GSFF review: 12th Man

Scottish Competition 2
(A World to Win)

Courtesy of GSFF

Theoretically, it shouldn’t be that difficult to live one’s own sexuality without having to hide anymore. Although it is slowly getting better with every day – at least in so called western countries, there are still places that remain stubbornly heteronormative and homophobe. Football, for instance is a manly sport that should be played by manly men who reek of testosterone and throw toilet jokes at each other. At the same time, pranks in showers or dressing rooms can get pretty intense when the same manly men simulate sexual practices on each other. Boys will be boys. Tiring as it is to look away and pretend to be fine with all of it, Angus (Lorn Macdonald of Brigderton) does just that until he can’t take it anymore.

Caitlin Black’s GSFF Scottish Competition entry 12th Man is a film that casts a glance behind the coulisses of pretense in the most popular sport in the world. Angus and his partner Charlie (Guy Hodgkinson) who is the captain of the team, can not display public affection, let alone have a proper relationship. Constantly under the radar of the football team coach and their peers, two young men pretend to be just like any of them – straight, “normal” and tough.

As in any costume play, there is a limit to acting – in this case for Angus who has little to lose.

Caitlin Black’s sophomore short 12th Man is based on the script by the newcomer Jack Gemmell whose insightful writing brings the plight of two lovers close to the viewer. It is true that we are not in clear about how far the relationship of the two men has gone, where it was when the dirt hit the fan, nor what has inititated a brief physical confrontation between Angus and an anonymous player who beat him up and threw abuse on him for being a gay. At the same time, all those things matter less than both the outcome of the story and the universal message it brings across. Keeping the mask of an average Joe will save your life, and staying truthful to your identity will save your soul.

Country: UK
Language: English
Runtime: 12′
Produced by: Jack Gemmell, Caitlin Black, Aidan O’Mara
Directed by: Caitlin Black
Written by: Jack Gemmell
Executive Producer: Miguel Anjos
Cinematographer: Sean Mcdonald
Production Designer: Nathan Alliott
Editor: Mark Fraser
Costume Design: Michelle Mcauley, Siiri Korhonen
Composer: Rory Cairnduff
Cast: Lorn Macdonald, Guy Hodgkinson, Mark Mckirdy, Kal Walker, Ryaan Ali