Head On (1998)

Tula : "Never, ever, say anything is too much."
By Ana Kokkinos
With Alex Dimitriades, Julian Garner

I've had this movie for almost 2 years, I think I came across it after watching Cowboys & Angels. I'm always interested in small LGBT movies because they often have a lot to say.

Head On is a journey with Ari, a young and attractive son of Greek immigrants in Australia. He seems confused, jobless and having a hatred for the pressure from his family and the Greek community to settle in and have a marriage. Ari seems to cope with meaningless sex, alcohol, drugs as well as music, which he plays loud with headphones when his parents try to lecture him. Ari enjoys sex with men but seems to refuse to acknowledge it.

As much as Ari is confused, so is the viewer. It seems hard to grasp what hope is Ari fostering. Most of the drugs scenes and the community scenes with music are pleasant to watch, I can't say the same about the sex scenes as they never seem to have any character actually enjoying what they are doing. Ari seems to love only himself but he is stuck in a downward spiral. The movie deals with some important themes such as homophobia and peer pressure in a community, however, we do not learn so much about them as they are thrown in our face. Some might say it's a necessary slap, I think if we had developped sympathy towards the characters it would have been easier.

I liked: The themes. The music. The transgender character. Most of the effects during the drug scenes.

I disliked: The dark horizons all around. The seemingly disjointed action. Police brutality.

I tend to enjoy most LGBT movies because against all odds, we root for the characters and we feel the injustice and we wish them to overcome. I am not one to necessarily want a sign of hope in all movies and I enjoy movies with a dark message, but this didn't seem to have a take on the main issue.


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