This 80s-era oddball gay-themed movie from Australia left me bemused.
A beautiful look and a keenly felt sense of time and place plus one moving lead performance can’t cover up the contrivance of the central romance.
This gay-themed, London-based debut feature from Sally El Hosaini is worth a look for its cultural insights and sensitivity, as well as great performances, but the gay relationship seems forced.
It wasn’t until about a half hour in that I realized that I’d tried to watch this film before. It wasn’t any easier to stick around this time than it had been the first, but I did skip forward to see what happened — I watched the last scene so I now know the origin of the title — and to try to figure out why I found it all so boring.
The handsome look of this film shot widescreen in Cuba on 35mm made it easy to feel immersed in its depiction of love, attachment, and youthful aspirations. The attractiveness and natural acting of the three amateur leads doesn’t hurt. But the plot is stretched too thin, and melodrama and fatalism eventually upend the film’s energy and the empathy generated by the characters and their desires.
I had some trouble the first time getting through Edgardo Castor’s La noche/The Night, gay art movie from Argentina, but now after having watched it three times, and crucial scenes more than that, I’m convinced that it’s closer to a masterpiece.
It’s a testament to the intelligence and seriousness of co-directors James Franco and Travis Matthews that I don’t know where to begin talking about this galvanizing and quite radical hour-long gay-sex-explicit experimental film.