Parades abound, concerts take place, lovers are found—some for a price: cash only please.
Fireworks blast, a tenor sax lifts his rifts to the
heavens; sweat is so heavy it beads on the skin eager for more dripping company
to slide down the belly and into their lust.
Table for two, upscale wine, yet just spaghetti to fill
the basic needs while total love—having pulled back from the brink—is ready
to shower both with simultaneous proof that is so spectacular, so exceptional—
—that it can never be repeated, so, now,
better run, run, run.
The opening sequence of this 1992 Official Cannes
Selection is powerful and blunt. Thomas Vámos' edgy camera and André
Corriveau's brilliant editing combine for an exemplary demonstration of the
“show don't tell” axiom of film and video arts.
Whether extreme close-up of the bodies engaged, or wide
shots of the city's winking lights from Mount Royal, the imagery delights the
eye even as it challenges the mind; black-and-white is perfect for this sequence and in the coming back-story.
Unfortunately, that's the best part of the film. After
the opening credits, René-Daniel Dubois' “play” begins and director/writer
Jean Beaudin reverts to more of a documentary style than truly adapting the
stage to the screen. His result uses too many words, one main set and too few
flashbacks to allow us to see rather than hear how this remarkable story
That said, it's a satisfying result nonetheless.
Roy Dupuis is physically and dramatically convincing as
Yves, a busy gay hustler who is both “addicted to the fucking” and smart
enough to know that true love can't be found in the tricks he services: cute
or not. For after release (two-minute wonders or all-night lays) the world
they use his body to escape from, with its wives, children, mortgages and car
payments prevails, shoving Yves to the sidelines, but safe in the knowledge his johns
will be back for more.
Until Claude. As portrayed by Jean-François Pichette,
this student/writer shuns his upper-middle class pals and shyly implores Yves
to lead him out of his sheltered existence, letting his true carnal self
emerge. In only a month, the pair of social opposites bond in deeper ways
than either imagined, with the sexual side growing as feverishly as their
Being a man of experience and vision, Yves realizes—as
he and Claude merge into a single being—that fate drops the butcher knife
within reach for a purpose: as they come, so must they go—drowning together
in all of their bodies' fluids.
Cut to the judge's chambers, where the cantankerous
police inspector (Jacques Godin, better as the angry interrogator than the
understanding confessor) pummels his manipulative prisoner with questions
until the unbelievable proves true.
Dubois' long dialogue scenes are delivered with gusto,
but the visual limitation of the law library dampens the pace, unlike the
theatre, where the audience can decide for itself which character to follow and
frame their own shots.
Yet there is much to learn from this doomed
relationship. With gay marriage ranting and raging through today's media, it's
instructive to visit a film that is populated with same-sex disasters: for
them, there is no legitimate way of expressing their love; they must pay then
slink back to their “real” lives.
Yves' epiphany comes when he observes his beloved Claude
shunning his straight friends in order to stay at home with his man. But the
overwhelming rejections that Yves has known from his first blow-job-for-cash
have taken their toll. Ecstatic in being truly loved for the first time in
his existence, Yves must ensure that his glowing, spent partner doesn't
survive only to come to his senses in post-orgasmic guilt. JWR