WATCH: Closeted Gay British Athletes in “The Pass” Film Trailer

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Jan 25 2017 | 19 Comments  

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With the success of Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight,” we should expect to see more feature films about gay men cropping up by the dozens in 2017 and beyond, for better or worse. British filmmaker Ben A. Williams has already stepped up to the plate with “The Pass.”

Regulars of Cypher Avenue already know that I didn’t love “Moonlight” as much as others have. Not only was the film (while wonderfully acted and shot) full of huge gaps in storytelling and logic, it screamed of being created by a straight man more interested in Masculinity and Bullying than Homosexuality. A movie that displays virtually zero gay sexuality is no more a “gay film” than a “horror film” that is devoid of any attempts at being scary.

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Thankfully, based on the trailer at least, “The Pass” doesn’t shy away from depicting gay intimacy and sexuality. The film, which follows the rise of a closeted gay athlete, stars Russell Tovey (HBO’s Looking) and Arinzé Kene (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them).

“The Pass” does have a couple things in common with “Moonlight.” This film is also adapted from an original play (shown below) and it is also broken up into three distinct chapters with time jumps between each act. This film is more limited in scope than “Moonlight” however as each segment takes place in the limited confines of hotel rooms.

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Whether “The Pass” holds up narratively remains to be seen. And given that the story centers around a closeted man, it may mean that “The Pass” could also feature more homoeroticism than actual homosexuality.

“The Pass” was released theatrically in the UK last month, no word yet on when it will drop here in the States.

SCREENSHOTS:

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About the Author
Nick Delmacy

Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.

   
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19 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. tv dude
    tv dude | January 25th, 2017
    0

    @justDooDirty is it rated x ?

  2. TheDarkness
    TheDarkness | January 26th, 2017
    0

    So, Nick. Who said “Moonlight” was a gay film in the first place? ‘Cause, quite frankly, I saw it as more of a coming of age film with an examination of masculinity as an adjunct theme. Never even thought of it as a gay film. If one were to go into that movie thinking that a “gay film” was what they were going to see, then it would stand to reason that he would have been disappointed.

    Perhaps it was the crowd you screened it with that gave you that impression….

    TD

  3. OckyDub
    Ockydub | January 26th, 2017
    0

    I see your point. For me it was a gay coming of age film. I'm gladd its getting so much positive recognition and support.

    As far as The Pass. I do want to see it but really really hope its doesn't add to the DL / fooling / using women trope, which I doubt because it seems that non-black webseries and films are able to deal with and display this subject in non-stereotypical fashions.

  4. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | January 26th, 2017
    0

    Are black gay men going to have a problem with this film because it is interracial? Will white gays have a problem with it for the same reason?

    This isn't just a gay film-it is a gay interracial film as well(which is fine by me, they are both hot, hope it is good lol).

  5. OckyDub
    Ockydub | January 26th, 2017
    0

    "Are black gay men going to have a problem with this film because it is interracial?" Yes
    "Will white gays have a problem with it for the same reason? No

  6. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | January 26th, 2017
    0

    The main character is gay. He asks "am I a faggot?" He gets a hand job from another boy and enjoys it. He has wet dreams about men as an adult. This is a gay film, sir.

    • TheDarkness
      TheDarkness | January 26th, 2017
      0

      The main character IS gay–at least, that is the realization he comes to in the third act, but throughout the film–from childhood to becoming an adult–he’s trying to figure THAT out among other issues. The process of figuring it all out, especially given his circumstances, i.e. being poor, bullied, and having to do so without a parental, institutional or societal support systems is what the film’s about. In other words, there are more overriding levels to this Sh*t than just being a “gay film.”

      Now, if the mere fact that the main character is “gay” makes it a gay film to you, then so be it. It’s a gay film, Sir.

      TD

  7. jeremycarterpowell
    jeremycarterpowell | January 26th, 2017
    0

    this looks promising. Shout out to yall for the podcasts too! keep em coming

  8. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | January 26th, 2017
    0

    If you want to do mental acrobatics to get around the statement, cool. But its a coming of age film about a gay kid. So of course he doesn't know/accept his sexuality in the beginning. Hell, I didn't know/accept my sexuality as a kid too but looking back that didn't make me any less gay back then, even when I was dating and having sex with girls/women.

    But like I said, call the film whatever you want. But for me, its a film adapted from a gay stage play written by a gay man based on his life growing up as a gay kid. The director of the film and the cast (at the screening we attended) even spoke at great lengths about the sexuality focus in the film. But from my perspective, it is "gay lite." If Moonlight was a Straight Film about a kid exploring his heterosexuality, we would have seen much more of that sexuality, even if just implied.

    • TheDarkness
      TheDarkness | January 26th, 2017
      0

      Point taken. In fact–I like your term “gay lite.” That works for both of us!

      Now, if we could only get the Dems and Repubs on “The Hill” to work out their issues this collegially. (I’m from the DMV. Politics is never far from our world view, whatever the context…)

      TD

  9. OckyDub
    Ockydub | January 26th, 2017
    0

    A gay film with virtually zero gay sexuality but then goes onto list some of the gay sexuality in the gay film. I feel you B.

    :comeon::beli::rudy:

    I think if there was a final sexual intimate scene when they were adults at the end or even if Chiron was seen getting head or a hand job as an adult more would have been satisfied. But on the real I do understand both arguments.

  10. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | January 26th, 2017
    0

    ↑↑↑ *Doesn't know what the word "Virtually" means*
    :comeon::beli::rudy:

  11. OckyDub
    Ockydub | January 26th, 2017
    0

    Laughable…how much gay sex is needed in 90 mins for it to be a gay film?

  12. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | January 26th, 2017
    0

    How about about as much as "Brokeback Mountain," a film you inaccurately compared "Moonlight" to…

  13. OckyDub
    Ockydub | January 26th, 2017
    0

    If that is the case, you are inaccurately comparing 'Moonlight' with 'The Pass' WTF

    Brokeback Mtn is a film about adult males coming to terms with sexuality…not children/tweens/teens for 75% of the movie. If you expected the same level of sex (if not more) shown then you set yourself up with false expectations. I know I personally wasn't.

    Just like with Brokeback Mtn, The Pass shows two adult men, so I'm sure the director or writer would not need to dance around showing men in more active homosexual sexual situations as they would with children.

    I (along with most) saw homosexuality expressed in all three acts of Moonlight even though homosexual sexual activity was not explicitly shown throughout all three acts.

    Having said all that, I still see, feel and understand the argument.

    But hey…you always got About Him, PornHub, Frank Ocean and the Micheal Sam kiss, so you should be cool until the next Patrick Ian Polk film comes out.

  14. jpo
    jpo | January 26th, 2017
    0

    Now, I get why @Nick Delmacy didn't like Moonlight. I missed the basic objection at the outset, so I appreciate this discussion.

    Two points: Moonlight was not a play, although this is a common misconception repeated in most reviews. Tarell Alvin McCraney wrote a concept paper for his application to Yale drama school, "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue" but it was never transformed into a play. Had it been, the film would not have been eligible for its Best Original Screenplay nomination.
    And didn't Russell Tovey appear in HBO's Looking. He also was recently in The Night Manager.

  15. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | January 26th, 2017
    0

    In multiple interviews with McCraney, even with the director Barry Jenkins at our screening, its said that "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue" was a play, with scenes and dialogue. Not a concept paper. The play may have never been performed on stage, but it was a stage play nonetheless.

    BTW, Moonlight is NOT nominated for Best Original Screenplay. It was deemed ineligible becasue it is based on a play. Moonlight is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

    Oscar Shakeup: ‘Moonlight’ & ‘Loving’ Not Eligible For Original Screenplay, Placed In Adapted Script Category

    And yeah, Russell Tovey was in Looking, I mentioned that in the article.

  16. jpo
    jpo | January 26th, 2017
    0

    Got it.

  17. Jdudre | January 30th, 2017
    0

    right now in my mind I am trying to understand this discussion about one brand of gay black media that deals with too little sex and with another one that had too much sex.

    I get what everyone is saying to some degree but for me moonlight is a gay movie not gay light. Chiron may not be dealing with his sexual orientation in ways we are used to seeing depicted in media but it does not make him any less gay then any of the others that we currently have. I mean I get what @Nick Delmacy is saying in regards to storytelling and logic it's something I noticed as well but at the same time as @Ockydub and @TheDarkness pointed out this is a story about coming of age in a place that is hostile towards you as a person never mind as a gay one. In that regard I don't mind the "lack" of sex




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