitting just the right amount of depth into their stories, through subtleties and cleverly-timed dialogue, allowing surprises to gracefully wade in.
The settings of Alberton House and the rolling hills of Auckland's One Tree Hill add a real old-time quality to the story, as the couple take The Colonel's treasured car out for a prized day all to themselves, which proves an outing on many levels, ultimately giving the men renewed freedom.
In a world when so many original stories are bastardised on the screen, the tears in the eyes of Atwood as the credits rolled at a special preview screening showed the writer's joy at the very personal story he penned being not only kept intact, but the sweetness and tenderness and the healing power of the love between the two older men being kept at its very heart, exemplifying the passion of the Banks and Jalfon for our stories, stories which are personal for the pair too. Jacqui Stanford - 15th April 2011