Samuel Van Grinsen’s debut film is an exciting, high-octane coming-of-age drama about a Queer Australian teenager and his dangerous obsession with stranger sex encounters.
Sequin – his app display name – spends day and night on his mobile , being picked up by largely “ daddy “ types for anonymous, no holds barred sex in a whole series of apartments. Daytime the 16-year-old who lies about his age online, sits in literature classes discussing the meaning of love, while under his desk he scrolls through offers for encounters later.
He’s not a sex worker doing tricks for money – he’s just obsesssive about the need for sexual release. It all starts to go pear-shaped for him when a harsh and violent man “ B “ won’t let their first encounter be enough. At the same time Sequin discovers The Blue Room – a weekly group sex session in an apartment converted into a plastic sheeted partitioned off labyrinth , lit with a seductive blue lighting system.
Sequin, slightly incongruous in his shiny sequinned top, and towel , rejects older men’s advances and instead finds a young black visitor to the room – known only as “ F “ . They clearly have a chemistry which Sequin tries hard to renew by subsequently trying his best to find the mystery man.
But fatefully, he returns to the older man B , with dreadful violent results.
Will he find F , keep meeting older men or return the advances of a school-mate ? Watch the film to find out.
Conor Leach is mesmerising as Sequin with his sad-faced robotic love-making but overlaid when he’s happy with an impish smile. There are 2 secondary situations in the storyline – his relationship with his loving, over-trusting liberal-minded father ( Jeremy Lindsay Taylor ) and interestingly Sequin’s growing friendship with drag artist Virginia ( a nicely graduated performance by Anthony Brandon Wong ) .
It’s a film that speaks to a generation of young Queers whose sexual awakening is via social media. And it’s beautifully photographed.
It’s distributed by Peccadillo Pictures and is released on 9 April – see peccapics.com
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