6.4/10
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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 »
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9 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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 »
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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

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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 »
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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

References The Grifters (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Bouzouki Solo
Performed by Irine Vela
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of 98's best Oz features about real angst
5 January 2014 | by videorama-759-859391See all my reviews

Here's just another product of great Australian filmmaking. Of course, due to the subject, this film's not gonna be everybody's taste. Certainly something different, a movie about a Greek gay boy, does make this film refreshingly original, some scenes hard to stomach for us homo sapiens. What makes Head On so good, is Ari's character, free as the wind, probably creating a lot of envy towards closeted homosexuals. You can't help Ari, because he says what he wants to say and does what he wants to do. A leopard can't change it's spots. You were born gay, you stay gay, that's it. One of his close family is a drag queen, who he's there for, the family disgraced by him. The scene in the taxi near the end of the movie when they get pulled over by the police is hysterically funny, an antidote of amusement amongst the heavy and depressing scenes of Ari's non acceptance, because of his sexuality. What follows when they're arrested is not so funny, objects of humiliation by a bigoted cop and a younger disgraced Greek cop, who's forced to do what is asked oh him by his peer, making him look the fool, it's easy to see this young girl, goes off at the drag queen character. Some lines stay with me in this 7 day shot film, and we see the other struggles in Greek families, and behind the back ridicule they take, that are so stereotypical, if seeing many other films around this race. The movie really creates a warm feel around Ari's families, where we share the ups and downs. One reason I loved the film, was because of Alex Papps as Ari's brother, one actor who should of gone further, where he finally ended up, where no actor would wanna end up on: Play School. The full sex scene, near the end, with his new love, Sean, which I admit goes a little too far, beware out there to the easily offended. Fine Australian film making, steered by an uninhibited and brave performer who delivers a thunderous and real performance.


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