More artful than anything else, and certainly not the gay soft core some members might be hoping for, CAMPFIRE may disappoint viewers looking for cheap thrills. But these four short films by Belgian Bavo Defurne are so full of beauty, art and homosexual longing that they occupy a rather special place in the gay film canon. The first and titular piece is the longest and offers the most "story," but the third (and other color film) "Matroos" is simply stunning. The two early, short black-and-whites make a nice intro to the work of this unusual filmmaker--whose repeated themes, quirks and obsessions make for quietly spectacular viewing.
This is a rich, textural collection of four shorts. The story is insidental to the images in these shorts. It is in the Gay & Lesbian list, and there is certainly a gay layer to all the movies but the real message are the images and the interplay of the images. The first short is the closest to reality and is the story of attraction, giving into the attraction and then regret. The story is woven with rich images of the nature in which the characters go for their camping trip. The last is the least real. The sets are clearly sets, and the director doesn't care that you know everything you see with the characters is fake. The message isn't them -- it is the images. In short, if you're looking for an interesting art film, rent it. If you're looking for a film with a plot, you might find this movie disappointing.