Article Title:Late Wedding, Foxhole & Click
Author or Credit:Chris Banks
Published on:2nd June 2004 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:265
Text:LATE WEDDING Dir: Jehoshua Rozenman, The Netherlands, 2003, DVD, 57 mins (in Dutch with English subtitles) preceded by: CLICK Dir: Ilo Orleans, USA, 2002, DVD 7 mins FOXHOLE Dir: Franko Galoso, USA, 2002, Beta SP, 12 mins After nearly 50 years together, Dutch couple Ale and Oscar saw no real emotional need to get married – in fact it was their lawyer's idea, who suggested that either man could be left in the lurch in the event of the other's death – but both found it a moving experience, saying it has solidified their memories of their life together. Any story that shows love lasting across the years is heartwarming, and Ale and Oscar's story has some interesting points, but it could have been told in half the time. They say they have never really experienced discrimination, that they have always been accepted as a couple, even as far back as the 1950s. The only real restriction on them was that their lives were never discussed openly, although they were always visible. The documentary consists largely of clumsily-shot talking head interviews with the couple, and a close family friend. There are a few snapshots from their family photo albums to give us context and break things up, but not enough. The use of a narrator could have condensed the story without taking the focus away from the couple. Rozenman also fails to capture any truly magical moments that give a sense as to what has made this relationship endure for 50 years. Perhaps it's an indication of growing up in more repressive times, but Ale and Oscar come across more like a couple of old mates rather than a married couple. By contrast, Franko Galoso's Foxhole could have warranted extra length. Telling the story of two men who met on the battlefield in Vietnam and the relationship that has endured for thirty years has everything that “Late Wedding” doesn't - love against the odds, a relationship that must be kept secret in the homophobic military, and a couple whose enduring love for each other really comes through the screen. Their story is constructed in a compelling manner, embellished with old photos and wartime footage. It is not obvious from the outset if this is simply a story of a fleeting wartime encounter or whether the couple are still together. It's also a poignant political statement, as one half of the couple remarks towards the end of the film how upsetting it is to be accused of corrupting moral standards simply for being a male couple who wishes to marry, when heterosexual couples are not judged against any set of standards whatsoever when they wish to tie the knot. Opening short Click is a cute exploration of online hookups. It's a romantic fantasy between two men played out in cyberspace, and what potentially can happen when expectations meet reality in a world where you can never be sure who's telling the truth. Gimmicky, as many short films are, but a nice curtain-raiser for the more substantial fare to follow. Chris Banks - 2nd June 2004    
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