Tuesday, February 05, 2013

"North Sea Texas": coming of age gay drama from Belgium

North Sea Texas” (Dutch title, “Noordzee, Texas”) refers to a bar along the Flanders coast,  where a single mom (Yvette, Eva Van der Gucht) raises her artistic son Pim (Jelle Florizoone) but wants to play the field, particularly with a mechanic, Etienne (Luk Wyns), whose 18-ish employee Gino (Mathias Vergels) has befriended Pim.

That’s the setup for a simple new film by director Bavo Defurne, making the circuits of LGBT film festivals, to be available from Strand on DVD Feb, 19.

The film appears set maybe in the 1960s, with older technology like simple radios and a rather simple, isolated look.  The rest of the world doesn’t seem to matter.

The prologue for the film shows a young Pim teasing himself with knickknacks that suggest cross dressing, although that’s mostly in his imagination.  His mother says “Pim has his own world.”

Pim, as a teen, becomes quite attached to Gino, who then, despite giving Pim some attention, moves away and starts dating girls.  In the meantime, Gino’s sister Sabrina (Nina Marie Kortekaas) wonders why Pim isn’t more interested in her.

Tragedy strikes both families, to the moms.  Pim has become a man, and will burn his little box of souvenirs on a beach. 
Yet, there remains the question, what happens when Gino comes in from a storm.  Is it like Jacob and Esau?  It seems that Pim, while not interested in venturing into bisexuality, has become the assertive young man, now suddenly grown up, able to command what he expects in a relationship. 
The official site (from Indeed Films in Belgium) is here.  The film is in Dutch, with subtitles.

In the YouTube video interview of Jelle (who studies ballet in real life) playing a solid gay character, Dutch sounds almost like an accent of English. (I think Dutch is the closest of all languages to English, much like German.)  You can get by without subtitles if you listen. 
As to what the film actually shows, it is within “PG-13” territory, although more is sometimes implied.  I don’t see a rating published.  

Wikipedia attribution link for picture along Belgian coast. My only visit was in 2001. 

I reviewed the film from a screener.  

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