Why are we talking about Moneyboys? Well Jose’s recently read DIE PUPENJUNGE/ THE HUSTLER: THE STORY OF A NAMELESS LOVE FROM FRIEDRICHSTRASSE , City of Night, and Dancer from the Dance and is fascinated by gutter and underbelly, night and shadows, criminality and liminality, the ways social and psychic alienation can combine with carnal immersion though sexual connection, the tension in sex work between certain types of freedom and certain types of bondage. Moneyboys is too high class to touch on many of those things. But Richard IS interested in Taiwanese Cinema, in Hou Hsiao-hsien and in Haneke — interests which do intersect with Moneyboys — so humours him. In the podcast we talk of the significance of a Taiwanese film on this subject being set in Mainland China; the tensions between the rural and the city; the biological family which accepts money earned from sex work but casts out the worker; the value of constructed families; the various kinds of love valued (and de-valued) by the film; the possible conflation of sex work and homosexuality; the fluid long takes and the emotional distance evoked. It’s an accomplished first film, interestingly made, and interestingly made under a pseudonym. In the podcast we talk through our responses to the various strands it dramatises and the issues they raise. The film is currently on MUBI.
We’re both glad to find that PIXOTE retains all of the power we remember it for from decades ago when we first saw it. A realist political film whose aim it is to reveal conditions of existence as a pre-condition for creating change. It’s a film highly judgmental of systemic corruption, particularly as it effects children, but very open and accepting about different ways of being, with one of the earliest, most rounded and complex characterisations of a teen trans character either of us remember seeing. In this podcast we discuss the achievements of the film; it’s realist ‘documentary’ style, the extraordinary performances from the children and from Marilia Pera as the ageing prostitute, the power of its imagery; how we suspect it would be even harder to make and show today then it was then; we discuss the context in which the film was shown on British Television, we compare it to Buñuel’s LOS OLVIDADOS/ THE YOUNG AND THE DAMNED, Fernano Meirelles and Kátia Lund’s CITY OF GOD, and Alan Clarke’s SCUM; and we discuss the racial mix of the group of children and its significance.
Here’s the trailer for the Channel 4 “Red Triangle” season, which helped create a context in which the film was then seen in its first UK television showing:
When the film was first screened on British Television it carried a Special Discretion Required symbol, as you can see below. The TV Times Review and Listing is by David Quinlan. Many thanks to Sheldon Hall for providing it to us,
Richard informs me that the above is the roundup of the week’s films, the one below is from the day’s TV listings (and unlike the film it misgenders Lilica!).