Thursday, November 1, 2012
Bavo Defurne's new Belgian film NORTH SEA TEXAS may put you in mind of another popular Belgian film from 1997, Alain Berliner's Ma vie en rose. The reference, I suspect, is quite intentional. In Berliner's movie, a very young boy explores his feminine side as he increasingly insists on dressing like, acting like, perhaps even becoming a girl. M. Defurn, who is shown below, begins his movie, too, with the hallmarks of this fixation but allows them to mix with some other fixations -- you might call this a kind of childlike OCD behavior, where numbers and letters become important guides in getting through life. His main character, whom we see first as a cherubic five-year-old platinum-blond boy named Pim, soon jumps ahead a full ten years to become a still-cherubic but now dirty-blond adolescent learning how to work those fixations into some kind of manageable life.
Jelle Florizoone (below, left, and on poster, top right), who plays him. He's a quiet kid who would rather draw pictures than play games, and who has, as we see from scene one, an attraction to dark-haired males. One of those is his best-friend and boy-next-door, Gino (played by Mathias Vergels, below, right and on poster, top left). We don't learn the full extent of this attraction nor its cause until nearly the end of the film, and this information is handled as subtly as much else of the exposition in this quiet, slow-to-build movie.
North Sea Texas, from Strand Releasing, opens this Friday, November 2, in New York City at the Clearview Chelsea Cinema (if Chelsea has its electricity back, post-Sandy) and in the Los Angeles area at the Laemmle Playhouse 7. And elsewhere, eventually, we hope.