House of Boys (Director's Cut)
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PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS THE UNRATED DIRECTOR'S CUT.
In Amsterdam in 1984, punks and youthful drifters could find a glamorous fantasy world among the city s late night dance clubs and cabarets. It s this promise of adventure and opportunity that attracts Frank, a high school aged runaway from Luxembourg who s recently come out of the closet. Thanks to his good looks, he soon earns a place at the House of Boys, a cabaret that s famous for it s troupe of male dancers, its extravagant performances, and its eccentric Madame (Udo Kier). But, as Frank finds friendship and explores his passion for music and performing, news of a mysterious gay cancer puts a dark cloud over his newfound sense of freedom.
This colorful coming-of-age story captures the excess, optimism and, ultimately, devastation of the 1980s as the early AIDS crisis swept across the world. Featuring a soundtrack full of rock-and-roll hits and a cast of rising young stars, House of Boys is a stylish drama told with compassion and bittersweet nostalgia.
Top customer reviews
Most heartwarming was the wonderful love story between the 2 main characters, Frank and Jake, which was sadly overshadowed by Jake contracting AIDS. The support, respect, and unconditional love shown to Jake by his friends and lover as his disease progresses moved me beyond words. And no surprise here---Stephen Fry(star of the phenomenal movie, "Wilde") gives a wonderful performance as Jake's caring physician, Dr.Marsh.
I selfishly wish the movie had focused a little more on developing the love story between the 2 main characters rather than on the hospital scenes and agonizing progression of Jake's suffering. However, I respect Writer/Director Jean-Claude Schlim's technical decisions because all in all this is a truly great contribution to gay cinema. It's a movie that has it all----homoerotic passion, unconditional love, superb acting, technical excellence, and a beautiful love story and tragic drama--- all coming to a bittersweet conclusion when Frank and Jake's former girlfriend, Carol, embark on a pilgrimage of sorts to Morocco to scatter Jake's ashes and fulfill Jake's dream of seeing the exotic land associated with Jimi Hendrix's legacy. The beautiful young singer, Nyco Lilliu closes the film with a heart wrenching rendition of "La-bas" ("Somewhere")/"Quelqu'un" ("Someone") Songwriter Cyril Collard himself is heard singing the English version during the closing credits.
This is the type of movie that is worth owning, sharing, embracing, treasuring, and celebrating for the truly splendid masterpiece that it is. Along with "Beautiful Thing" and "Shelter", "House of Boys" is one of the three films that I consider the all time best and most beloved trilogy of gay-themed movies.
Obviously, I don't consider it an insult to refer to this as an AIDS film. Like the best of that genre, HIV is a lens for viewing family, friendship, love, work, and even those who use us for personal and financial gain. It builds from a solid script. The acting is solid, never cloying, and consistent across the cast. The director clearly has a point of view, and conveys it without resorting to cliche.
As with life, this film has plenty of joy and humor. It is not a downer, does not seek to lecture. It effectively gives us a way to look at others and to examine our own feelings and life story. This all sounds rather intellectual - I enjoyed the film at a far more basic level!
Most recent customer reviews
It is a love story, well acted and I cried.