Mirrors: Reflecting Homosexuality In A Different Light

Jayna Patel | 21st July 2015

Mirrors film poster bigger

With Manchester Pride parade lighting up the city on 29th August and Political Pride immediately following, plus Manchester being home to the legendary Canal Street, it seemed fitting that Shameless star Jody Latham should play his first ever gay character alongside Skins actor Liam Boyle in a short film that was filmed in Manchester’s very own Cruz 101 club, located in Manchester’s Gay Village.

The short film in question is titled Mirrors, aptly reflecting, pardon the pun, the fact that the entire film is shot inside a club’s toilets. Directed by Neil Ely, Mirrors’ opening shot of a engaged locked toilet cubicle promptly sets the tone for the film’s plot-two ordinary young men stood in the confines of the same toilet cubicle sharing drugs and a whole lot more. Although the film portrays snapshots of other people’s conversations in the loo, one girl engaged in an animated conversation on the phone for instance, it predominately focuses on these two men, who, while both initially claiming to have girlfriends bond and explore their sexuality, culminating¬†in a steamy sexual scene and the realization of the true reason why both men have found themselves in a gay club.

The close-up scenes and high angle shots looking down into each toilet cubicle work well in creating a claustrophobic feeling perhaps symbolising how desperate and trapped some men who aren’t comfortable with coming out must feel. The hedonistic club music in the background is a constant reminder of the setting and emulates the hazy and fuzzy care free feeling of taking drugs, ¬†conjuring up a hint of sadness from the viewer because of the fact that the only place each man feels safe to ponder their sexuality is in a toilet cubicle with a stranger.

You could argue that Mirrors portrays being gay as merely experimenting and devalues what it means to be homosexual when, in reality, experimenting is only one of the many aspects of being gay, with the majority of gay men realizing their homosexual through trying different things. But the fact that both men were straight and then connected on a homosexual level cleverly conveys the more obvious message that sexuality isn’t just a static label of being ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ that’s set in stone, it’s a fluid and diverse concept that can mean different things to different people.

During the closing credits, with the camera positioned where the mirror would be, a heterosexual couple are depicted, with the man arguing with his girlfriend about her and her friends wanting to go to a gay club, admitting the scene makes him uncomfortable. This again, reminds us that even in 2015 some of us are still unnerved by gay men and highlights homophobia.

Produced with the help of Provision Manchester and Panavision, featuring a cameo from 90’s pop sensation Kavana, who revealed he was gay at the age of 36, Neil Ely’s Mirrors will no doubt take the 2015 film festival scene by storm.

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