‘Let Me Hear It Barefoot’: Charming love story spins its wheels

Given the variety of LGBTQ experiences now depicted on screen, the term “gay-themed” sounds like a catch-all. What links the films of Ryosuke Hashiguchi, which reference his own life as an openly gay man, and the steamy, dreamy flicks adapted from BL (boys’ love) comics besides the sexual orientation of their protagonists?

It is not easy to pin down where “Let Me Hear It Barefoot,” Riho Kudo’s second feature film, lies on this reality-fantasy spectrum. Based on Kudo’s original script, the film focuses on two young men — the quiet, troubled Naomi (Shion Sasaki) and the loose-limbed, slack-jawed Maki (Tamari Suwa) — who meet at a pool where Maki works and Naomi swims (or rather flounders). They soon become fast friends and more.

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