A teen sells his prized collection of comics and action figures to buy a night with a dancer in "Boy."

A teen poet sells his prized collection of comics and action figures to buy a night with a macho dancer in low-budget melodrama “Boy,” from Filipino helmer Auraeus Solito. Known for his daring explorations of young gay love (“The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros,” “Tuli”), Solito here probes the seedy milieu of Manila’s strip clubs, coupling the coming-of-ager and the erotic pic. Although less compelling than his earlier work, it captures the club’s desperation and sordid sexuality, with performances by barely clad dancers and female impersonators. Already banned in Singapore, it’s unlikely to move beyond fests and niche ancillary offshore.

Pic’s unnamed protag (Aeious), identified in end credits as the Boy, lives with his mother (Madeleine Nicolas), who deliberately ignores his sexual proclivity. His trip to a macho bar inspires homoerotic poetry and a crush on performer Aries, introduced as “18 years old, complete set of teeth, dick 7.5 inches.” Although their one-night stand proves they’re like fish out of water in each other’s worlds, it leaves the Boy more sexually confident. Most thesps seem to be playing versions of themselves; tech package is cheap but effective.

Boy

Philippines

Production

A Solito Arts production. (International sales: Wolfe Releasing, Los Angeles.) Produced by Auraeus Solito, Endi "Hai" Balbuena. Co-producers, Jong de Castro, D.Q. Dequina, F. Del Castillo, Mig Gomez, Jude Socrates. Directed by Auraeus Solito. Co-director, Lawrence Fajardo. Screenplay, Jimmy Flores, Arturo Calo.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Lovie Quirino; editors, Fajardo, Keith Sicat; music, Isha; production designer, "Hai" Balbuena. Reviewed at Seattle Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), June 11, 2009. Tagalog, English dialogue. Running time: 80 MIN.

With

Aeious, Aries, Belinda, Madeleine Nicolas, Noni Buencamino.
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