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C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)
7/10
A curate's egg
2 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This was a sweet good-natured and entertaining movie with a cute lead, a good soundtrack and a warm feel (light years better than the irritating "Breakfast on Pluto"), so how come I came away feeling slightly short-changed? Perhaps because yet again in a supposed 'coming-out' film the mainstream producers (a la Brokeback Mountain) gave vastly greater time to the lead's (mis)adventures with women, glossing coyly over what was supposed to be his primary interest. But perhaps more because having finally, painfully, come out to himself, the rest of his (apparently gay) life is ignored and the movie runs straight back (no pun intended) to close on the "safe" ground of the father/son relationship. If film-makers spent even a quarter of the time they spend on troubled cute gay teens on their (probably equally troubled) 25+ brethren, then they might actually achieve something in terms of encouraging a more grown-up view of sexuality. Instead, all they do is reinforce the family-focused conservatism they purport to undermine. It's frothy fun but let's have a 2nd instalment showing the gay character in his 20s & 30s for a change!
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Eden's Curve (2003)
8/10
Dreamy atmospheric mood-piece with acute sense of period
7 April 2003
I saw the world premiere of 'Eden's Curve' at the London L&G Film Festival on 6 April & was hooked. The film has a lush distinctive visual style all its own which stays in the memory long after you walk out of the movie theatre. Apparently based on real-life events in a backwoods Virginia University in the early 70s, it succeeds in conveying the spirit & look of the time with exactitude (think a grainier more sepia-tinted version of "The Ice Storm"), Ang Lee meets Jim Jarmusch.

Framed around a bisexual menage-a-trois & a young man's coming-of-age, the film is actually "about" much wider themes of identity, commitment & the limits of romanticism. Sam Levine is excellent as the lead character, a blank page waiting to be written on. Viewed from Europe though, the "real" subject of the film is the Virginia landscape, how the enormity & relative emptiness of America provoke a conflict between 'pioneer' independence & bourgeois conformity unimaginable on this side of the pond.

This is a film about mood & longing, more than about narrative or even characterisation. That means it deserves a wider audience & a good US distribution deal. It would be a tragedy if work of this quality doesn't get seen beyond the "gay film festival circuit", valuable though that is. Go See!
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