Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Beauty Is Embarrassing; today we're doing a movie called simply BEAUTY (Skoon-heid) -- a much darker and troubling affair about how beauty and the craving for it can be lethal -- involving two South African families, the parents and their just-turning-adult children. In the excellent first scene of the film, taking place at a wedding reception, the father of one of those families notices the son of the other (perhaps for the first time as an adult), and the beauty of the young man rivets him. To all outwards appearances, this father is a straight-arrow, macho sort, but it is not long before we view a scene in which, by any standard except that of a supremely deluded mind, the fellow is at very least bi-sexual and most probably gay as a goose. Oh, but he's still super-macho, so that's just A-OK.
Oliver Hermanus (shown at left), the film's director and co-writer (with Didier Costet) indicts the entitled-white-male, post-Apartheid culture of South Africa that seems to dearly long for those days gone by. Our non-hero François van Heerden (memorably played by Deon Lotz, below, left), quickly becomes so obsessed with his friend's son, Christian (played by the very attractive Charlie Keegan, below, right), that he can think about and follow little else. He arranges to visit Christian's family, and begins to follow the young man, soon becoming a kind of hidden stalker, who then discovers a surprising connection between the two families.
TLA Releasing, and can now be seen on Netflix streaming.
Disgrace clearly show us, its effects are long-term and far-reaching.
Netflix, but nowhere else that I can so far ascertain.