Closeted boy Gavin had a bit too much fun powdering his nose1 while having his oil changed2 and ends up DOA3. For fellow BBC4 potato queens5 Mel and Ash, the passing of their college chum jolts them out of their (overlong) bachelorhood to make them realize that, alas, Botox6 is not forever.
Mel, the studly circuit boy with an ego even larger than his wardrobe’s price tag, is determined to carry on with his cheap fixes despite the hunky slice of country beef who suddenly shows up at his door. His buddy Ash, however, is ready to settle down with a real man. But they seem impossible to find when every buff bod he encounters only masks an inner screeching Diana Ross. So what choice does he have but to don the wig and the high heels himself?
Look elsewhere if you expect this film to be about cultural tensions and repressed sexuality. Instead, Cut Sleeve Boys features Chinese gay men who are out, proud, and completely aware of their status as objects of desire. In a land where queer focus continues to be lily-white, Ray Yeung’s unapologetically campy and hilariously exuberant film deliberately showcases Asians as the main attraction, even as the community continues to be marginalized in the queer subculture as “exotic” and “foreign”. Not in this film – these boys are trendy, successful and in charge!
P.S. “Cut Sleeve” was an expression used by the Han Dynasty (220-260 BC) literati as a term for male love.1 cocaine use 2 the act of pleasuring someone orally 3 dead on arrival 4 British-Born Chinese 5 Gays who prefer Caucasians 6 a chemical clinically used to remove wrinkles
Ray Yeung (in attendance)
Ray Yeung has been running the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival since 2000. He has also worked as an art director for feature films. A qualified lawyer with an MA in media studies, Ray has also written and directed three short films: A Chink in the Armour, A Bridge to the Past, and Yellow Fever. Cut Sleeve Boyshis first feature.