Chris New and Tom Cullen in "Weekend."
Gay cinema scored a box office hit over the weekend, with a movie that its creator is not totally comfortable labeling solely as a "gay film." Weekend, by British filmmaker Andrew Haigh, was the clear winner in the specialty box office category, grossing $25,200 from its lone screening at the IFC Center in Manhattan, and plans to expand to other major markets in the coming weeks.
By all classic definitions Weekend—the story about two gay men in England who meet at a bar, quickly become enamored with each other, and embark on one of the longest one-night stands ever—is a classic gay film. But Andrew Haigh says his goal was to do more.
He tells the New York Times that gay films have “never represented how I felt about being gay, ever… I haven’t got muscles and I don’t live in West Hollywood...I was always frustrated, and angry sometimes, about the stories that people were telling, which were either coming-out stories or frothy, sexy comedies which weren’t funny or sexy.” His aim: to portray two characters simply trying to figure out who they are and what they want from life. “These issues aren’t just about being gay. They’re about how you define yourself, in public and in private.”
Orientation be damned, the movie is worth seeing, and has critics buzzing, with big hitters like A.O. Scott weighing in, calling it a ‘bracing, present-tense exploration of sex, intimacy and love”.
Check out the Out interview with Tom Cullen, the smoldering (and disappointingly straight) co-star of Weekend.