Postcards from London
|Postcards from London|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steve McLean|
|Produced by||Soledad Gatti-Pascual|
|Written by||Steve McLean|
|Music by||Julian Bayliss|
|Edited by||Stephen Boucher|
|Distributed by||Peccadillo Pictures|
Postcards from London is a 2018 British drama film directed by Steve McLean. The film is McLean's follow-up to his 1994 film Postcards from America, which he based on the work of David Wojnarowicz. It is the story about teenage boy Jim (played by Harris Dickinson), escaping his rural Essex town for London, just to find himself involved with a team of high-class gay escorts in Soho.
At the National Gallery an art tour guide is presenting a Titian 16th Century Venetian painting and Jim comes up to the painting, touches it and passes out. Small town Jim has made his way to London and Soho to experience art, music and culture. He is sleeping on the street and has been robbed. A barmaid finds him young and fit with an angel face. She sends him to a gay bar where David, Jesus, Marcello and Victor find him perfect to join their vocation. They are not male prostitutes but raconteurs servicing wealthier older men. He takes an oath to join in and be trained in the cultural arts of Soho.
Pictures are taken with the cock being the most important. Study starts with Caravaggio adding more art, poetry and literature to the mix. He also learns the sex trade with his own viewing booth. Jim really likes the education and has his first client who is writing a book on Caravaggio. When shown a painting, he passes out and Jim finds himself to be the dead Christ with the client also in the painting. He advises Jim to enjoy his youth. His next john is an old man playing a Roman in 266 C.E. Jim is the dead Saint Sebastian. Jim talked too much so he refunds the fee. Jim's fame is gaining all over Soho. An artist named Max wants the young Jim to be his muse and reinvigorate his art career. After months of sitting, Jim has a real art painting of himself. Max appreciates the inspiration.
The group sit Jim down and they are concerned that he keeps passing out. David does not want Jim to "retire" so they send him to a doctor. He explains when he sees beauty, it becomes part of him. If he sees a picture of Christ, he feels his suffering. The doctor shows him "The Musician" by Caravaggio. He hears music and passes out. He and his mates are in the painting in Rome in 1595. The artist appears and chastises the guys for talking while he is trying to paint. Just being pretty boys is not enough but he tenderly strokes Jim. When Jim wakes up, he talks as if he personally knows the artist. Her diagnosis is Stendhal Syndrome. When a patient sees beauty, he becomes the art with emotional ecstasy.
Jim has blackouts and becomes various artists. Sometimes he is the artist Max. He is discussing his oversensitivity to art with a client and he sees Paul. Paul is the man Jim replaced in the group. Paul says we were rent boys and quoted how Jim was recruited. Paul says he heard Jim has a special talent. Jim says it is a curse and is tired of talking, Art is money. Paul solicits Jim and agrees to pay him for his time. Paul thinks they can make money if Jim's emotional response to art can determine genuine art from fake art. They have sex. Paul sets up a test. Jim thinks he has a sickness and Paul sees opportunity. His four mates feel betrayed. Does one have to suffer for art? Some artists are never recognized in life. They live in poverty. Modern art starts when? Two new guys solicit Jim. Doctor and Paul convince Jim that his talent is a service to the art world and he gets well paid. He suffers and passes out with each masterpiece. Barmaid tells him to enjoy it while it lasts. The four raconteurs are looking for their next mate. Meanwhile Jim is ready to create his own beauty.
- BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival (31 March 2018)
- Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Melbourne, Australia (March 2018)
- OUTshine Film Fest, Miami, United States (April 2018)
- Lovers Film Festival – Torino LGBTQI Visions, Turin, Italy (April 2018)
- Pink Apple, Zurich, Switzerland (May 2018)
- TLVFest, Tel Aviv, Israel (10 June 2018)
- Frameline Film Festival (16 June 2018)
- Filmfest München, Munich, Germany (30 June 2018)
- Outfest, Los Angeles, US (October 2018)
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