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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one of Peccadillo's best recent releases
Peccadillo have brought us so many gay films on DVD from all over the world - including all the Boys On Film shorts - and this is one of the most touching they have released in recent months. It's almost as good as Weekend, and daring in a different way: the focus here is on adolescent feelings and it spans a period of two or three years in the life of Pim, the central...
Published on 9 Aug 2012 by schumann_bg

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH STORY GLAD WHEN IT ENDED
Very disappointed did not live up to reviews I based my opinion on to buy-will not be watching it again now at charity shop
Published 6 months ago by Derek Smith


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one of Peccadillo's best recent releases, 9 Aug 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: North Sea Texas [DVD] (DVD)
Peccadillo have brought us so many gay films on DVD from all over the world - including all the Boys On Film shorts - and this is one of the most touching they have released in recent months. It's almost as good as Weekend, and daring in a different way: the focus here is on adolescent feelings and it spans a period of two or three years in the life of Pim, the central character - more if you count the opening section. Where the story proper begins he is 14 and the friend he falls in love with 17, and the freshness of their feelings is very well caught, with a franker portrayal of the sexual aspect of their friendship than you would expect to see, certainly in a British film focusing on this age group. The whole thing is very lyrical but at the same time you feel a forward momentum and are eager to see where it's going ... It also avoids becoming a soap opera, with its carefully composed shots that make it seem hyper-real. The widescreen format contributes to this - I'm not sure I don't prefer 16:9 really because this seems closer to how the world looks, or even 4:3, but Bavo Defurne makes a virtue of it - it's a bit like looking at the world from the inside of a postbox! He has a very original style, corresponding most closely to Campfire from the BFI collection of his short films, but more developed. It's definitely one to see if you like to be taken back to those feelings of youthful yearning and the immediacy of desire that is felt in the presence of someone you like at that age - with two such figures appearing in the film, you find yourself holding your breath for young Pim!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flemish seaside charmer., 15 Dec 2013
By 
Richard "Not here." (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: North Sea Texas [DVD] (DVD)
Like an idiot, I took a copy of this film out of the foreign films section of my local library, not realising that it was an example gay cinema. I was attracted to the catchy title and the fact that it was listed as a Belgian film (I've liked the few other Belgian movies I've seen and want to check out more). I'm also a sucker for the coastal vibe running up around the North Sea, so without looking at the thing carefully didn't realise until I got home that what I had simply taken to be another arty little coming-of-age film set in a cool part of the world had a dimension to it I wasn't expecting. The penny finally dropped with the films being trailed at the front --all of which were on the Peccadillo imprint (about which I know nothing) and clearly gay films. Duh!

Anyway, what the hell, I watched-on and I'm glad I did because I found this to be a very stylish and fresh film in which the gay romance aspect was sensitively depicted in a tasteful, understated manner which most straight men should not find off-putting. I didn't find it distracted from the intrinsic human-interest in a story set in the early 1960s in a small north Belgian seaside community --and there are not too many chances to experience that in Anglo-American movies. Here it's vividly depicted with admirable economy. Most women (of whatever persuasion) will probably lap the story up since this is a gently poignant, romantic tale of teen-yearning which doesn't wallow in melodrama and doesn't get all maudlin and angsty. The characters are realistically depicted and the whole is convincingly true to life. An intelligent and entertaining example of first-class European film-making, in other words.

Although shot on a relatively low budget, the production values are glossy and strong. It's a beautifully photographed, designed, acted and directed piece. The period decor/settings/costume etc. are equally accomplished; combining with the excellent soundtrack to create a memorably stylish ambience. A tremendously appealing aspect of this film is the way the mood is informed by and shot-through with this stylistic character. I particularly enjoyed the Belgian twist on the late 50s/early 60s design styling we commonly only get to see the British version of over here. Very cool, fun stuff. As a depiction of time and place this is evocative cinema in the finest art-house tradition: a real atmospheric hit. The combination of those sweeping, chilly coastal vistas, beautiful summery Flemish country roads and kitschy-cool early 60s styling I found to be completely beguiling.

This understated, highly-accomplished, classy little film deserves a wider audience than it's niche-appeal will probably earn it. I noticed that I'm the first to take out the library copy I viewed despite the fact that it's been in stock for over a year. They've shifted it to the reserve stacks now. What a shame.

I got lucky with this one because had I been sharper on the up-take, like most hetero-males, I probably would have given it the brush-off and missed-out on another quality cinematic treat from Belgium.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming journey of adolescent gay love, 13 Aug 2012
This review is from: North Sea Texas [DVD] (DVD)
The `coming-of-age' genre is really too broad to describe North Sea Texas, the first feature film from Belgian Director Bavo Defurne. There have been many films which portray the highs and lows of adolescent gay love, but few which do so in a way which draws you into their world in such an imaginative and creative way. The awkward silences, deserted roads and the long empty beach are symbolic of the emotional isolation of "dreamer" Pim. His only refuge being the place where he feels acceptance and understanding is with his `surrogate' family - single mother Marcella, her daughter Sabrina, and son Gino - the subject of his love.

Jelle Floorizoone, (Pim) carries the film with incredible maturity and professionalism, helped by an excellent cast of characters who add to the film's charm and depth. Empathy with Pim comes naturally, and many will have been down a similar road - though clever twists keep you guessing and, just when you think you know what's coming around the corner, it takes an unexpected turn. As the boys grow older Gino drifts away from Pim, into the arms of a French girl, culminating in a confrontation of rage on an empty wind-swept beach. "Sometimes people have to make choices" is Gino's excuse, but when his mother is taken seriously ill, he returns to find Pim at her side. Sometimes it takes the love of an understanding mother, through a simple gesture, to show that her son's choice was not the right one.

Having first seen North Sea Texas in the cinema earlier this year, and now again on DVD, it's a film that warrants repeated viewings. Like a painting, North Sea Texas has many layers: the more you look the more you see, understand & appreciate. Emotional and uplifting, North Sea Texas is one of the most engaging & original films about adolescent gay love since Danish Director Lasse Nielsen's ground-breaking "You Are Not Alone".

Included on the DVD is a short but excellent Premiere Featurette and film trailer.
Running time 01:34:19, format 2.35:1, audio Dolby Digital 5.1
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ANGST OF 'FIRST LOVE' - TEENAGE GAY OR NOT!, 12 Aug 2012
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This review is from: North Sea Texas [DVD] (DVD)
I found this first feature-length film by Flemish director Bavo Defurne to be a well-crafted depiction of being a young teenage gay, in the era and meagre commune in which it is set.
Each of the characters -though understated- are finely drawn in the both emotionally and visually stark microcosm of small-town life, somewhere on the Belgian coast. Defurne draws a remarkable performance from Jelle Florizone -15 when filming began(?)- as the central character Pim, whose physical fantasies regarding the slightly older and knowing 'boy next-door' Gino are superficially fulfilled; -but devoid of the emotion and love he yearns.
The theme of unrequited first-love is further complicated by the bourgeoning infatuation of Gino's sister towards Pim. None of the surrounding adults have anything other than the most empty of relationships, either with each other or their children.
The dawdling pace serves to emphasise the sheer barreness and ennui in each of the character's lives.
Although a 'coming-of-age' film, the ambiguous conclusion does not betray if the ingennuous yearnings in Pim's sequestered life are in fact genuinely fulfilled.
Whether 'gay' or 'straight' most of us have 'been there'; and I found it a stirring reminder of the sheer 'aloneness' of unrequited 'first-love.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving film, worth watching, 24 Dec 2012
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This review is from: North Sea Texas [DVD] (DVD)
Absolutely enjoyed the film, a little bit awkward to begin with but soon developed into a wonderful love story. Powerful and thought provoking and not the ending I was expecting. A gay love story without the corny, cheesy coming out story, just pure, honest love between two young boys. It is a Dutch film and the subtitles were automatic, one began to forget it was in subtitles it was that good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good watching., 16 Sep 2012
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This review is from: North Sea Texas [DVD] (DVD)
Enjoyed the film, mainly good acting and good looking too 8-).

Typical gay film to a certain extent, and quite predictable, but pleasent and easy to the eye.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars moving story, 30 Mar 2014
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This review is from: North Sea Texas [DVD] (DVD)
I enjoyed this film more than I thought I would.It is slow paced,but the acting is fine,especially from Pim,the lead character.I love the way he stores his memories in a cardboard box,them the symbolism of him burning the contents as his childhood passes away.How many of us have done the same? The intimate scenes are well handled,though they could have been a little more explicit with an 18 certificate in stead of the 15 which it has,but this is just a minor criticism and such a good film would be ruined by becoming soft porn.
The turmoils in Pim`s young life are so well portrayed that it is easy to identify with him in his heartache and confusion,but all comes to a satisfying conclusion.Ahh,if only real life were just the same !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Tell Anyone We've Done This, 11 Nov 2013
This review is from: North Sea Texas [DVD] (DVD)
"Could you not tell anyone we've done this," were the favored words of the men with whom I lay.
When I wrote that sentence in my semi-autobiographic book, "Gay Teenage Wasteland Library Edition", I hoped I was among a select minority. Yet, upon hearing the post-intercourse edict spoken in "North Sea Texas", I realize the sentiment is an all too prevalent confession of shame among gay males and their closeted sexual partners. In reality, most of these encounters become segues to silence, but in the film, "North Sea Texas", there is a rare portrayal of contentment in the inhabitance of one's own skin and sexuality.
The cinematography of the movie is lush, and its actors are beautiful. Well crafted and worthwhile viewing for fans of any film genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth watching more than once., 28 Sep 2013
This review is from: North Sea Texas [DVD] (DVD)
It's hard to believe that this film had such a limited budget, and that it was the lead actor's first role.
Jelle Florizoone makes a very impressive debut, and I am looking forward to seeing him in many more films. He doesn't need much dialogue, his expressions convey exactly what he is thinking. It's very rare to see so much maturity in a young actor, with so little experience.
The film has a few personal touches for me, it was set in the mid 1970's, not long after I was Pim's age, and going through similar experiences.
I don't think there is a single actor in the film who hasn't given 100%, everyone is believable and engaging. Luk Wyns gives a convincing portrayal as the not very nice Etienne (even Micky, the dog has a go at him). The Pim - Gino - Sabrina triangle is particularly engaging, and I hope all three actors are destined for full careers.
In the featurette about the showing in London, Eva Van der Gucht explains her feelings about playing Yvette, and she is right, Yvette isn't a perfect mother, but she does put her own plans on hold, and does do her best as a mother to Pim.
I rented this film, and after about two weeks I realised that I had to buy it and return the rental copy. I hope I'm not giving too much away by saying that it's a feel - good movie that I watch whenever I need cheering up.
It's good to see a gay movie that doesn't have a sad ending, as Bavo Defurne says, this movie reflects the fact that gay people can lead happy lives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great night in., 23 Aug 2013
This review is from: North Sea Texas [DVD] (DVD)
I won't add too much to the reviews already here except to say that I agree with all those giving this film 4 or 5 stars. It is not everyone who can remember the intensity of teenage infatuation. I think we largely forget (or want to forget) how intense our early loves were. Those who wrote, produced and directed this film can still obviously remember such feelings.

Your heart goes out to Pim really. He is living in one world and the object of his desires is living in another but parallel one. I felt really really sorry for him when he went to give his special drawing of his love with a token symbol only to be so devestated by what he saw through the window. The mother is (unfortunately) played very well. Too well possibly. She is not a bad woman. She had dreams of travelling Europe (you should see her eyes light up thinking about Capri) playing the accordian in a gypsy band. They she got pregnant and all that came to a halt. Not that she didn't try to recapture those glory days while Pim was just left with a tin of sardines. She doesn't neglect him as such but just doesn't understand him. I liked the part where the gypsy comes to rent the room and they are going 'to have dessert'. 'There's dessert?' Pim asked. The mother's face could kill at that point. As if they never had dessert. Which I suspect is true.

It's a lovely film. Well deserving of 5 stars. The scenary is beautifully shot too. See the moonlight on the sand - like stars in the sky. Wonderful.
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North Sea Texas [DVD]
North Sea Texas [DVD] by Bavo Defurne (DVD - 2012)
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