(out of 5)
Handsome young Pierre Prieur is working in fast food and living in his lonely Brooklyn apartment when the co-owner of a bar specializing in burlesque performances spots him and invites him to come work and live with her and her girlfriend. He agrees and is immediately inducted into an intimate but non-sexual relationship of communal sleeping and showers between shifts sweeping floors and carrying crates of booze; meanwhile the bar’s tiny stage features performances that specialize in this entire film’s flavour of raw sexuality and unjustified misery. When Prieur meets bartender Adrian James, they begin a loving but equally hands-off relationship despite the fact that they too share their bed night after night. James falls in love with this remote, mysterious and compactly-physiqued young man, though fails to notice that he has the air of secrets from his past. Perhaps it’s Prieur’s dedication to training at a boxing gym that’s supposed to clue the rest of us in to the fact that he’s running away from something (it’s a movie staple, no one would spend their nights looking clammy in old sweat pants unless they were trying to disappear), but there is no information about his past even in a teasing, mysterious sense. In fact, the key to his guarded personality is something the film blithely ignores in favour of grimy, endless atmosphere incorrectly used in place of plot until the last ten minutes of the movie, which poorly reveals some information before a ridiculous conclusion. Good acting from an appealing cast and great camera work make no difference to an obscure lead character and the obnoxious personalities around him in Etienne Faure’s frustrating and often pretentious script; the film could do with a lot more humour to make up for how vague and self-important it is most of the time.
Directed by Etienne Faure
Screenplay by Etienne Faure, translation by Ray De Leon
Cinematography by Pavle Savic
Film Editing by Etienne Faure