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Head On (1998)

Cast: Zev Eleftheriou, Zev Eleftheriou, Alex Dimitriades, more...
Director: Ana Kokkinos, Ana Kokkinos
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Studio: Strand Home Video
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Gay & Lesbian, Coming of Age , Features, Australia & New Zealand
Running Time: 104 min.
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Synopsis
In this gritty Australian drama, the nihilistic son of Greek immigrants indulges in 24 hours of hedonism in ethnically conflicted inner-city Melbourne. Ari (Alex Dimitriades), a 19-year-old layabout, spends his time picking up strange men for furtive sex; dealing, and doing, speed with his friends; fighting with his conservative father and beleaguered mother; and trying to look after his younger sister, Alex (Andrea Mandalis), who's involved in a clandestine relationship with a young Lebanese guy. Although Ari rails against the racism of Australian society, he's also a bit of a bigot himself. And despite his enthusiastic participation in Greek activities -- weddings, fortune tellers, music, and dancing -- he's also repulsed by his culture's intolerance. Best friend Johnny (Paul Capsis), who defiantly dresses up as his own dead mother, is an outcast, but the straight-seeming Ari refuses to drop him. During the course of a single day, Ari fools around with his friend Betty (Elena Mandalis) and several men of various ages and nationalities. He also pines away for Sean (Julian Garner), a dreamy college friend of his brother's, who may offer a loving alternative to self-destructive excess. When Ari and Johnny are arrested and brutalized by a pair of race-baiting cops, however, the chance for redemption seems more remote than ever. Adapted from the Christos Tsiolkas novel Loaded, Head On marked the feature debut of writer/director Ana Kokkinos, herself an Australian of Greek extraction. The film was shown in the Directors Fortnight section at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

was there a plot? by DGulbranson September 25, 2002 - 12:36 PM PDT
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9 out of 10 members found this review helpful
Interesting movie. Lots of interesting shots, camera angles, etc. but there really wasn't a story. It's very much just like the description, a movie about his struggle with sexuality and his being greek. It's almost as if every scene is saying, hey see, here's him struggling with his sexuality and his heritage, and see, here it is again, etc. but it never really goes anywhere.




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