Since my blog is in the process of expansion at the moment, and one of the new categories will be LGBT cinema, and with the tragic news of Alan Rickman’s passing, I thought it appropriate that for the moment we take a moment away from Cherik (etc) and talk about a little known film that will be included in said category: Dark Harbor.
Dark Harbor, shown in 1998 at the Hamptons International Film Festival and directed by Adam Coleman Howard, stars Alan Rickman, Norman Reedus (now of Walking Dead fame), and Polly Walker. The synopsis for the film is contained in the link above, and reads as follows:
“A bickering couple drive fast through a downpour to catch the last ferry to their island retreat. In a flash, they recognize a crumpled body laying at the side of the road after much argument they stop, only to find a young boy battered and bruised. An offer of summoning the police firmly rejected, the two help the boy as best they can although it certainly means missing the ferry… and so starts this thriller: a tale of twisted sexual attraction and ulterior motives.”
I won’t go further into the plot– I refuse to spoil anything. However, I will say this: the film very much plays with perception with regards to sexuality, and the shot of the video cover above illustrates that pretty well. It’s reminiscent of what we discuss on the blog, and when you watch it the first time, PAY ATTENTION to what’s going on between the lines and behind the scenes. This film very much follows the formula that X-Men, Hannibal, and Sherlock all utilize, but does so on a much smaller scale, making it easier to parse through the twists and turns of the story.
Dark Harbor is a great example of how a director’s/screenwriter’s ulterior motives can be totally hidden to us if we don’t pay close attention to what’s really going on. When I eventually get to the point in my education where I can hopefully start creating and teaching classes in gay subtext in film/TV/literature, this film will absolutely be included.
For those of you who don’t have the means to find the film (it’s actually rather hard to find), try this link on YouTube. (There are also versions in the “related videos” sidebar with subtitles in various languages.)
I highly, highly recommend watching it. It’s a small budget film, but the writing is solid, and the acting is superb. Alan Rickman, bless his beautiful and unbelievably talented soul, shines in this role, and is one of my personal favorite performances of his. In my opinion, the film is very underrated.
I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have over the years.
We love you, Alan Rickman. “Always.”
(KEEP THE FAITH. More to come.)