The Wild Boys

image from the film The Wild Boys

image from the film THE WILD BOYS

“[A] gender-bending, influence-scrambling adventure tale about five teenage miscreants sent on a boat journey with a mysterious Dutch captain who has promised to bring them back to their parents as obedient boys—or not at all.… Bertrand Mandico cast five of France’s most talented young actresses to play the boys and immersed them in a seamless blend of luxuriant island locations and unabashedly artificial sets, creating a manifesto for narrative and aesthetic freedom in which a slew of influences (Joseph Von Sternberg, R.L. Stevenson, Jean Genet, Raúl Ruiz, Kenneth Anger) add up to a film unlike anything we’ve seen before.” (Tournees Film Festival)

The boys “land on a tropical island filled with sensual delights and, partaking of the island’s pleasures, the boys’ bodies start to transform, softening, developing breasts, shedding phalli, which sends them into a terror before they eventually embrace their new forms.… The Wild Boys feels like a Guy Maddin production by way of early Todd Haynes, with an unabashed erotic streak. It boldly dives into the in-between, the liminal spaces where bodies simply are, existing in any form they take, rather than relegated into social categories.” (LA Times)

“Cinematographer Pascale Granel… oscillates seamlessly between textured black-and-white photography and dreamlike colour sequences to give the film its rich mysteriousness and poetic beauty. The result is a kind of cinematic delirium; an aesthetic hallucinogen that emphasizes the bizarreness of this tale even further, whilst also creating a psychedelic atmosphere that succeeds in leaving the audience feeling buoyant, rather than lost in a sea of cinematic footnotes.” (Cine Vue)