6.4/10
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55 user 33 critic

Head On (1998)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 13 August 1998 (Australia)
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 ... 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

Referenced in Another Gay Movie (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Leave You Far Behind
by Howard Saunders, Simon Shackleton
Performed by Lunatic Calm
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Plunging Head On into a Role
12 June 2000 | by harry-76See all my reviews

Alex Dimitriades is stunning as a nihilistic young Greek-Australian on a wild binge. This talented actor pretty much carries the film on his broad shoulders, having totally immersed himself into the antihero's persona.

Dimitriades leaves no stone unturned in responding to Director Ana Kokkinos' explicit direction. One may feel revelation or revulsion, but one cannot easily dismiss the impact of Kokkinos' graphic images and depictions. How one values this film will depend on personal taste. At the foreign film series in which I saw it, the audience was completely drawn into the drama, responding to subtle lines, and one could feel the deep involvement of all the viewers.

Jill Belcock's sharp editing and Nikki DiFalco's atmospheric production design certainly enhanced the proeedings. At times one felt one's sensibilities being assaulted under the sheer impact of the presentation.

The value of the film from a personal perspective is a quite realistic slice-of-life consideration of a quintessential "looser," and being able to identify (if not fully sympathize) with his alien plight. It is also an informative dramatization of a subculture which has become quite ingrown in its attitudes and customs. Its community has become so exclusive that its larger Australian setting becomes of secondary importance.

Dimitriades brilliantly depicts the contradictions and confusions of his character, depleted of creative energy by physical and emotional abuses. It is a performance of enormous courage and conviction, which becomes almost hypnotic as the film progresses. "Loosers" are not normally satisfying subjects for dramatizations, especially characters who fail to grow, and who in the end are little or no different from the way they were in the beginning.

It is therefore all the more commendable that Kokkinos' fine cast manages to involve the viewer in an endless series of unforgettable images and scenes, creating a powerful mosaic of lasting impact.


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