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kaos at BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival

 kaos at 
 BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival 

Hawaii

"Eugenio is a young man residing at his uncle’s deserted house in rural Argentina. One day he encounters the homeless Martin, whom Eugenio realises he knew as a child. Charitably employing Martin to help around the house, Eugenio rediscovers his friendship with him, and as time progresses, new and unexpected feelings begin to emerge. What might initially appear as simply an exercise in prolonged sexual tension, soon blossoms into a rich and delicate tale of self discovery and the redemptive possibilities of love."

"Some gay audiences might describe the film as a 100-minute cock-tease while others might find Hawaii's earnest tone laughable or pretentious, or both, but Berger has to be commended for taking a set-up that would normally be associated with the first minute or two of a porno and spinning it into something of feature length," Boyd van Hoeij writes about Marco Berger's Hawaii in The Hollywood Reporter, neatly summing up the premise, and some of what's wrong, with this film.

Somewhat charitably, he doesn't mention how agonisingly slow this film is. It's the sort of movie that features long (endless) lingering shots of people doing things like eating cereal, staring into space, or nothing much at all. The friend with whom I saw the movie said afterwards, "You just don't like slow movies," with the ignorance of someone who doesn't know that my favourite director is Tsai Ming-Liang, the master of slow cinema. It's also the kind of comment only someone who has turned up half an hour late for the movie, thereby seeing a truncated version of the yawnfest, could make. Perhaps if I'd only seen an hour of Hawaii, I might have liked it better, too.

The picture isn't all bad. It's beautifully shot, and Mateo Chiarino is convincing as drifter Martin. But Manuel Vignau's beardy weirdy Eugenio is just creepy. If I were Martin, I'd have run a mile, not fallen for him. But running would require picking up the pace, and Berger's film never does that.

Next: Tattoo


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