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Country: USA, Language: English, 93 mins

  • Director: Matthew Fifer; Kieran Mulcare
  • Writer: Matthew Fifer
  • Producer: Ramfis Myrthil; Jeremy Truong

CGiii Comment

Troubled and damaged...a bisexual hypochondriac bares and shares his soul in this semi-autobiographical attempt at catharsis.

With something so personal...and, with Mr Fifer being so personally involved [writer, director, producer, editor and star]...the inherent dangers [of self-indulgence] are hazardous waters to navigate.

At times, it's akin to overhearing an uncomfortable confession. But, thankfully, melodrama and that dreaded indulgence are avoided...although there are a few close shaves [with both]!

Considering this is the debut feature from both directors, it is admirable in the way they side-stepped the glaring potholes...however, the plot-holes are a different issue entirely. In truth, there really is not much of a plot to speak of...the force that drives this film is dialogue. A little more 'show-than-tell' would have earned this film a great deal more purchase. A few more peaks to combat those impending troughs...and, those troughs are particularly deep!

Quite possibly, the film's power lies in its gentility when unearthing and addressing the individual traumas that these two men have endured...and, still endure. It is cathartic...the problem being...catharsis only resonates with some audiences.


The(ir) Blurb...

New York City, 2013. Introspective bisexual Ben drifts from one casual hook-up to the next. While recent encounters barely last beyond the following morning, he feels differently when he strikes up a conversation with Sam, a handsome stranger he meets while browsing discount books at a street stall. Forming an immediate connection, the two spend more and more time together, slowly letting their guards down. But as they reveal intimate details about their lives, both begin to recognise the need to confront past traumas if they are to truly let the other person in. Based on true events, writer/director/star Matthew Fifer and co-director Kieran Mulcare have crafted a richly textured and complex drama, which tackles challenging subjects with grace, delicacy and uncompromising honesty. Fifer’s sympathetic central performance is ably matched by Sheldon D Brown’s nuanced turn as Sam, with the pair establishing an effortless on-screen connection. Sensitively balancing moments of natural humour amongst the pathos, Cicada is guaranteed to be one of the year’s most acclaimed queer films.

Michael Blyth

Cast & Characters

Sheldon D. Brown as Sam
Matthew Fifer as Ben
Cobie Smulders as Sophie
Scott Adsit as Dr. Dragone
Michael Potts as Francis
Jo Firestone as Tracy
Sandra Bauleo as Debbie
Jason Greene
Bowen Yang as Hudson
Jazmin Grace Grimaldi as Amber
David Burtka as Bo
Clara McGregor as Riley
Tanner Cohen as Seth
Ahmad Maksoud as Mahmoud
Rain Dove Dubilewski