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Weekend

Weekend

By Patrick Samuel • March 29th, 2012
Static Mass Rating: 3/5
WEEKEND (DVD)
Peccadillo Pictures

Release: March 19th, 2012
Certificate (UK): 18
Running Time: 97 minutes

Writer and director: Andrew Haigh
Producer: Tristan Goligher
Cast: Tom Cullen, Chris New

There’s a reason I tend to steer clear of gay dramas. The nightclubs, the tacky music, the eyes that meet across a crowded and heaving dance floor and the anonymity of the casual encounters that follow… It happens in so many of these movies.

I’ve never found one that really spoke about life beyond these clichés. For example, what does it mean and feel like to be gay but not conform to the stereotypes the media constantly picks up on and feeds back to the populace with these stories?

Weekend

It makes us believe that being gay is solely focused on coming out and then surrounding yourself with a lifestyle that keeps you on the fringe of society. It’s out of the closet and then immediately into a neat little pink box with a rainbow ribbon tied around it. It’s bullshit.

Nevertheless, there are those whose lives follow this very pattern and films like Weekend are one of the better films despite these obvious clichés.

It tells the story of Russell (Tom Cullen), a young man who works at a leisure centre and who pretty much keeps his sexuality to himself. On a Friday night he heads to a nightclub hoping to find someone to have sex with. This is where he meets Glen (Chris New) who’s very outspoken and confrontational about who and what he is. They go home together.

Weekend

The next morning Glen wants Russell to take part in an art project where he records him talking about what he hoped would happen when they went home together. Russell is uncomfortable with the idea of sharing his sexual fantasies so verbally with another person but eventually gives in.

What should have been a simple one night stand becomes something a little more complicated for them both over the course of the weekend. As they share more with each other, they also learn more about themselves. It’s interesting to watch these characters as they begin to step out of their comfort zones; I start to see their real selves emerging from the clutter of what they believe they’re expected to be.

Weekend

Once they get past talking about sex the dialogue becomes insightful. Russell seems to be much more of a loner in comparison to Glen. As outgoing as he is, Glen carries some baggage from his previous relationship and this stands in the way of his encounter with Russell being anything more than that.

At the end I do feel sorry for them. They can blame society and former partners but what really stands in the way of their happiness, real happiness and not the superficial constructs of consumerism, is themselves. It’s a very selfish way to live if you’re constantly focused on how you define yourself to your family, friends and community but Glen and Russell unfortunately never arrive at this realisation and hold fast to their egocentric ways throughout.

While their lives do revolved around bars, nightclubs, a circle of friends and an extensive back catalogue of sexual encounters, Weekend does go a little further with its script and performances but not nearly as much as it could have gone to be more than just another gay drama.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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