Film #125: North Sea, Texas (2011)

noordzeeaka: Noordzee, Texas
director: Bavo Defurne
language: Dutch & a bit of German
length: 94 minutes
watched on: 8 August 2014

In August, I had the slightly crazy idea that I should take a tour of Japan by train and head off to far-flung places such as Osaka and Kanazawa. It turned out I didn’t have as much stamina for it as I’d predicted, but it was fun all the same. On the first leg of the journey, I watched this little indie movie on my phone.

Gay coming-of-age drama isn’t a description that fills me with a lot of hope anymore. I used to love them, perhaps because I was closer to the target age to enjoy them, but now I get tired of them very quickly. This movie, set in northern Flanders near the North Sea, is about a young boy who has gay feelings for his best friend, who he sometimes fools around with. All the usual tropes are there: there is a lot of angst and miscommunication, especially since the protagonist is mostly silent and communicates mostly by longing stares.

The visual style of the movie is quite unique, with an almost cartoonish sensibility, and it is unclear what decade it’s supposed to be set in, what with the consistent retro aesthetic.

But basically, it’s now gotten to the point that I watch movies like this and can’t identify with them anymore. Maybe it’s just that I’m too old for it, maybe it’s that I never had such a strong crush on someone during my teens that I literally made a shrine to them, or maybe even it’s the fact that my teens were not a time of sexual discovery – that’s been relegated to my 20s, I suppose, but even then, I find the stories about unrequited love and straight boys fooling around with each other to be trite.

Basically for once I’d like to see a movie about gay people that depicts some kind of healthy relationship. Sure, that isn’t interesting from a plot perspective, but then I guess what I want to see is more in the way of gay characters in regular movies, rather than being relegated to second-rate productions and to a niche genre. That’d be nice.

Within that niche genre, however, this certainly isn’t a bad example. But there’s nothing special about it, except the aforementioned style.

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2 Responses to Film #125: North Sea, Texas (2011)

  1. Pingback: Films #203-206: Campfire (Bavo Defurne shorts) | reuoq

  2. Pingback: Films #219-226: Boys on Film X (Short film series) | reuoq

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