Tag Archives: Argentina

Periodical Political Post *39



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XXY is a tastefully discreet, deeply moving drama that addresses the awkward dilemma of an "intersex" teenager with remarkable sensitivity. ("Intersex" being the preferred term for those born with shared sex chromosomes and what doctors call "genital ambiguity.") For 15-year-old Alex having an intersex body is a constant source of anguished confusion. Alex has been raised as a girl by loving parents, who moved from Argentina to an island off the coast of Uruguay to spare Alex from adolescent torment by insensitive schoolmates. But now Alex has stopped taking the hormone pills that suppress male characteristics, suggesting a pivotal life choice has been made. When Alex’s mother invites a plastic surgeon and his family to the island, she quietly hopes Alex will consider "reassignment" surgery, while her husband allows Alex more freedom of choice. When Alex and the surgeon’s teenage son Alvaro act upon a tentative, mutual attraction, XXY deepens into a poignant study of sexual identity and self-acceptance.


Making her remarkably assured directorial debut, Argentine writer-director Lucía Puenzo has fully accounted for the turbulent emotions that swirl around Alex and her family. "XXY" is the first film to address intersex identity with graceful compassion, and Puenzo tells Alex’s story with simple, honest and forthright integrity.

What ensues between them, both psychologically and sexually, is one of the strangest, most fascinating dysfunctional relationships I’ve seen in a movie. The acting is outstanding. – Boston Globe

Official Site | Wikipedia | IMDbReview (English) | Review (Deutsch)



Violent Femmes and wrestling boys. The same boys watching TV, huffing glue, jerking off, playing soccer, dodging water balloons, sharing headphones, and dancing, singing, and drumming at punk rock shows. Listed in this manner, the basic ingredients of Alexis Dos Santos’s Glue don’t sound that different from those of a dozen other teen films. But the way Dos Santos views such material is something else entirely. Glue is that rare kind of filmmaking so attuned to pleasure and spontaneity that it tickles your palate, opening up new possibilities about how to live. The film’s chief subject matter — bisexuality that takes exhilarating form before the constraints of adulthood can arrive — is ideally realized through Dos Santos’s sensual and whim-driven approach.

“If my parents made love before I was conceived, would it be me being born or another boy?” skinny, wild-haired, and sleepy-eyed Lucas (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart) wonders to himself at the beginning of Glue, before his jock friend Nacho (Nahuel Viale) and their mutual crush, the gawky yet beautiful Andrea (Inés Efron), arrive on screen. When Andrea is eventually introduced, it’s via a poolside scene in which polite kisses through a steel fence provide one typically fleet example of Dos Santos’s ability to land on the right use of foreground, background, and happenstance scenic detail to convey a shot or scene’s emotional temperature.

This symbiosis between director and actors — and perhaps even more important, between actors — results in some extraordinary passages. Glue meanders near its end, when, in true teen spirit, it doesn’t want a good time to end. But in its best moments, Dos Santos’s debut feature is an important and exciting addition to Latin American cinema’s evolving views of masculinity. (Sergio de la Mora’s recent book Cinemachismo is an excellent source for historical background on the subject.) Glue’s ménage à trois is more radical than the ones in both Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También and Fernando Eimbcke’s chaste Duck Season, though one suspects those more commercial movies helped pave the way for the spaces that Dos Santos and his actors discover. Like Julián Hernández’s Broken Sky, in which a trio of young lovers meet and kiss repeatedly in public, Dos Santos’s insular and gutsy film charts territory where people don’t repress their desires.