Filled with more raging hormones than a shot of testosterone, writer and director Alexis Dos Santos here delivers a work ejaculating with both the physical and sexual desires of adolescence. For sixteen-year-old Lucas like many a youth around him is eager to experience the sexual thrusts of life, only to take refuge in his close friendship with
Nacho, star of the local football team and a boy whose athletic build has not gone unnoticed by Andrea; a bespectacled teen lusting after her first kiss - French style. Only who will end up kissing who, when all three find themselves at a drunken birthday party?
And that's just the point, given Nahuel Pérez Biscayart as Lucas is a boy who not only questions his gawky physical appearance mirror style, but equally his sexuality; one moment engaging in a series of homoerotic encounters with his best friend Nacho and the next, only too happy to kiss the girls. To that end, Inés Efrón as Andrea is
a breath of fresh air as the girl who literally comes between them, a teen who like the star of the show has her own 'direct to camera' moments, only for Nahuel Viale as Nacho to up the stakes as a boy not averse to sexual experimentation.
Taking its title from a glue sniffing incident at Lucas' estranged father's flat, one that also saw the boys get off to images of a pornographic nature, the result is a work that vividly reflects the bored youth of the day, drifting from one episodic encounter to anther, only for their lives to be augmented by way of family conflicts, homemade rock music and the windswept desert terrain of Patagonia, Argentina.
Yet into such a mix Santos injects moments of Jarmanesque splendour, in the form of hand-held photography and arty editing that frankly adds a texture to an open-ended film that by way of its simplicity and here think shoestring budget, is a far more natural depiction of teenage sexual awakening, than many a plot driven piece. Overlong for some, perfect to others, what is clear is that this is adolescence laid bare; namely an observational styled coming-of-age work laced with colour, creative cinematography and improvised acting. In doing so, it realistically conveys the raw emotions, childlike games and sexual antics of three teenagers on the brink of adulthood.
Need more be said?
screened as part of the 22nd London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2008