Monday, June 13, 2016
'Snails in the Rain' DVD: Compelling Gay-Themed Israeli 'You've Got Mail' Drama
This "lost" review of a DVD release from international art-house gay-themed film god tla releasing is the best dividend from Spring cleaning following a move last year that resulted in burying the Israeli drama "Snails in the Rain" until a viewing a few nights ago. This find coming smack in the middle of a month-long Gay Pride-oriented retweeting reviews of gay-themed films makes the timing of the discovery particularly apt.
This tale of mostly straight hunky current student/former soldier Boaz becoming increasingly intrigued by increasingly erotic love letters from a secret male admirer is relatable to most men along the Kinsey scale of sexuality. It also adds variety to a typical unrequited love story that has a teen or early 20s boy infatuated with a peer but facing the obstacle of societal pressure, fear of rejection, or the presence of a femme fatale. In this case, Boaz's live-in girlfriend Noa contributes the final factor.
Any gay man who asserts that he has not fantasized about being as bold as the admirer in contacting a largely unattainable object of his affection lies as much as gay and straight men who deny indulging in acts of self-pleasure. The same is only slightly less true regarding straight boys who find themselves the object of such affection. As Kinsey notes, most men and women are not entirely straight or entirely gay, Additionally, we all feel connections to people with whom we are close.
The letters escalate from stating an attraction to Boaz, to expressing an increasing (but highly controlled) obsession with him, to finally inviting him to communicate whether the feelings are reciprocal. For his part, these correspondences increasingly intrigue Boaz and awaken feelings that flashbacks to his military service illustrate.
The tasteful depictions of "don't ask, don't tell" behaviors include glances in the shower, a macho jerk-off contest, and spying on a comrade-in-arms engaged in a sexual act. A scene involving a seduction is straight out of a military-themed porn movie.
The impact of the conflicted feelings that Boaz is experiencing strains his relationship with Noa to the extent that she feels compelled to act. A scene in which Boaz must decide which path to take creates good suspense and does not disappoint.
The symbolism of the title is clear early on and very blatant at the end.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Snails" is encouraged to email me. You can also connect (and check out the aforementioned retweets) on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.,