(Leopold Dewolf is the director of “My Boyfriend”, a GIFF Grand Jury Award Nominee for Best Narrative Short.) TICKET INFO
Cinema is not kind to women. Few are the films starring a promiscuous female character that don’t end up punishing her for it. Take Sex and the City, for example. Samantha might be the most uninhibited of the quartet, but she still settles down eventually (and to add insult to injury, she is stricken with cancer). In movies, a worse fate often awaits the woman who follows her own desires; from the femme fatale archetype, to the overly sexual girl in a horror film — she even won’t make it to the end.
While James Bond can have as many Bond girls as he likes, gender codes and Judeo-Christian morals continue to rule films today. I made My Boyfriend to challenge these conventions. My film is the story of a girl who cheats on her boyfriend, seems totally content with it and, tragically (or not, depending on your view), gets away with it.
My Boyfriend could have been a grim, judgmental portrait of one woman’s carnal vice. I had the opposite in mind: a celebration of youth, playfulness and eroticism from beginning to end. I wanted visuals reminiscent of the old Technicolor classics — films of a particular time, of a particular reality, where red is redder than red; where even skin tones look surreal.
My Boyfriend is at the crossroads of three cultures. It is an American film with European roots (Pierrot le Fou by Jean-Luc Godard; Martin et Léa by Alain Cavalier) and Asian influences (Summer Palace by Lou Ye; In the Realm of the Senses by Nagisa Oshima). To reflect this diversity, I set my story in a Chinese suburb of LA and cast mixed-race Americans in the lead roles. I wanted to depict an unconventional romance set amidst freeways, freight trains and local dim sum joints — not your typical Hollywood love story.
Ultimately, My Boyfriend is a film about incompletion; a half-painted wall, a barely furnished apartment, a radio station forced off the air… and a blind summer fling. At the end of the film, a promiscuous female character makes a choice. Her actions may be immoral (or simply human?) but that’s not for me to judge. I’m only human, too.