Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Head On": a rather explicit Australian film about older gay teen rebellion

The 1997 Australian film “Head On” (the title is a bit of a pun), by Ana Kokkinos, certainly explores the idea of teenage rebellion.  Somewhere around Melboune, 19-year-old Ari (Alex Dimitriades) is discovering his identity, with considerable resistance from his Greek immigrant parents.  He shouldn’t explore this gay thing until he has a job and his own money and, well, a wife and kids (contradiction).
 That used to be a belief: you really weren’t on your own as an adult until you were married.

Ari goes on a 24-hour trip, with multiple partners and, unfortunately, snorting.  Things get out of hand as he and some friends (including heterosexual females) are arrested for drug possession.  But Ari, depicted on film as not quite old enough for chest hair, meets a slightly older man Sean (Julian Garner) who may indeed rescue him, in the disco scene.  Their final encounter, at Sean’s apartment, is quite energetic (and well filmed), but Ari is all too determined to take one liberty too many.


The film, available from Netfix, has DVD distribution by Strand.  This film is quite explicit in a few spots, in both straight and gay encounters, and it doesn't seem very tied to the Australian setting.  

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