6.4/10
3,697
55 user 33 critic

Head On (1998)

A 19 year old Greek Australian youth struggles with his sexual identity and has one clumsy heterosexual and several homosexual encounters.

Director:

Ana Kokkinos

Writers:

Andrew Bovell (screenplay), Ana Kokkinos (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

9 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Come Undone (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mathieu, 18, spends the summer at his mother's summer house, in Brittany. On the beach, he meets Cédric, a boy his age. A love-story begins between the two boys.

Director: Sébastien Lifshitz
Stars: Jérémie Elkaïm, Stéphane Rideau, Marie Matheron
Shank (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A closeted teenage street punk takes up with the latest roughed-up gay victim of his bullying gang, which does not set well with the gang's drugged-up, brotherly leader.

Directors: Simon Pearce, Christian Martin
Stars: Wayne Virgo, Marc Laurent, Tom Bott
Loev (2015)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A weekend trip between friends takes a sudden turn, making them each question what love is and what it means to them.

Director: Sudhanshu Saria
Stars: Dhruv Ganesh, Siddharth Menon, Shiv Pandit
Head On (1980)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A young couple gets so caught up in their sexual games and role playing that they begin to act them out in public.

Director: Michael Grant
Stars: Sally Kellerman, Stephen Lack, Lawrence Dane
The String (2009)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Malik has a lot on his plate when he returns home to Tunisia after living in France. He's processing his father's death, he can't come out to his mother, and his childhood anxieties have ... See full summary »

Director: Mehdi Ben Attia
Stars: Claudia Cardinale, Antonin Stahly Viswanadhan, Salim Kechiouche
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: Gaël Morel
Stars: Nicolas Cazalé, Stéphane Rideau, Thomas Dumerchez
Boy Culture (2006)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A successful male escort describes in a series of confessions his tangled romantic relationships with his two roommates and an older, enigmatic male client.

Director: Q. Allan Brocka
Stars: Derek Magyar, George Jonson, Patrick Bauchau
Esteros (2016)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Matias and Jeronimo know each other since childhood. Their friendship takes a new turn during the holiday before starting high school when they both experience their sexual awakening. ... See full summary »

Director: Papu Curotto
Stars: Ignacio Rogers, Esteban Masturini, Joaquín Parada
Cal (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Cal returns home to a city torn apart by rioting and rising youth unemployment and a mother dying in hospital.

Director: Christian Martin
Stars: Wayne Virgo, Tom Payne, Emily Corcoran
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

When Mark commits to falling back in love with Jonah, he is forced to look at himself with unprecedented courage and honesty.

Director: Philipp Karner
Stars: Kimberly Alexander, Clayton Bailey, Jason Boegh
Wild Reeds (1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In a village in the Southwest of France, 1962. Maite and Francois are 18 years old. They are friends, not lovers. In Francois's classroom, there are Serge, whose brother has just married to... See full summary »

Director: André Téchiné
Stars: Élodie Bouchez, Gaël Morel, Stéphane Rideau
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tim and John fell in love while teenagers at their all-boys high school. John was captain of the football team, Tim an aspiring actor playing a minor part in Romeo and Juliet. Their romance... See full summary »

Director: Neil Armfield
Stars: Ryan Corr, Sarah Snook, Francesco Ferdinandi
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alex Dimitriades ... Ari
Elena Mandalis ... Betty
Damien Fotiou Damien Fotiou ... Joe
Alex Papps Alex Papps ... Peter
Andrea Mandalis Andrea Mandalis ... Alex
Dora Kaskanis Dora Kaskanis ... Dina
Tony Nikolakopoulos Tony Nikolakopoulos ... Dimitri
Chris Kaglaros Chris Kaglaros ... Groom (as Chris Kagiaros)
Ourania Sideropoulos Ourania Sideropoulos ... Bride
Eugenia Fragos Eugenia Fragos ... Sophia
María Mercedes ... Tasia
Anthony Lyritzis Anthony Lyritzis ... Boy in Car
Ana Gonzalez Ana Gonzalez ... Woman Sweeping
Maya Stange ... Janet
Julian Garner ... Sean
Edit

Storyline

Nineteen-year-old Ari confronts both his sexuality and his Greek family. Ari despises his once-beloved parents, former radical activists, for having entombed themselves in insular tradition. Ari is obsessed with gay sex, although he does make an unenthusiastic attempt to satisfy the sister of one of his best friends. While all of this is going on, he's facing problems with his traditional Greek parents, who have no clue about his sexual activities. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

full on - all night - come on

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Greek

Release Date:

13 August 1998 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

De cabeza See more »

Filming Locations:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,224, 15 August 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$378,667, 7 May 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White (flashbacks)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

In a sex scene between Aria and Dina, the actress' sweater is buttoned closed but her body double's sweater is fully open. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ari: They tell you that God is dead but, man, they still want you to have a purpose. They say look at your parents: hard-working migrants, work two jobs, struggle all your life, buy your kids a house... there, that's purpose. They tell you to be a doctor, a teacher, be creative, do something, believe in something, believe in family and the future, save the world, believe in love, but, fuck it, I'm no scholar, I'm no worker, I'm no poet.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Another Gay Movie (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

If I'm in Luck I Might Get Picked Up
Written and Performed by Betty Davis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A brilliant film about loss of hope in the jaded 90s.
29 May 2001 | by Mattydee74See all my reviews

Head On is an amazing film. Its beauty and treasures lie in not judging the journey taken in the film but opening up to the experiences of a young man lost and hidden. Its not a bright, gay film but rather a fiery drama which doesn't offer answers but depicts a painful truth which many would prefer to disregard. This is a film about the loss of hope in the jaded nineties.

It is very much a local film (shot in Melbourne) and an Australian film, but I think it offers up wider and more general issues.

Few films capture the mood of the 1990s quite like Head On. It is a film embedded with characterisitics which intuitively identify the strangely blank decade that edged up to the 21st century. If the eighties was - though simplistically - regarded as the decade of high paced materialism. The 90s can be seen as a time of conservatism and cautiousness - again too simplistically - which could be regarded as the tired decade. A time imbued with a feeling that everything had already been done. Grunge embodied this, as did the increasing popularity of pastiche and remakes such as the way television shows were more and more the source for films. It was a time where even moreso than in previous decades - the answers and ideas were sort in ready-made forms. Reused, resurrected and exploited. Sarcasm and cynicism became law. Pettiness became more and more common. Many of us were just tired out.

Ari, the central character in Head On played with brilliant vibrant vividness by Alex Dimitriades, is the embodiment of this tired feeling. He reacts to the world by going to extremes in an attempt to register some feeling, a momentary intensity. Since there is nothing new to be found, he embraces fleeting bursts of passion and uses anything that helps him escape the exhausted sensation whether through drugs or sex, people or music. Anything that he can do to keep himself isolated and inside his own individual mind, he races toward. Head On. He's gay but not proud. He's Greek-Australian but not interested. He's young but may as well be old. History is an excuse to crap on and foster negativity. Ari can't contemplate love because he's lost between the cracks of a society he doesn't care for and doesn't want to contribute to maintaining. He doesn't trust but he yearns, somewhere deeply, for some sense of security or truth. The film follows his search for reason in the chaos of his life in a world of silences and charades. But for Ari, there can be no reason. He feels doomed. Sensation is his only food, the only way to quench an indiscriminate, blind thirst.

Dimitriades puts his body and soul into the role of Ari. Its the performance of commitment and intense passion for the role. He doesn't flinch at the frontal nudity or gay sex scenes as other actors might have and hence brings to the role an authenticity which is the spine of the film. But the supporting cast are equally well cast and powerful. Paul Capsis radiates every scene as Toula/Johnny, Ari's gender-bending cousin. Julian Garner is perfectly contrast as the one person who loves Ari enough to try and show him hope rather than dismissal. In fact, the script ensures even the smallest roles are provided with weight through the powerful and serious screenplay. The book from which this film was born - Loaded by Christos Tsiolka- is an excellent expansion of the films vision.

The soundtrack is split between roaring alt-rock and techno-pop with some interesting surprises. The whole film comes together with a precision and ease which never feels unnatural or artificial. This is a raw but tight film. It deals with issues intelligently and strongly without judgement or fear. The loss of hope shown here is left to be dealt with in our own lives, and with the people we meet. I think the film provides a welcome opportunity to reflect on the destructiveness of notions like identity and truth in a world which increasingly blurs examples that aren't suitable or fashionable.


35 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 55 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed