Entertainment » Movies

Desire: The Short Films Of Ohm

by JC Alvarez
Friday Mar 15, 2019
Desire: The Short Films Of Ohm

The mainstreaming of the LGBTQ experience has guaranteed that our stories are being told across most medium spectrums including primetime and cinematic releases, and are becoming more elaborate and intimate on the live stage. Historical dramatizations are even diving into the revelation that, as far back as the Victorian era, there was a significant influence coming from someone's gay lover or thanks to an intimate association with someone of a certain persuasion. The gay journey is still something of an utter fascination.

Film auteur Ohm Phanphiroj has often explored the various themes and elaborations of gay love, life, sex, desire, fantasy, and loneliness. In a series of short films, Phanphiroj has related the emotional depths of first love, discovery, and the isolation of what is often the truest part of the coming out story. Collected for the first time on one disc from TLA are his complete short films in "Desire: The Short Films of Ohm," including "The Desire Trilogy," among other stories in full-frontal glory.

At times, the shorts appear exploitive and self-aggrandizing. In some cases, they can feel manipulated and pornographic, but overall there is an interesting examination of how different individuals view sex, attraction, and the act of love-making. Sexual identity isn't the core revelation of these essays, or even emotional expression or evolution, and the filmmaker pushes boundaries in his effort to evoke a reaction out of his subjects. More than often, these are young men of questionable affiliations or occupations.

Their interviews might be coerced or bought. If that is, in fact, true, the authenticity of these profiles may not be as genuine as they appear in their portrayal. In the "Desire" series, which is mostly scripted and dimly acted, the story of self-discovery and same-sex attraction are interestingly narrated. The story resonates in a far more natural way than in the voyeuristic quality of the other shorts, some of which do become quite creepy. This series has had a significant effect on audiences, and there is a market for them, but the medium has evolved.

The expectation of audiences has moved past some of these examinations and may not be all the appealing to some. The images conjure similarities to snuff films and are shot in much the same dingy, found-video style. It may hold some allure to the curious, but overall "Desire" is a one-off viewing unless you're a dedicated and avid collector of this form of filmmaking.

"Desire: The Short Films of Ohm"

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook