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  • Writer's pictureDelven Shaw

DESIRE THE SHORT FILMS OF OHM are sensual and sweet

DESIRE is a sensual, sensitive trio of gay shorts from writer/director Ohm Phanphiroj made with involvement from the Art Institute of Chicago. The first two films are sweet, if not groundbreaking. But when I see the entire trilogy, they offer wry comments about young love and cheating spouses. You may even get the sense that the stifling small town in the first film – 'The Deaf Boy's Disease' – is preferred to the epic isolation of the big city as seen in the final film 'The Last Kiss.'

A.J. Andersen plays Ant, who has a rising interest in his often-shirtless best friend Tremor (Nik Caruccio). Ohm's shots of small-time life – a blazing cornfield that can conceal and expose and a swimming hole that provides more chances for the young men to reveal themselves to the world and each other – are beautiful and seductive. It is the presence of Early, a deaf boy new to town, whose connection with Ant irks Tremor intensely. Beck Nolan (a hearing actor and singer) is cast as Early for some reason.

The film is sweet as it peels back their layers of discovery. But it is more resonance in the final movie when the three are seen in a big city in what is nearly a music video of lost love.

The middle film - ‘The Space Between Us’ – is a sexy thematic bridge between youth and adulthood. Joseph Williams plays Smokey, a youth fleeing a small town picked up by Norman (James Spangler). The air is thick between them as Smokey seductively removes his clothes while Norman removes his wedding ring. The cast stays unclothed for the rest of the film – contrasting the perfection of youth and the ordinary body of middle age.

All the performances in the films are honest and lovely. The production values are top-notch. Bowen Astrop is credited as co-writer of the screenplay for the first film, with Lance Eliot Adams listed as co-writer for the second. Ohm Phanphiroj has an impressive resume for art, theater, film, and academic projects. Keep an eye out for other projects by these talents.

You can find DESIRE on Dekkoo.

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