Glue  [DVD]
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Glue is a coming of age comedy / drama set in a small town in the vast, empty space of Patagonia. Three teenagers with raging hormones and time on their hands find ways to amuse themselves. Getting high, getting off with each other and getting caught.
Captures the adolescent experience with rare and bracing veracity - Hollywod Reporter --Hollywood Reporter
Glue serves as an example of how to refresh and make strange a perennial subject. There has lately been a flood of coming -of-age movies, but what makes Glue somewhat exceptional is its intimate, lyrical atmosphere and its almost abstract painterly use of video - New York Times --New York Times
Top customer reviews
Alexis Dos Santos perfectly uses a variety of formats, DV, 16mm and Super 8 footage - each having its own benefits to the section of film they are used to portray. The film has a very authentic feel throughout, mainly helped by the improvisational acting techniques that so many film makers try to use but fail miserably.
All in all, this film is a definite must watch for all new queer cinema or fans of improvisational work. It shows how powerful a portrait of a character can be and how the casts own personal life can influence a films creation in a phenomenal way.
But like most films that explore the world of drugs and growing up in this way - that is with little or no script, with no structured storyline, indeed one could argue with no plot at all - it breaks the cardinal sin of being SO BORING. I watched it till the very end, but had already decided well before that I did not want to waste two more hours of my life in watching it again. And so, this morning, it has found its way into the bag for the next doorstep charity collection.
But to categorize 'Glue' as a coming-of-age film would be trite in the extreme. While there are many examples of what would be considered the usual 'adolescent angst' (secretly comparing body development against that of friends, awkward silences, parental conflict, watching porn on TV, the importance of music as a form of expression), the portrayal of youth in 'Glue' is more iconoclastic; they are not simply going through a 'phase'. The nihilism portrayed is of a degree commonly seen in films by Gus Van Sant, or in Araki's 'Doomsday' trilogy. There is no sense that the characters will ultimately follow in the subservient footsteps of their parents: they are the last in the line; the contemporary, disenfranchised generation. Araki aficionados will note the subtle, background TV news reports about 'another 15 year old suicide'.
The reference to Van Sant is appropriate also from a stylistic viewpoint. Time-lapsed clouds; blurred and shaky camera shots; sunspots on the camera lens; an emphasis on reddish, earthy tones in the hue and color employed: all add to the impression of a youth eschewing the modern world and trying unsuccessfully to find their way back to nature. This is further emphasized by the role of gender identity in the film - or rather, its absence. The three main characters - Lucas, Nacho and Andrea - are seen in various combinations of sexual interaction; but again, there is none of the typical 'sexual confusion' that we usually see in a pro forma coming-of-age film: they simply follow instinctual enjoyment of physical intimacy, unburdened by their forefathers' limiting preoccupation with gender role:
"What's the difference between kissing a boy or a girl? Boys have beards. That's the only difference, otherwise it'd be the same thing...Why is it that boys don't cry?...Why are there 'girl's things' and 'boy's things'?"
While there is a great deal of humor in 'Glue', the occasions when the viewer can laugh serve as a temporary palliative, rather than as a remedy for the starkness of the nihilistic existentialism. It is only really the characters' attitude towards rejecting received gender identity that provides the film with any genuine optimism. Clearly 'Glue' will not be for everyone: those who find comfort in the simplicity of hard plot lines and linear story-telling, or the superficiality of 'good guys/bad guys' scenarios, will struggle to see the cold, desolate - yet captivating - beauty that provide 'Glue' with it's enthralling, brilliant portrait of contemporary youth. Glue appears to be the first feature-length film from Writer/Director Alexis Dos Santos, a name that is certainly one to watch.
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