Boys Life 5 – 2006
1h 50min | Drama | Video 14 March 2006
First, an overview of this release, obviously the 5th in line of the “Boys Life”-series. To me it’s probably the most successful, due to its more romantic vein. While several episodes in the earlier discs have been romantically catching, the bulk of their stories seem to share a theme wherein the director wants to philosophize about some point or another. That’s just not my cup of tea; give me the good, ole romantic scenario anytime. In this 5TH edition, “Dare” is a quite nice little “romantical” piece. Adam Fleming’s portrayal of Ben (Light Boy) is notable, with his end-of-film small smile and quiet laugh being particularly telling (you’ll catch the point upon watching). But it’s a thanks to the heavens which must be given the producers of this disc for having wisely included an old-by-today’s-standards (1990) release, from Israel of all places. Foremost in this review, then, has to be my following comment about a likely near unheard of little film.
“TIME OFF” (alternately titled “After” on the IMDb.com website) is one of the earliest works of Eytan Fox (later came “Yossi & Jagger” and “Walk on Water”). For many gays, or those so interested, “TO” may be one of the most satisfying short films on the disc. It’s the story of an Israeli Army unit in training and on short leave, of it’s lieutenant leader and, particularly, one of its young soldiers. Yonatan (Jonathan?), impressively played by actor, Hanoch Reim, is in the final stages of realizing who he is, sexually, and it is absolutely amazing to watch his reactions and growing response to the handsome young unit commander, a part also well-played by Gil Frank.
While many sections of this short, 45 minute film are slow going (unit training interactions and the fun “behavings” of young soldiers on a short leave in Jerusalem), it is when the film concentrates on Yonatan, especially during time spent in a city park, that we get most drawn in. A scene in the park men’s restroom is almost palpable and one of the most arousing I’ve witnessed. Hanoch Reim gives us a “study in pure longing.” The response he creates leaves no doubt in our minds as to just where he wants to be, what he wants to be doing…and with whom. (How CAN one do that, with just eyes, facial expression and the very slightest of head movements?) It is rather surprising that, with one exception, young Reim doesn’t seem to have gone on to later film performances in the succeeding 15 years. Frank, on the other hand, has kept somewhat busy, particularly in Israeli TV. But in this film, precursor to “Yossi & Jagger,” at least Reim has left us with a most indelible performance.
PS–The last two lines of spoken dialog and a half-smile of realization will tell you everything you need to know. (Oh, and you’ll catch the meaning of my alternate Comment title, above, on viewing this film).
Directors: Michael Burke, Eytan Fox
Writer: David Brind (segment)
Star: Jason Hayes
Country: Israel | USA
Language: English | Hebrew
Release Date: 14 March 2006 (USA)
Also Known As: Meninos e Amores 5