Can you remember that perfect first date? When every cell of your body, drunk on a cocktail of love and lust, tingled with anticipation and blissful happiness? Well, chances are you are no longer with that person, as these perfect dates tend to come with an expiry date, marking the difference between fleeting infatuation and lifelong passion. Written and directed by Tyler Rabinowitz, See You Soon observes a tender romance which blooms between two young men, as they carve out their own private space of intimacy. Capturing the magical moments shared between the long distance lovers, their heartbreaking fragility shapes this sixteen minute drama into an enthralling and intelligent study of love.
With a whole country separating them, Vincent (James Cusati-Moyer) and Anthony (Jonny Beauchamp) have been chatting online for months. Now they have one precious weekend to finally spend together and find out if the spark is still there. Rabinowitz invites us along, as an unobtrusive observer, to witness the first blush of infatuation appear between the awkward cracks and nervous laughter. See You Soon soothes with its extended cinematic vignettes, masterfully crafted by DP Oren Soffer, and gently tightens the emotional screws as the narrative unravels, making the film an all-consuming and all too fleeting joy to behold.
“I discovered not only my capacity to love, but also my capacity to receive love.”
The short was inspired by Rabinowitz’s own romantic experience, when he met a man he matched with on a dating app. “When we were finally able to have a weekend together in person, I found myself able to let my guard down in a way I never had before”, he reveals as we discuss the real-life events behind his story. “As the weekend came to an end, I had to grapple with the double-edged swords of attachment, vulnerability, and a long distance relationship. It was a pivotal moment in my coming of age, as I discovered not only my capacity to love, but also my capacity to receive love.”.
There’s plenty to love about this tale of boy meets boy. As we eavesdrop on the intimate experience they share, we are also invited to feel what they feel – the exhilaration of making a connection with another kindred spirit, and the instant conversational and physical intimacy between two people. The sense that life holds infinite possibilities for the characters who are still toddlers in love years. As Vincent and Anthony talk about nothing and everything, and slowly recognise each other as soul mates, our yearning for their relationship to survive against the odds bubbles up. All until we sense time slipping away, and with it our hope for their future together. It’s impossible not to be moved.
“The tension doesn’t hinge upon a gay character’s tense relationship with unaccepting family members”
See You Soon is so captivating and compelling, the fact that it’s a love story about a gay couple takes second stage. Rabinowitz has achieved this by purposely avoiding any narrative twists we have come to expect from LGBTQ+ films. ”The tension doesn’t hinge upon a gay character’s tense relationship with unaccepting family members, or their rejection of their own queerness”, the director explains as we discuss the aims of his film. “There is nothing taboo about their relationship, and they’re not afraid their sexual identity will damage their social standing in any way”. By committing to an ordinary story between two ordinary people, Rabinowitz has achieved something extraordinary – he has created a sharp, sexy and heartwarming piece of cinematic magic and with it he’s caught the fever and fleetingness of love.
See You Soon is Tyler’s first appearance on S/W as a director, but not the first time his work has been featured on our platform. Also a talented producer, if you follow our coverage you’ve probably already seen a couple of shorts he was involved in – Matthew Puccini’s The Mess He Made and Lavender (acquired by Fox Searchlight at Sundance 2019). His next project however sees him back in the director seat, as he’s currently developing his first feature YOU CANNOT ERASE ME, which is set in Toronto and centres on the romance between an up-and-coming drag queen and a queer refugee who has recently fled the state-supported persecution of LGBTQ+ lives in Chechnya.