Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart
Director: Alexis Dos Santos
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
In this comedy/drama set in a small town in vast, empty Patagonia, the gawky Lucas, a 15-year-old time bomb of hormones, boredom and family alienation, hangs out with his hunky best friend Nacho and bespectacled, mousey, g... more »
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 11/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
Picture This! seems to have a knack for releasing quality coming-of-age movies and their newest film upholds that quality. "Glue" is one of those films that stay with the viewer for a long, long time. It is a small film with a small cast which focuses on Lucas who is 16 years old, his closest friend, Nacho and Andrea, another friend. The action all takes place during three weeks as our characters "chill" and sniff glue and enjoy each other sexually.
In no way is this a typical coming-age-film as it angrily destroys so many things associated with adolescent anger. There are, of course, the usual coming-of-age activities--body comparison, long and awkward periods by which our characters remain tight lipped, conflicts with parents, using music as a means of expression and other typical activities that many teenagers go through. Our characters are not simply passing through a phase; they make decisions which will affect them for the rest of their lives. We know that even with the nihilism that is present in the lives of our characters, they will become like their parents but as we see them they are separate from society and looking to find themselves.
The film is shot in the style of cinema verite with an emphasis on earth colors and time signified by the passing of clouds. The film shows us a youth discontent with the modernity of the world attempting to find his way back to nature and this is underlined by the absence of gender identity. Nacho, Lucas and Andrea engage in various forms of sexual activity but totally without the sexual confusion that many teens face. They just enjoy sex and have sex by instinct without adhering to traditional gender roles. Sex, for the three, is quite simply fun.
The humor in the film is quite subdued and the lack of optimism in the lives of the characters is felt throughout the film. It is a portrait of the youth of today and has a great deal to say--especially to those who are bound to the rules and mores of a larger society. It gives us a new and honest way to look today's youth and I, myself, have never seen teens portrayed quite this way before.
"You can be an orphan even when you have parents"
D. Elliot | UK | 10/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The latest pedigree offering from the impeccable Picture This! stable, 'Glue' (Spanish, with English subtitles) is a film not easily forgotten. The cast is minimal, focusing largely on Lucas, our 16 year old protagonist, his best friend Nacho, and their age-mate Andrea. We are treated to a glimpse into a few short weeks in the lives of these three characters, as they hang-out, flirt, sniff glue, and enjoy polymorphous physical intimacy in a dusty South American desert town.
But to categorize 'Glue' as a coming-of-age film would be trite in the extreme. While there are many examples of what would be considered the usual 'adolescent angst' (secretly comparing body development against that of friends, awkward silences, parental conflict, watching porn on TV, the importance of music as a form of expression), the portrayal of youth in 'Glue' is more iconoclastic; they are not simply going through a 'phase'. The nihilism portrayed is of a degree commonly seen in films by Gus Van Sant, or in Araki's 'Doomsday' trilogy. There is no sense that the characters will ultimately follow in the subservient footsteps of their parents: they are the last in the line; the contemporary, disenfranchised generation. Araki aficionados will note the subtle, background TV news reports about 'another 15 year old suicide'.
The reference to Van Sant is appropriate also from a stylistic viewpoint. Time-lapsed clouds; blurred and shaky camera shots; sunspots on the camera lens; an emphasis on reddish, earthy tones in the hue and color employed: all add to the impression of a youth eschewing the modern world and trying unsuccessfully to find their way back to nature. This is further emphasized by the role of gender identity in the film - or rather, its absence. The three main characters - Lucas, Nacho and Andrea - are seen in various combinations of sexual interaction; but again, there is none of the typical 'sexual confusion' that we usually see in a pro forma coming-of-age film: they simply follow instinctual enjoyment of physical intimacy, unburdened by their forefathers' limiting preoccupation with gender role:
"What's the difference between kissing a boy or a girl? Boys have beards. That's the only difference, otherwise it'd be the same thing...Why is it that boys don't cry?...Why are there 'girl's things' and 'boy's things'?"
While there is a great deal of humor in 'Glue', the occasions when the viewer can laugh serve as a temporary palliative, rather than as a remedy for the starkness of the nihilistic existentialism. It is only really the characters' attitude towards rejecting received gender identity that provides the film with any genuine optimism. Clearly 'Glue' will not be for everyone: those who find comfort in the simplicity of hard plot lines and linear story-telling, or the superficiality of 'good guy/bad guy' scenarios, will struggle to see the cold, desolate - yet captivating - beauty that provide 'Glue' with it's enthralling, brilliant portrait of contemporary youth.
'Glue' appears to be the first feature-length film from Writer/Director Alexis Dos Santos, a name that is certainly one to watch."
Larry Clark in Spanish, but sweet and non-judgmental
larry-411 | Philadelphia, PA United States | 12/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a phrase, "Glue" is Larry Clark meets Gus Van Sant. I say that in only the most complimentary of terms. The camera basically follows a 15-year old as he discovers himself. He wonders about his physical development, compares himself to his buddy, and begins to explore his sexuality. The barren expanse of Patagonia is the backdrop, the music of The Violent Femmes the appropriately angst-ridden soundtrack.
What makes it so different from most American films is that it's all just so natural. No judgments are made. We only observe through the lens of cinematographer Natasha Braier, as well as writer/director/producer Alexis Dos Santos, who did much of the camerawork himself. It's basically about mid-adolescence told, via voiceover, from the point of view of Lucas (Nahuel Perez Biscayart). Most amazingly, the entire film is improvised. Dos Santos has said that he wrote virtually no dialog at all. There was a 17-page script basically outlining the action. But the three lead actors improvised from start to finish. As it turns out, all three had attended the same acting classes where they learned improv, so they were well-versed in the art and were already friends. And it shows. The chemistry between the teens evokes those awkward years as effectively as any film I've seen.
Biscayart shines. In spite of his young age, he had over a half dozen films and TV series and is something of a teen idol in South America. In the States he'd likely be one of the most sought-after young actors in the business.
If coming-of-age films have become a bit worn in the hands of Hollywood, "Glue" will serve as inspiration and provocation to American filmmakers. It's Larry Clark in Spanish. But sweet and non-judgmental. It will leave you with a smile on your face."
R. Maduro | Panama | 09/14/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"What you read is not what you get. Usually, AMAZON and viewers reviews are a good guideline to choosing what to buy. Not this time. Very tame movie; definitely not what I was expecting. Nothing really gay about it, either; just a couple of high, male teenagers, supposedly going at it. It reminded me of movies of older times: you see a little un-sexy kissing at the beginnig of "the" scene and then cut to the next day. So, if what you are looking for is hot sex scenes, look elsewhere."