Four Moons by Sergio Tovar Velarde ›› Four Moons - Cuatro Lunas

a film by Sergio Tovar Velarde.

2014 | 110 mins | Mexico.

principal players: Antonio Velázquez / Hugo, Alejandro de la Madrid / Andrés, César Ramos / Fito, Gustavo Egelhaaf / Leo, Alonso Echánove / Joaquín, Alejandro Belmonte / Gilberto, Gabriel Santoyo / Mauricio, Sebastián Rivera / Oliver, Mónica Dionne / Aurora, Marta Aura / Petra, Jorge Luis Moreno / Enrique, Hugo Catalán / Sebastián, Alberto Estrella / Voice of Joaquín, Astrid Hadad / Alfonsina, Karina Gidi / Laura and Juan Manuel Bernal as Héctor.

in memory of: Joaquín F. Rodríguez Langridge.

Official Synopsis: "Four stories about love and acceptance between men of different generations."

Dave says:-

Mexico has the habit of producing some wonderfully refreshing gay works; from the like of Jaime Humberto Hermosillo's heart-warming feature Doña Herlinda and Her Son, to the series of sexually overt tales by Julián Hernández; I Am Happiness on Earth being but one example. Now another Mexican filmmaker has entered the field and here writer and director Sergio Tovar Velarde has struck a wondrous middle ground between the two, delivering a work that whilst sexually frank is not explicit, yet equally is proudly gay to the core.

Only and unlike most short film compilations, of which this is in essence an anthology of four, here Velarde switches from one tale to another throughout this feature, intercutting his work with such directorial charm that you just don't mind when the short you're watching suddenly cuts to another, given the strength of each story. For this is a film that strikingly portrays four stages of gay life; from the touching tale of a gay teen clearly struggling to come to terms with his attraction to his male cousin Oliver, good friends until Mauricio's night of sexual experimentation finds homophobia lying below the surface, to that of the romantic story of Fito and Leo; former childhood friends who find themselves reunited at university and a renewed friendship that grows physically closer, only for Fito to yearn to live openly as lovers, rather than hide their love away within the closeted confines of their relationship imposed by his boyfriend.

Cousins divided Mauricio and Oliver, in Four Moons.

Cousins divided Mauricio and Oliver, in Four Moons.

Move on a decade or so and midlife lovers Andrés and Hugo seemingly have it all; that of a ten year relationship as strong as the day they first met, that is until Andrés discovers that the man he loves, is in love with someone else - will their relationship survive? And it's all about relations in the final story, as a steam room encounter with a male hustler finds long suppressed desires for the male form surface, when a retired professor, poet and happily married man and grandfather become obsessed with a rent boy who may or may not have his best interests at heart.

University friends and more Leo and Fito, in Four Moons.

University friends and more Leo and Fito, in Four Moons.

Four differing stories, yet just like the four phases of the moon each reflects the light, standing on their own luminous merit, with only one occasion in which a character from one tale briefly interacts with a character from another. And they're beautifully performed too, in scenes that range from lush moments of sweet affection, to the bitter heartache of when love turns cold, to that of a 'no clothes required' visit to a darkroom styled cruising area. And whilst the themes are but the foundation stones of gay cinema and here cue the likes of self / parental acceptance, coming out, homophobia, sexual desire, love, infidelity and regret, they're handled with such honesty that they feel remarkably fresh, making for a captivating look at the emotional rollercoaster of life and love. Frankly, Mexican cinema has a new gay voice and whilst certain scenes may feel a bit soap styled, there's no denying the themes that it touches upon are heartfelt, even if the final story cuts short the out 'n' proud narrative, opting instead to depict the lives of two straight men who by way of need and demand find themselves going gay for the night. That said, this is definitely worth checking out; as too is Velarde's earlier short film Jet Lag; that of the bittersweet story of a pair of lovers last hours together, before one leaves the man he loves for the sake of social conformity. Ah; c'est la vie.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - the full monty. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 
Three's a crowd lovers Andrés and Hugo, in Four Moons. Mad about the Gilberto boy, in Four Moons.
Three's a crowd lovers Andrés and Hugo, in Four Moons.   Mad about the Gilberto boy, in Four Moons.

contains: full frontal nudity from Antonio Velázquez (Hugo), Hugo Catalán (Sebastián / the third man),
and Alejandro Belmonte (Gilberto); rear nudity from Alejandro de la Madrid (Andrés), Antonio Velázquez (Hugo)
and Hugo Catalán (Sebastián), with scenes of simulated sex in stories two, three and four.

›› available on DVD as part of the Breaking Glass Pictures catalogue: 9.December.2014 / US ‹‹
Copyright 2015 David Hall -
archive reference #2015016
›› previous page | back to top | print me ‹‹
click for gay celluloid - home