To set the mood, there are scenes that show him snorting coke at random with strangers in seedy restrooms of clubs frequented by people of the night: aging transvestites, strippers who are past their prime, the rough and the rich, and socially introverted people (like Martin). These people of the night are sometimes wonderfully juxtaposed with ordinary people who go by their business in broad daylight
The background music and lyrics to the songs underscored in each scene are perfectly poignant and enhance the mood that is aimed for. Whilst looking to connect, people equally make sure there is distraction from the other person, filling the space with background noise: the tap running, the noisy chitter chatter of Argentine television, music being played to drown out people's voices or any awkward silences.
The camera likes to linger on the imperfections of the bodies of people: pot bellies, love handles, coarse facial features Since it is Buenos Aires there are also lots of "love hotels" involved. Martin likes to keep the intimacy out of his own personal home, although he does go back there to puke up his guts after his nocturnal adventures. Usually by then he is strung out, after a failed encounter, to then start the whole process all over again. He pushes himself to the limit with drugs and alcohol and sex with the most awkward of strangers with the most minimal levels of communication. Most of all he is looking for heterosexual males to which he submits heedlessly; he uses transvestite friends and loose women, and drugs, and money, to gain physical proximity to them.
One must note that this is cinéma-vérité on the next level. The protagonist of the film, Martin, is also the director of this film, and he shows great courage in showing himself in this light. He probably draws from his own experiences as he captures the strange, bizarre, desperate, tender, and frustrating ever so well, which will be recognizable to anyone who has strayed through this sleazy world of urban Night. The film is sexually explicit enough to be unapologetically realistic, but not so much that it is basic porno. The scenes are raw and meta-realistic; some characters were truly picked up, off the street and are gay for pay and under the influence of drugs, which injects a dosis of raw authenticity into this piece of fiction.
I consider this film another outstanding gay themed Argentine film of this decade, together with Muerte en Buenos Aires, Plan B, Vil Romance and El Tercero. Argentina delivers every time, and this film excells.
White Americans in this film are portrayed as evil drug addicts, racists, rapists and murderers. Of course we must dispose of the idea that it is in fact that group which has made America the country that has become so desirable for Mexicans to immigrate into.
The tragedy of the film occurrs not because the broken immigration system is not letting people in, but because human smuggling (run by Mexican drug cartels, not by renegade US citizens) is still occurring since the US is not hard enough. If the wall is build, hopefully that will come to an end.
The prejudiced anti-white, anti-American propaganda in this film is loathesome. The love story between the two hairy latino bears is the only part that I enjoyed
This road movie can be considered gay, but it is also largely focused on intersections with women - who function as commentators on male homosexuality - and the protagonist's vices and virtues. The story plods along extemporaneously, from one interaction with an eccentric stranger to another, exposing in each encounter, a particular idea about relationships, incongruities in people's personalities, some sage observations, or just plain awkward behaviour.
The main protagonist, (and his boyfriend following him hot on his heels), stumble upon one idiot savant after another, and these haphazard meetings are all contrived into one long poetic story, which, although it takes some patience, does come to a worthy rewarding cohesive conclusion.
Although she doesn't appear on the list of actors on this film's IMDb page, the famous Spanish actress, Carmen Maura, makes a cameo in it. She is particularly known to an international audience for her roles in Pedro Almodovar movies. She definitely adds something very special.
The Weinstein brothers once again try to prompt into a new generation the idea that their own society needs globalisation in order to be "something valuable," to be free. It is globalisation that is enslaving them into a true fascist regime however. The film implies that nationalism is bad, whilst it currently is the only hope of all new Western generations to escape from the crises that have been foisted upon them by the global elites. The insertion of colourful National Geographic footage to visualize the "healing" wonders of "diversity," is just plain lazy and mendaciously simplistic.
This film left a very bad taste in my mouth. Yuck!
It is perhaps that very Southern decorum which makes all the straight fellas stick around with him, after he has lured them into his home, when picking them up, off the roadside, or in bars, with that disarming smile of his (and sometimes the promise of some coins, of course). The actors who play the parts of the straight dudes, are every one last of them pure eye candy - exceptionally well cast for a "gay" flick.
The film is full of chuckle out loud moments, deliciously irreverent - and you can't help but rooting for the obsessive-compulsive straight chaser, despite his deviousness, and having no qualms about man-snatching boyfriends away from their girls.
The film may not have HD widescreen glossiness, but it is top quality in every other aspect.
Rusty is under the impression that mimicking a "straight dude" requires, bellowing loudly and throwing a few expletives in, for good measure. Dad listens and smiles amiably and seems to take a shine to Rusty. But to me, the viewer, it's like nails on chalkboard, a very bad drag king act. Not sure how it's meant to come across, but it's kind of comical though.
As the two men spend more time, Rusty subjects Dad (in law) to a -woe is me, I'm a poor orphan- sob story over camp fire and beers, trying to pull the heartstrings. All the while there are numerous close ups of Rusty's jittery countenance, trying hard to appear as a real Budweiser-swilling-all-American-male, but the inner "gaylord" is obviously raring to leap out.
Meanwhile dad's got some identity issues of his own, as he proclaims all men are "hairy ugly ape things that nobody wants around." Rusty is not best pleased that Dad (in law) is pinning that label on him too (pretty accurate, though, if you ask me), but he lets it slide.
Everything seems to go smoothly, until at some stage Rusty makes a very drastic and extremely embarrassing move. I won't be letting the cat out of the bag, you'll have to see for yourself. It will make watching the film worth your while.
The movie starts off fast paced and comical, and becomes a bit slower and more sentimental and serious later. At times the middle American drudgery is overkill, and I'm gagging for something a bit more queer. But there are enough plot twists to help the story afloat and interesting. There is also beautiful imagery of the great American outdoors to go with it.
The family drama takes up too much time for my liking; its storyline is drawn out much too extensively. At some stage I was telling myself "get on with it, where has the cute young love / lust interest gone?"
Nevertheless I enjoyed most of the film. The beautiful scenery of rural Switzerland translates very well on camera, and perhaps it is implied to be a purifying influence on the slightly jaded gay protagonist who appears to have been emotionally hardened by Berlin. The Swiss German accent is a joy to listen to as well. There is also a fair amount of humour, mostly played out by the raucous mother, but even her spiel gets a bit wearing in the end.
He even admits himself that it is all about bravado, not what you really are. He does reveal at some point that he is a trained actor, hereby giving away vital clues to those who are getting to know him, and who may get caught in his web of lies. The awful monotonous way of speaking, and the deadpan delivery of his numerous snide remarks, should be enough of a clue to realize that Elias is a bit of a fraud, and he is a rather loathsome person.
That is what this film is all about. It's about the show that some people put on, and if it is convincing enough for long enough to keep other people interested. Unfortunately it is endemic to the modern day gay scene with its puerile glorification of people "working" in the adult entertainment industry (who hasn't?) and the marketing-like profiling on Grindr. It's bound to result in disillusion when the illusion hits upon reality. This film is a good study of that topic.
There is not a lot of dialogue, which favours the focus on the body language between the characters. The film is underscored by fantastically suitable electronic music, almost all the way throughout. Sometimes it's like listening to a music album whilst watching a homo- erotic porn movie or a virtual tour guide of the gay environs of Frankfurt.
I like this type of format of film, very much so.
It is a story in the vein of George Cukor's, Rich and Famous (1981), rivalry between two women, concerning literary talent, marital status, and social status - and the love / hate underlying their close relationship.
That said, it is not on a par with aforementioned movie. This film feels rather stuffy with a very moralistic tone. The good people are very good, the bad people are very bad. And the latter deserve punishment. A bit infantile.
Nevertheless I enjoyed the film, mainly for the wonderful performance of Emanuelle Beart, who knows how to charm and cut at the same time.
Is a film like this really necessary, when boatloads of savage Africans, rape, murder and pillage their way through Italy under the guise of being "poor refugees?" I think not.
This is pathetic pantomime of the most basic kind, presented as profound drama for pseudo-intellectual libtards.
It has a great cast playing a variety of modern day gay archetypes. It is mainly set in a Florida condominium, so you get lots of swimming pool and beef cakes (a David Hockney ambiance) - some other exterior scenes give off that Palm Beach vibe. At some point a lurid sex party is being thrown. There is witty dialogue that takes the Mickey with hypocritical morals and values within the gay scene - and the Private Investigator piercing right through them. A complete distrust for the police, shared by all the gays involved, is brought to us as a given (it is also the frame of mind you are required to watch this film with, in order to relish its subversive touch). The conclusion of the movie is very satisfying. Visually it's glossy and I noticed that almost all of the camera angles are very craftily chosen.
What distracted me at times: Jim Noble's teeth (played by Scott Sell). There'a lot of them, and they're very white. But is has to be said, he is rather sexy and he is a brilliant actor.
There are no talking heads in this movie, thankfully. The (often animated) voices speak for themselves, and visually it is mostly the ambiance of the location that has precedence over an exact re- enactment of the sexual pursuits being recounted. I like it that way. It might have a hint of the abstract about it, but it is completely accessible to anyone who has an interest in cruising (as to them, the images will make absolute sense).
Despite the film being called "The End of Cruising," there are some locations and histories in the film that indicate that all hope is not lost yet. I am glad for this, as in my experience, I believe that there are still a fair amount of places going strong (thank God!).
Despite, the gruesome content of the film, there were moments where I was in stitches with laughter, because the main actress, Lola Duenas, was so convincing in her role, that when she was howling with laughter, so was I. The same goes for male main actor, Laurent Lucas. Both manage to convey excellently the pitch black humour present in the script.
The song featured half way throughout the film, out of left-field momentarily converting the film into a musical, also adds to the macabre aura of the main character, and is a -break the fourth wall- moment, intensifying the creepiness you are then irrevocably immersed in. This song is fully fleshed out into an electro track to great effect for the final of the film. So it's not just randomly inserted in there.
The Belgian director / writer of this film has certainly proved that he is a master of his craft (and in my opinion far outshines his French contemporaries).
This film reads like a self help book, only I'm still wondering how exactly she came out of the travel, better off financially - when she had not two dimes to her name. Oh, of course, cause she fell into the lap of a man who married her and gave her a home. Seems this woman, Cheryl Strayed, only ever got by, going from one man to the next looking for favours from them. It's the same at the beginning of her trek, during, and after. She still has no answers to why one particular turn in life leads to a specific result, because she has no macro perspective of her behaviour and its consequences. She's just strikes it lucky in the end, nothing to do with an epiphany.
Warning, don't jump into the wild unless you prepare for it in advance, that once you come out, you have a home to go back to, and money in the bank to tide you over for a couple of months. Because the Hollywood fairytale ending is extremely rare in reality. And don't believe for one minute anything written by Cheryl Strayed to be authentic. Even the name rings so false; a name specifically chosen to sell a: lost in life, now found through hiking "autobiography."
Sorry, Reece, but that perma-scowl on your face in this movie did not make me like you at all.
Isabelle Adjani's eccentric character comes across as very forced. She's not exactly known for comedy, and probably it's the poor script that doesn't help either. Vanessa Paradis looks haggard in this film, and at times manages to captivate me, but overall it's kind of embarrassing. The other women have zero charisma and have either dead pan countenances or try hard slapstick faces. It feels like the director and script writer of the movie grew up on (Spice) Girl Power, and have made it look even more infantile than that 20 years later.
The camera is shaky an the editing shoddy. The film is nowhere near resemblant of Sex and the City in the glamour or comedy stakes at all. It's a big mess of a film. It's like a 2 hour long Dove "real women" commercial.
A large part of the story focuses on the police trying to figure out, who has done the crime, taking away time from the part of the film that is most interesting, the dynamic between the fan and pop star. A second plot, a troublesome relationship between two cops, is much less interesting, and it takes the focus away from the main plot and the two leads.
Nevertheless, it's an altogether entertaining film, but not exactly at the edge of your seat thrilling either.
The film is action packed. There are lots of druggy scenes where they shoot up as well. There is also a certain beauty to the manner in which three teens are fiercely protective of each other, as they love each other above all. In short, a great film which ticks all the boxes cine quinqui should.