BFI Flare 2015: Futuro Beach

London LGBT Film Festival 2015

In the beautiful but treacherous waters of Brazil’s Futuro Beach, two men find themselves in danger. Lifeguard Donato manages to rescue German tourist Konrad, but the other swimmer disappears beneath the waves. Mourning the sudden loss of his friend, Konrad finds solace in the arms of Donato, and the attraction between the two soon evolves into something serious. When Konrad leaves Brazil for Germany, Donato decides to join him, but after a period of happiness Donato’s past begins to haunt him...

Futuro Beach has an impressive pedigree: it's directed by Karim Aïnouz, who brought us the much-vaunted Madame Sata (2002), but his latest film is a damp squib. Leads Wagner Moura and Clemens Schick exude zero charisma; after an hour and three quarters in their company (and some eight of their years) I had no sense of who these men were, of what they were feeling, or what their story was. They're merely bystanders in Aïnouz's picture postcard scenery. I can do silent - I'm a huge fan of Tsai Ming-Liang - but Moura and Schick give me nothing. When Jesuíta Barbosa joins for the third act, he adds some much-needed zest (not to mention eye candy), but it's too little, too late.

Watch it for the stunning scenery (and a very cool sequence in the Berlin Zoo aquarium). But there's nothing else here.

Next: Blackbird.

Read last year's reviews.


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