Monday, May 05, 2014

SFIFF: Eastern Boys

Late Sunday night I saw the contemporary French drama Eastern Boys at the SF International Film Festival. Festival programmer Sean Uyehara introduced the film as a homoerotic thriller. A complacent middle-aged business man pickups up a young hustler in Paris's Gard du Nord station, then finds himself pitted against a gang of thuggish Eastern European youths. The plot-driven film is divided into 4 enigmatically titled chapters & culminates in a complicated show-down in a suburban hotel, overcrowded with immigrant families. Weapons are never wielded, but the movie's acts of violence have impact because they seem plausible. The acting is direct. Danil Vorobyev is vivid & scary as the psychopathic gang leader, & Edéa Darcque is a striking presence as a hotel manager who takes her job very seriously.

The screening was at rush, & festival staff did crowd control by admitting the audience into the New People Cinema in cohorts of 10. There were occasional titters, so the audience may not have found the movie entirely convincing. It runs well over 2 hours, so the theater got quite warm by the end.

§ Eastern Boys
Director: Robin Campillo
France, 2013, 128 mins.

§ The 57th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival
April 30, 2014, 9:10 p.m.  BAM/PFA
May 2, 2014, 6:00 p.m.  Sundance Kabuki Cinema
May 4, 2014, 8:45 p.m.  New People Cinema

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