A Child of the Sea
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 06/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
A Child of the Sea
Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride
There is something about a surfer boy just as there is something alluring about the ocean. They are both beautiful, mysterious and seemingly out of reach. Or so I thought until I saw "Tan Lines", a beautiful new coming of age film from TLA Releasing. "Tan Lines" is a combination of coming of age, gay surfer and teenaged sexuality all rolled into one fantastic movie. There is passion, love, laughs, drugs and, of course, sex. All of this s set against the beautiful backdrop of the ocean.
Midget Hollows (Jack Baxter) loves to party. He also loves to surf and he is gay (and very cute). He and his friends live the surf existence and now that school is out and summer is here, there is not much to do but surf, harass the townspeople, and smoke weed and drink. This may seem an ideal life but Midget begins to feel claustrophobic.
Cass, the older brother of Midget's best friend. Suddenly comes home after having traveled in Europe for four years. Midget immediately is attracted to him. He is openly gay and exudes self-confidence. He is also a wonderfully graceful surfer. Midget and Cass become involved and their meetings are filled with passion. The problem is that they live in a town where secrets cannot be kept and every one knows what everyone else is doing. Midget realizes that being gay and the life style he leads are incompatible and even though he tries to imitate Cass's confidence he sees that he can't and wonders why Cass ran away for four years. Midget thinks that perhaps the confidence of Cass is just a cover-up for his ultimate desire to be accepted.
Midget is entrenched in his town and besides is very close to his mother which makes leave home a difficult decision yet he also feels that if he stays he cannot be himself. He also is afraid that Cass may expose his secret.
Aside from all of this, there are some rather strange happenings going on in the own.
What "Tan Lines" gives us is a look at the surfing culture in a small town and a real look at the craziness of teenage love and emotions felt for the first time. It's a beautiful movie that has something to say and should not be missed. I predict we will be hearing a lot about it and if you are fortunate to join us at "Reel Attractions--the Arkansas GLBTQ Film Festival on June 23-24 ion Little Rock, you will have a chance o see it before anyone else. It will not be released on DVD until later.
Awful is too kind a word for this flailing Aussie angst-fest
John Frame | Brisbane, Queensland Australia | 08/11/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It would be difficult to imagine a worse plot, crummier script, sloppier direction or more lack-lustre acting (but I don't blame the actors).
Tan Lines pushes the envelope only in terms of what a viewer is willing to put up with in an effort to support queer cinema.
There's some very careless film-work e.g. with the reflection of camera crew in clear view in one indoor night shot.
No budget is so small that it would excuse what we see here as the final edit.
The technical quality of the DVD is particularly low - but I'm guessing it is as good as it would ever get.
The storyline is pure farce mixed with a liberal dash of the absurd. The intention is supposedly to tell a gay teen surfer's coming of age story, but the characters are simply not believable - and they're all terminally morose. This film has far too much teen angst and far too little heart.
Only "Crazy Richard" gives "Tan Lines" a run for its money as the all time worst Australian film."
Sexy & Smart---Especially lead actor Jack Baxter
Tom O'Leary | Los Angeles, California | 09/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a wonderful surprise---a small gem, really. The photograph on the DVD and the title are actually misleading. The actor on the cover is not the lead, though he is good.
The standout performance in TAN LINES is the by the actor playing the main character. Jack Baxter is absolutely sensational as a smart and mouthy youth coming of age. He is attracted to other boys but also lets himself be distracted by females.
The Australian director of this movie has done a gorgeous job of creating a totally believable world of young slacker/surfers. This screenplay for TAN LINES is smart, funny, sexy, interesting and compelling.
Bravo to all involved, especially Jack Baxter!"
Just a little dry...
T.G. Owen | 03/26/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Overall, I enjoyed the movie even though it was a little slow and spacey. The director used light/dark contrasts really well in the bedroom scenes & floods of light for outdoor scenes, as well as an interestingly subtle approach to personal religous pressures within the gay community (specifically Catholics here). There were definately some moments that drove me up the wall with the lack of direction, dialogue, and believability between the characters. The story at the heart of this odd movie is strong, but I feel as though it got lost somewhere, leaving the viewer to sort through all the fluff to find it. The actors are mostly young Australians that are pretty cute, but the 'older brother' has a great body & SCARY face (think 'beer-face' commercials)! While the end leaves mounds to be desired and more questions than answers, I think the director got the attitudes and ideas he wanted across.
If you are into gay indie-style films, then you will most likely find this movie appealing. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IMAGES OF GAY SEX AND MANHOOD SHOTS, THEN THIS MOVIE WILL NOT DELIVER; there really are only two scenes for this purpose and neither are that intense. I think that if this movie were to be redone for 'American' audiences, the material and direction would be cleaned up and strengthened, making it a far better movie. Just as a side note, there's a weird series of scenes in which the 'main character' is being paid by an old woman to pleasure her niece while they have tea....BIZARRE! Basically, this film is slow and dry; if you're looking to kill time then watch this movie, otherwise don't bother because others have approached the topic in cleaner, more creative ways than this."