Sunday, 14 February 2010


Like any other thirteen-year-old boy, precocious Logan is struggling his way through puberty, but has the added issue of coming to grips with his homosexuality. Logan initially finds an outlet for his pains in straight friend Joey, with whom he ambiguously discusses the sexual potency of the boys at their school, but suddenly finds an object of fixation in the older Rodeo. In his attempts to seduce the teenage rebel, Logan establishes a female alter ego named Leah which he uses to arrange rendezvous with Rodeo over the phone. Throughout the film, Logan’s troubles are echoed by the mountain lions which reside in the area, creatures with which he openly identifies.

Visually, sonically and thematically reminiscent of low-budget documentary Tarnation, Wild Tigers I Have Known is refreshing in that it handles teenage sexuality without overdoing the pathos, or even segregating homosexual relationships from heterosexual ones. But in spite of all this, it’s a terrible piece of work. Lead actor Malcolm Stumpf certainly has the look, but doesn’t do the role much justice beyond the superficial – it’s hard to look at his indie coif and sardonically-mismatched clothes and read ‘troubled child’. In fact, none of Cam Archer’s film is convincing, particularly the arguments he has with his mother. On many occasions, one gets the feeling that Archer, who hails from a background in photography, wants to blindly glamorise the subject rather than give it a voice. Perhaps even more grating is the aimless static soundtrack, which adds nothing to the drama.

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