2 min

All beds are down

In one fell swoop, Rose Troche, the director of dyke art film Go Fish, changed the rules of queer filmmaking. Her latest feature, Bedrooms And Hallways, is the story of Leo, a gay man living in London, UK.

He’s single and all of his friends think he’s perfect boyfriend material. Little does he know that attending a men’s consciousness-raising group – organized by a straight man in touch with his feminine side, played by Simon Callow – will lead him into the arms of Brandon, a gorgeous straight hunk, and Sally, Leo’s teenage sweetheart with whom he has lost touch.

Troche accepted the job as director when the script was far from complete. “They wanted a director who could work with the writer [Robert Farrar]. Some directors need a script to be further along, but I came on because I see it as an advantage,” says Troche, who co-wrote Go Fish.

“But I just could not write for this movie. I would write something and then Robert would turn it into, well, he’d Britishise it. Robert knows how to play with language more – but in that way can end up being a bit posh.

“I’m more direct. I had an influence on him as well.”

Troche is generally pleased with the way the film portrays the complexity of male desire. Bedrooms And Hallways goes beyond the formula fantasy of a gay man seducing a straight man – although that is a big and delicious part of the film.

The film poses questions about how we choose our sexual partners. When Leo, at the end of the film, has been burnt by the man he believed loved him, it looks like he’s going to shack up with his old teenage girlfriend, Sally. “Leo is essentially gay,” says Troche. “But there is a certain amount of comfort that Leo and Sally have with each other at this moment in their lives. They’re so happy to see each other again.

“There are people you love in your life. It’s usually when you’re younger. When you see them again, the love’s still there, untapped, and in a little compartment inside you.”

As for the last scene, the one that many audiences have assumed is a confirmation of Leo’s switch from homosexuality to heterosexuality, Troche is adamant: “Leo and Sally feel safe with each other, but are they going to be lovers? Is he straight ? No.

“When we did those scenes we never meant to imply as much as people seem to see in them. The ending is much more open ended than people take it to be.”