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2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

UMass Boston Film Series Features ‘Hommes Less’

Homme+Less
‘Homme Less’

In the upcoming screening, as part of the University of Massachusetts Boston Film Series, the award-winning and critically-acclaimed masterpiece “Hommes Less” will be introduced to all of the students body and beyond.
Filmmaker Thomas Wirthensohn tells the story of story of the American dream—failure and survival in the unforgiving city of New York. In particular, it follows around the fashion photographer Mark Reay who embodies how the city can lift someone up, but also defeat them.
Apart from the great directorial skills and storytelling, it is also the jazz-like sound in the background that earned the film positive feedback at festivals and several awards, including the Grand Jury Award in Doc the Metropolis Competition at Doc NYC. The soundtrack, which captures the spirit of the Big Apple, was written and performed by Kyle Eastwood (yes, the son of Clint Eastwood) in corporation with Matt McGuire.
The relationship between Wirthensohn and Reay goes all the way back to 1987 when they were both staying in Vienna, Austria working for the same modelling career. After a period of time, they both went separate ways, and also traded in their jobs before the lense to one behind it. Even though they lived on different continents, they both pursued a career in photography. In 2008, when Wirthensohn moved from Vienna to New York, he got in touch with Reay again, and after a couple of drinks, he got to know Raey’s story. Wirthensohn explains that he “was intrigued and knew right away I wanted to make a documentary about his life in Manhattan. A couple of weeks later we started shooting.” It was the first feature length documentary that Wirthensohn wrote, co-produced, directed, filmed and co-edited.
Wirthensohn followed Raey for three years, chronicling over 200 hours of shot footage of his ups and downs. Certain scenes in the movie depict how much trust and intimacy between both the filmmaker and his protagonist. It is already in the first half of the film that the audience gets to know that Reay, although looking well-put together and still working as a fashion photographer, is homeless and “lives” on the roof of a building in Manhattan. However, Reay is not displayed as a victim of his own bad choices, but that there were also circumstances that led to his difficult situation of constant struggle.
And he is not alone in this battle, as Wirthensohn stresses. “New York is full of people who live on the edge. It’s a tough city to make a living and doesn’t allow much room for failure. You have to be inventive to get by and at the same time pretend everything is ok.” The protagonist shows that by still going out to parties at night, dressing in suits and always trying to look his best for his job and leisure time. “What’s alarming is that it seems to get worse every year. People are struggling to pay their bills, which leaves them with less live choices.”
Despite that, the filmmaker has emphasized repeatedly that he has lot of respect for Raey because he is a survivor who keeps following his dream of becoming more successful in his life and job, despite the harsh circumstances. And as Wirthesohn puts it, “Homme Less” is a story written by life […]. We all have to face our obstacles that we need to overcome and learn from.”
“Homme Less” will be shown this Thursday, March 26, at Ballroom C in the Campus Center at 7 p.m. It is free of charge.
For more information about this movie and its trailer, go to http://www.homme-less.com.
If you’d like to know more about the UMass Boston Film Series and all upcoming screenings, you can get all the details at http://www.umb.edu/filmseries