Jeff is taking care of everything Mark left behind when he died. Mark was about to have a visitor, Andrea, an Italian guy he met online. Both of them will have the chance to share memories of the Mark they knew while knowing each other.
Annecy is no tourist destination for three working-class Algerian brothers and their father, in the months after their mother has died. Marc is deeply troubled: he tries to stiff drug ... See full summary »
Eighteen-year-old Mathieu is vacationing at the beach with his family when he meets local teen Cédric. After an extremely erotic kiss, the boys begin a passionate romance, complete with skinny-dipping at night, nude dancing on the beach and intense lovemaking in the dunes. Yet as Mathieu grapples with his sexuality and copes with his sick mother, absent father and annoying kid sister his bond with Cédric grows stronger until it bursts. Written by
While visiting his sick mother in Brittany during summer recess, a teenage boy (Jérémie Elkaïm) falls in love with a local youth (Stéphane Rideau), but their relationship falters as Elkaïm is cut adrift from all that was once familiar to him, with near-tragic consequences.
Sébastien Lifshitz's intimate drama chronicles the sexual awakening of a naive teenager over the course of an idyllic summer, recounted in piecemeal fashion as the director cuts abruptly between timeframes, from Elkaïm and Rideau's love affair to the former's subsequent hospitalization following an off-screen suicide attempt, rendered 'naturalistic' by hand-held camera-work and some improvized dialogue exchanges in key scenes. The results are confusing, to say the least: Just as the boys begin to strike out from their families and forge a life for themselves, Elkaïm slips into depression (why?) and appears to reject Rideau (why?), after which he goes looking for him again, only to find solace in unexpected quarters.
Anyone hoping for a rose-tinted love story will come away feeling more than a little disappointed, though Lifshitz refuses to compromise the sexual aspects of his own screenplay (co-written with Stéphane Bouqet): Elkaïm and Rideau are completely nude in several sequences, and there's a memorable, full-on sex session amongst the sand dunes which should satisfy all but the most ardent porn-watcher. But the boys' attachment is complicated by their relationship with their respective families, especially Elkaïm, who feels unable to declare his burgeoning sexuality because of a recent tragedy which has driven his father away and confined his mother to her sick-bed. Sad, complex and not a little frustrating, the movie works its magic in quiet ways, but it's a little too cold and dispassionate to satisfy all tastes.
Nicely produced on a modest budget, the film also stars Dominique Reymond, Marie Matheron and Laetitia Legrix as the three women in Elkaïm's life (mother, aunt and sister, respectively), along with Nils Ohlund as one of Rideau's former boyfriends, who figures heavily in the narrative's closing stages. The two leads are fine in difficult roles, and both have become iconic figures in European gay cinema: Rideau starred in such well-regarded Queer movies as WILD REEDS (1994), FULL SPEED (1996), TRANSFIXED (1997), SITCOM (1998) and THREE DANCING SLAVES (2003), while Elkaïm - who looks like a Bel Ami porn beauty - also appears in the gay-themed drama YOU'LL GET OVER IT (2002) as the love object of handsome Julien Baumgartner (SEXY BOYS). Director Lifshitz made his feature debut with the French TV production LES TERRES FROIDES (1999) following a series of short films with Queer themes, and his latest entry is WILD SIDE (2004), another perceptive exploration of omnisexual angst.
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