25 March 2013 5:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

After spending last week at the BFI's festival of short gay films, Jack Cullen feels qualified to list the top 10 cliches of the genre – from the ironing mother to the very long shower scene …

Artistic shots of trees

Nothing conveys the gay psyche like a bleak sky glimpsed through a dizzying rush of distant poplars – the type gay boys stare at longingly from the homophobic inferno of the school bus. It's fairly cheap and easy to capture, too: best shot from a moving Peugeot 207, with the camera balanced on the sill of a half-opened side window. The short film Sunshine Sparkling in My Eyes has plenty of this.

The ironing mother

She is angsty, sombre, frayed, yet just a tiny bit fabulous. Think of a fat Joan Rivers cast in a John Osborne play. She's probably 30th in line to being the next Sheila Hancock. She needs to be watching »

- Jack Cullen

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