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TEXT-ONLY READERS: Meaningful images are indicated {like this}. Navigation bar at end of page.
{Hand caressing chest} Like it is
By Paul Oremland
Starring Steve Bell, Ian Rose, Roger Daltrey
A Mongrel Media Release
Available on video
Review by Michael Cottrell


"The first time is always difficult" -Ian

Craig, the Blackpool bare-knuckled fighter is smashing his opponent. Again and again and again he strikes down. The sound of flesh hitting flesh is unmistakably clear. A man who turns out to be his older brother challenges Craig to stop, that it has gone far enough. Craig is relentless and knocks the other unconscious and walks away with his booty of cash.

Ian the young blonde London club manager steps into the boat stripping away his clothes. The camera pans in as his tongue eagerly searches and caresses the back the other. Passion builds and the other is conquered in the rhythm of sensuality.

Two visually powerful scenes dominant the British movie Like It Is. A scene of masculine brutality, a scene of masculine sensuality. Both scene involve the one character, Craig.

{Craig} Like it Is, is a film about youth. Clubbing and its culture provides a major venue for the story. But this is not just a party movie, for the young and energetic. Like It Is, is a coming out film that deals with the complexity of coming to terms with ones sexuality.

The opening scene begins with Craig standing and watching the door of a gay club. Nothing is said, nothing has to be said. I remember vividly that suspension in time of waiting to pass over the threshold of a known gay "establishment". Will anyone see me. Craig waits.

Coming out for Craig is complex because like most of us, he does not live in a Metropolis with a thriving gay community. Craig believes he lives in a straight environment which he shelters and protects by his machismo occupation of fighting.

{Craig in boxing trunks} Craig passes the line, the emotion of guilt can be sliced in the air. However there is no turning back and the true battle begins.

Like It Is, is a film about the battle between sensuality and brutality. It is a story about coming out or hiding. It is a story about listening or hearing. Like It Is is a story about love and individuals finding their place in love.

Intertwined with the story are the characters of Ian's flatmate Paula and of Kelvin, the recording company head. As quick and rapid as Craig is with his hands, Kelvin, Paula and Ian hit with their verbal claws.

Like It Is, the pictures are not always pretty, the scenes are not always comfortable but it tells a story. One that is real and believable. One that we all can remember.




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