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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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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

entry arrow5:27 PM | Untoward Attraction

Danish filmmaker Christian Tafdrup’s En Forelskelse [Awakening, 2008] works and does not work at the same time. It is moving and tense in parts and in the proper places, and the actors are very affecting and persuasive in the roles they are made to inhabit — but for a film that dares to tackle a most controversial twist in a relationship, it is never daring enough and leaves us with only the hopeful hints of possibilities without the rigorous finish that the story demands from the filmmaker. Young Carlsen, a teenage boy, has just started seeing a girl named Melissa, and she soon introduces him to her parents Stig and Brigitte, a down-to-earth couple who seems to show genuine liking for their daughter’s boyfriend. They treat him instantly as part of the family, and even takes him on a family weekend trip to their country house. But in the middle of that trip, Carlsen finds himself falling for the father, much to his surprise and confusion. That’s a recipe for stimulating queer cinema, but. But. That’s it. It resolves itself with such softness that it feels like a half-baked effort, redeemed only by the restraint of the actors. Then again, this is a short film. The subject perhaps requires the rigorous exploration possible in a feature film.

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