- Director: Steve McLean
- Writer: Steve McLean
- Producer: Soledad Gatti-Pascual
Steve McLean is not a prolific filmmaker. In 1994, he gave the world Post Cards from America - 24 years later, he really ought not to have waited so long - and, after watching Postcards from London - needn't have bothered...with this follow-up!
Is it homage? Or, is it plagiarism? Because, darlings, this is Jarman and Fassbinder all rolled into one stylised, messy ménage of a film...and, to make matters worse, minus any salaciousness that both these prolific directors loved to embrace.
Considering this is about a Soho rentboy, you would expect a certain amount of...sleazy and shady, sexy and shocking nocturnal shenanigans. But, no...this rentboy has been trained in haute culture and prefers to discuss the virtues of an old Master rather than get down-and-dirty with a fee-paying John!
I'm not a renboy. I'm a muse. I was proper objectified...if you can take this line seriously...this is the film for you!
Not only a rentboy. Not only a muse...Harris Dickinson's Jim has one other god-given talent...
In the antique world, 'divvies' get a spine-tingling sensation when they spot the genuine article...here, Jim, our 'artistic' divvy, faints when he sees a real Caravaggio, that is after he envisions himself in said painting, cue: Various [tongue-in-cheek] tableaux.
Who came up with this piffle? But, hey...one man's Bacon is another man's bane.
Indeed, this is a fantastically lit and beautifully staged 'theatre' production [complimented by many a fine-looking face]...that's the problem, it looks like a theatre production. This is film...use the limitless opportunities that film offers rather than be manacled by the restrictions of the proscenium. It looks like one of those live theatre events beamed into your local cinema!
It's neither Fassbinder's Querelle...nor is it Jarman's Caravaggio...it's a highly-polished, too hygienic, completely contrived, inauthentic copy. Let us hope, in 24 years time, Steve McLean's follow-up - Postcards from Wherever - will be as highly-polished...with a strident, original voice that we just know is screaming to get out!
Jim (played by Beach Rats star Harris Dickinson) is a young, fit lad looking to make his big break in London. Landing in the Soho district broke and jobless, he innocently falls in with a group of rent boys who educate him in the ways of male escorting. Jim quickly becomes the star attraction for many of Soho’s top clientele and artists, who find his ethereal beauty a perfect canvas on which to project their fantasies.
With more than a passing nod to Fassbinder’s Querelle and the work of Derek Jarman, Postcards from London is a hyper-stylised, fever dream celebrating the symbiotic bond between the artist and their muse.