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.
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.
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.