The Surface (2015)

MICHAEL J. SAUL

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  USA, 2015.  Aimes Media Production, Michael Saul Productions.  Screenplay by Michael J. Saul.  Cinematography by Michael J. Saul.  Produced by Heath Daniels, Michael J. Saul.  Music by Mike Aimes.  Production Design by Brandy Maasch.  Film Editing by Michael J. Saul.  Podcast:  Bad Gay Movies.

Evan is finishing school and living with his boyfriend and, judging by the waifish manner with which he carries himself in every situation, is uncertain of his goals or his future.  A random visit to a neighbourhood garage sale inspires him to buy an old super 8 movie camera from a friendly old man, which he then takes home and becomes fascinated with the rolls of old home movies that come with it.  Having grown up in foster homes an orphan, Evan is fascinated by these images of family and friendship that he never knew as a young man, which then encourages him to make some of his own films.  When he goes back to the original seller to ask for an editing machine to put his collage project together, he meets the old man’s son, which leads to a friendship between them two men that eventually results in Evan leaving his boyfriend.  Vague ideas about coming of age and discovering one’s goals are spread out over far too many wordless scenes of swimming, lounging or making love, the film lacking all the tension needed to make so formless a story work.  The acting is passable even if as Evan is too passive to carry the film with a great deal of charisma, but his characterization is never off-putting and his chemistry with co-star  is genuinely sexy.

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