Thursday, June 28, 2012

Noordzee, Texas (North Sea, Texas)

Noordzee Texas (North Sea Texas), dir. Bavo Defurne, 2011, Belgium, 96 min., in Dutch with English subtitles, 
Friday 6/15, 9:30pm @ Castro, NORT15C

Pim (Jelle Florizoone) and
Gino (Mathias Vergels) in
North Sea Texas
North Sea Texas is a bit of an odd film, in large part because it’s about a bit of an odd boy. Pim likes putting on a fancy dress and a tiara, has a mad crush on his slightly older neighbor Gino (whose younger sister has an equally mad crush on Pim), and keeps a box of unusual mementoes of people in his life. What makes Pim most unusual, though, is that he feels no shame whatever about his sexuality or any of the rest of it, even in a small Belgian seaside town in the 1960’s and 70’s. Pim has a variety of problems and challenges in life, but being queer is conspicuously absent from that list.

We follow Pim through his teens, but on a somewhat impressionistic episodic basis rather than through a more traditional narrative structure. The ending gets a bit bogged down and probably could’ve been trimmed a bit, but overall we get a sweet look into the smoldering intensity of the coming of age of a remarkable boy. Highly recommended, a must-see.

One thing you might miss in the closing credits: “Dedicated to all the kids whose parents would not allow them the chance to take part in this film. It gets better.” Amen.

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