Any movie that begins with an extended Marguerite Duras quote is sure to be locked into a way-off-center groove and Julián Hernández’s film fully follows through on that promise. The main title doesn’t even appear until 35 minutes in, about the time Gerardo (Miguel Ángel Hoppe) and Jonás (Fernando Arroyo), two Mexican university students who’ve been locked in an amorous—and insanely hot—dual headspace, show the first signs of strain in their relationship. What follows is a series of extended breakup vignettes, performed like an underground ballet (with next-to-no dialogue) and beautifully photographed in sensuous long takes by cinematographer Alejandro Cantu. Both Hoppe and Arroyo do expert sexual pantomime. The give-and-take of their relationship, moving from unbridled intimacy through cold-hearted rejection and aching regret, is at times painful in its honesty, though Hernández lets the yearning glances go on for so long (a distended two hours and 20 minutes) that he effectively undercuts his performers’ efforts. A voiceover narrator (Ortos Soyus) also intrudes with pithy sub-Querelle side-commentary about love and loss; his observations, like Hernández’s, are childishly naïve to these eyes and ears, but I suspect the film’s frank, at times glorious rendering of queer sexuality will inspire more than a few closeted youths to brave life out in the open, so I’m not complaining too loudly. At the very least, with all the attractive flesh on display, I’ll bet this one’s due for repeat runs at the Quad.
- Strand Releasing
- 140 min
- Julián Hernández
- Julián Hernández
- Miguel Ángel Hoppe, Fernando Arroyo, Alejandro Rojo, Ignacio Pereda, Klaudia Aragon, Clarisa Rendón, Pilar Ruiz, Ortos Soyus
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