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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Saturday, January 03, 2015

entry arrow4:20 PM | Film #2: Tomasz Wasilewski's Floating Skyscrapers (2013)

Tomasz Wasilewski's Floating Skyscrapers (2013), which is being touted as Poland's first film that features truly humanised gay characters, suffers from being a little too late in the game of queer cinema. Its earnestness, too, is distracting -- it comes off like the middling effort of a self-absorbed painter who thinks he has discovered Cubism without knowing Picasso. I wanted to like this film. I couldn't. The story is that of a swimmer whose stupefying daily grind as an athlete in training finally leads him to fall for another man -- much to the dismay of his mother and his girlfriend. I could forgive the lack of originality, but there's something almost banal in the film's execution that tested my patience. There is, for example, a recurring sequence in the film where we basically follow the eye of the camera -- perhaps simulating a car -- as it goes round and round in the endless maze of a parking garage. Perhaps it is to indicate how lost our protagonist is in his quest to understand his burgeoning sexuality. The effect, however, is that of metaphorical tedium, the film's way of masturbating off its tired symbolisms, and thinking it new and brilliant. But the acting is nuanced and the cinematography crisp -- and by that, I mean the actors have been properly workshopped to simulate the requisite physical demands of looking despondent in sobering lighting. I don't get Mr. Wasilewski's editing choice of abruptly cutting away from scenes on the verge of an emotional pay-off, which results to our eye-rolling ambivalence. This is sad because Mr. Wasilewski clearly wants us to care. It's a ponderous movie that follows the cliches of a coming-out narrative, but without the heart to ground it. Avoid this film and watch Xavier Villaverde's similarly-themed El Sexo de los √Āngeles (2012) instead.

#NotAReview #Cinema2015Project

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