Directed by Roberto Fiesco
20 min, Mexico, 2015
Working again with the gliding camera of cinematographer Alejandro Cantú [Spanish-language link], an auteur in his own right, and collaborating with the great gay director Julián Hernández on the script, Roberto Fiesco creates another beautiful throwback to popular classic Hollywood (and Italian) in-color filmmaking from the late 60s and 70s.
Trémulo may be even better than his David from 2005, at least in terms of its mastery of mise-en-scène. It’s more or less equal in its emotional impact and in its evocation and reworking of canonical (and heterosexist) cinematic language.
The threesome transform a closed Mexican barber shop, mostly at night during a fireworks-filled independence day, into the most naturally romantic setting, previously unimaginable, for a flirtation, a first date, and a plot-twist fake-out.
A brief dancing interlude and a passionate kiss goodbye, along with other elements, such as a lush, selectively saturated, vintage color palette and a bevy of sexy close-ups, make this short feel like the two gorgeous young men are about to burst into song at any moment, in a wide array of emotional tones and tenors, just like in a Hollywood musical. The film is so full of emotional ideas, we might not even realize it’s a coming-of-age tale until the short’s final shot, a boy’s look of wakefulness directly into the camera.
You can watch Trémulo above or see it, along with four other short films from Mexico, in a compilation called Mexican Men [affiliate link].
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