Posted Sunday 02 Jul 2017
Vincent Burke is the producer behind 100 Men, a window onto four decades of gay history and an exploration of how it has affected personal lives.
Director: Paul Oremland
2017, 94 minutes, World Premiere
100 Men fast-tracks through 40 years of gay history via a countdown of filmmaker Paul Oremland's most memorable shags. The significance of the 100 men varies, but all have lingered in Paul's mind for some small or, ahem, big reason. Most of the men feature only as a descriptive nickname; some appear on camera. Although the film does ask whether gay men are too fixated on sex, Paul is more interested in these men's lives, emphasising the collective experience of the isolation of growing up gay.
Paul recounts how a religious upbringing in New Zealand fuelled an inner struggle and how his first heartbreak led to a move to the UK. It's there that he met John, the love of his life. Their on/off-again romance gets major screen time, with Paul unpicking their decision to eschew monogamy for an open relationship. The polyamorous life is a major talking point of the film. In the days before gay marriage seemed even remotely possible, the rejection of monogamy was a defining feature of gay culture, and the film explores the effects it had on men's lives.
This thoughtful film looks forward as much as it does back, leaving us to ponder the intricacies of gay identity today. - Chris Tse