First Published: December 2009
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
Riverside Studios in Hammersmith is currently hosting Deep Desires & Broken Dreams, a season of cinema that explores the changing representations of gay men in film from the 60s to the present day. Reflecting gay life in all its diversity and showcasing some ground-breaking titles, it includes new releases, classic films, camp comedies and documentary features. There's also the London premieres of three new films including the British made Shank, Hollywood Je T'Aime and Give Me Your Hand.
Shank (2009) is a gritty and compelling British drama portraying young gay love on a Bristol housing estate from first-time director Simon Pearce. In the film gang member Carl is forced to confront his sexuality when handsome French student Olivier comes to town.

Simon Pearce and two members of the cast will be at a Q&A session after the screening.

Wayne Virgo 
in Shank
Wayne Virgo in Shank
Other new features include Hollywood Je T'Aime (2009); here Jerome decides to leave his home city of Paris and venture to Los Angeles; the result is a charming mix of classic American and European gay cinema. Themes of discovery and emerging sexuality are also explored in Give Me Your Hand (2008), in which identical twins travel across France and Spain and embark upon several sexual encounters which nearly tear them apart.

In an age of gay liberation and equal rights it's easy to forget the historical struggle faced by gay men and lesbians and this season includes a few of the brave films that took on the love that dared not to speak its name.

Victim, made in 1961 and starring Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms, was truly ground-breaking for its time and tells the story of a prominent lawyer who is threatened with blackmail over a previous relationship with a man. Numerous actors declined the role before Bogarde accepted it. Victim
Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms in Victim
Sylvia Syms will also be introducing the film on Saturday night at 6.30pm, talking about reaction to the film, working with Dirk Bogarde and her experiences making this ground-breaking movie.

Priest (1994), also British and written by the acclaimed Jimmy McGovern, is a thoughtful and provocative film that tackles the issue of gay men and the clergy; and Westler (1985) explores love under and Iron Curtain with two men separated by the Berlin Wall.
Also from Europe there's the delightful Krampack (2000), set on the Spanish coast it's the story of two teenagers spending a summer at the beach. Come Undone (2000) also explores the passion and turmoil of first love against a beach setting. Krampack - Nico & Dani
Ignorant Fairies (2001) tells the poignant story of Antonia, a doctor who loses her husband in a tragic accident and then discovers a note from her husband's secret gay lover. She subsequently goes on an emotional journey and meets the man her husband loved for seven years and his hidden life.

The season opens with the camp classic La Cage Aux Folles (1978), and also includes several films from the US and Canada including the hilarious Mambo Italiano (2000), Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss (1988) and Mysterious Skin (2004), Greg Araki's captivating indie hit. There's also the pioneering documentary, The Celluloid Closet (1995), which looks at the way gay men and lesbians have been portrayed in Hollywood movies.

Deep Desires & Broken Dreams is at Riverside Studios from Wednesday 3rd until Monday 8th February. You can get full information and book online for all screenings at


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