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Lilies (1996)

Cast: Brent Carver, Brent Carver, Marcel Sabourin, more...
Director: John Greyson, John Greyson
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Wolfe Video
Genre: Drama, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Gay & Lesbian, Features
Running Time: 96 min.
Languages: English, French
    see additional details...

Love, jealousy, revenge and forbidden homosexual passion color this alternately campy and dramatic adaptation of a play by Michel Marc Bouchard. Operating at different levels, the story begins in 1952 inside a Quebec prison chapel where hard-core convict Simon Doucet offers confession to Bishop Bilodeau who has come especially to see him. But no sooner does the Bishop enter the confessional than he is locked in by other inmates and forced to watch them enact gay love scenes from the play The Death of San Sebastian. The story moves backwards to 1912 when Bilodeau and Simon were lusty young boys. Their affair falls apart when Simon takes up with Vallier. This angers Bilodeau who does something terrible in retaliation. Meanwhile, back in the present, Simon attempts to force Bilodeau into owning up to his actions. In keeping with the film's gay themes, all roles, male and female, are portrayed by men. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Wow! by HNewman August 12, 2007 - 1:48 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Brilliant film. . . meta-theatre at its best. All male cast is intriguing. Check out this gay themed film. . .one of the best in the last 15 years, but pay attention, it's often a bit difficult to follow because of its experimental structure. . . based on a play. . . but worth it.

it's not just a gay thing by alexjb March 17, 2006 - 7:53 AM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

OK, so the GC review makes this seem like there's going to be husky prisoners playing drop the soap while a bishop is tied up in the corner forced to watch. that's not what happens ;-)

what i think makes this film really remarkable is the visual style. ostensibly, it is prison inmates putting on a play. but the 'play' is a re-enactment of one man's memories, and the filmmaker got really really creative with how the film moves between retrospective and real-time, sometimes blending the two in amazingly artful, beautiful ways.

the acting is also really impressive- all of the actors are men, even when we go into flashbacks (so yes, they're in drag, but it's not campy). it adds a really amazing subtext to the film that i haven't even really finished thinking about. there are a couple of twinky young guys that are very hot and perform reasonably well, but i thought that the performances by the supporting actors as women were even better.

the plot's not too far out there; there's a little bit to think about in terms of life paths, revenge, love, escape from small town, etc etc. but these are standard plot points and not revolutionary. plus if you think too much about what's actually supposed to be going on, it becomes a bit of a stretch.

much easier to just roll with it and get swept away by the beauty of the scenes, the transitions- this is what you can do with film that you can't do on stage!

Tilda as a Boyeee!!!! by DonutCake January 3, 2005 - 8:37 PM PST
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Vallier aka Danny Gilmore aka Tilda as a boy!!! Yeaaahh boyeee!!! For reals, I've been crushin' on Tilda Swinton ever since 'Orlando' (she's hecksa handsome!) and always wondered if she had a real MALE twin...HELLO it's Danny Gilmore! AND he plays a gay boy--a gay boy in love, named Vallier!!! Not only does Danny Gilmore play a gay boy...but as Vallier, he has this unapologetic gaze that burns for his singualar passion for super cute Simon...and you'll get tingles just by seeing him exude this raw kinda love. It's like that!!! OMG!!! you see him naked too!

So, of course, something tragic happens--and by the hand of a closeted gay boy 'mophobe (these are the worst villains), even though he's cute, Bilodeau (he's played by Matthew Ferguson aka Birkoff in 'La Femme Nakita' the TV show), it's not an excuse this time. PLUS this tragedy gets played out by a bunch of dudes in prison--even the part of women. But it's not a mess, because these fellas can act.

Even if you're not down with Danny Gilmore, the male Tilda Swinton, you'd best be checking this out for a legend of a LOVE story. I can't even hint at the story cause it's so tightly woven that tryin' to pull a thought outta it might unravel anything that you need to see for yourself.

Alls I can type is that you might end up crying alot. And if you're single gay might miss having a boyfriend. The latter only lasted a minute for me because, HELLO...single=awesome!!!

I welcome inquiries.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.80)
116 Votes
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The intersection of coming-of-age genre films and gay/lesbian/trans cinema. A list of 15 flicks that are really good!
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