Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.
The Elusive: 7 Minutes
This French thriller took us off guard earlier this year with its mix of drama, eroticism and intrigue. 7 Minutes follows Jean (Antoine Herbez), a cop mourning the death of his party-boy gay son and his son’s boyfriend after a GHB overdose. A grieving Jean seeks out Fabien (Clement Naline), another circuit boy who knew the pair in hopes of finding some closure. Instead, Jean—who is straight—finds himself drawn into the circuit world of drugs, dance and wild sex. As Jean begins to experiment with GHB himself, his “investigation” becomes something far more sinister.
7 Minutes doesn’t pull punches when it comes to scandalous content. The film features extended scenes of graphic nudity, drug use and intense sex. Some viewers may find Jean’s actions inexplicable at a certain point–then again, that might be the whole point. The film doesn’t shy away from ambiguity. When Jean becomes addicted to gay sex himself, we’re meant to ask if he’s secretly gay, obsessed with his son, or just addicted to GHB. The movie lets audience members decide, right up until its non-ending. The finale doesn’t offer resolution or catharsis of any kind; rather, it just stops, leaving viewers with some very big questions they are meant to debate within themselves. Captivating, erotic and elusive, we recommend the film to viewers who need a bit of a palate cleanse from holiday sweetness, and to anyone mystified or repulsed by the world of circuit parties.
Streams on Amazon, iTunes & VUDU.