August

"Excellent"

August Review


Sharp direction and understated performances make this drama far more evocative than we expect. And its resonance goes beyond the sexuality of the characters, as it beautifully captures the emotions that linger long after a relationship ends.

After living in Spain for a few years, Troy (Bartlett) is back in Los Angeles looking for work. He gets in contact with his ex, Jonathan (Dugan), and they discover that they still feel strongly attracted and connected. Troy encourages this, but Jonathan feels guilty because he has a new boyfriend, Raul (Gonzalez). Over the next few weeks, they become increasingly preoccupied with thoughts of each other, meeting up now and then and eventually falling into bed. Meanwhile, Raul is pressing Jonathan for a stronger commitment and beginning to suspect that something's up.

The story moves in authentic rhythms with fits and starts, fecund pauses and sudden intimacy. Fleshing out his 2004 short Post Mortem, writer-director Rapaport take a thoughtful approach to a situation that's usually played with much more melodrama. But here there's a striking sense of understated realism, as the film slices through the culture of L.A. happiness and contentment to explore undercurrents of unfinished business, emotional neediness and residual desires. "It's all about timing, synchronicity," Troy observes. And Jonathan may be right when he says, "You know, I think you're the devil."

Beautifully shot in widescreen, we really feel the California summer light and heat, and the vivid sense of physicality between the characters is even sexier because it's honest without being gratuitous. Meanwhile, an intriguingly Middle Eastern score (by Surque) adds unexpected textures, and Rapaport's subtle, often elusive direction catches tiny, telling details as these men try to cope with an oppressive heatwave, both literally and figuratively.All three actors give relaxed, realistic performances that are packed with tentative, awkward dialog. This makes it extremely easy to identify with the complex characters and the messy lives they create for themselves. And as the plot starts drifting in unexpected and slightly vague directions, we never have a clue what will happen. Rapaport grapples with gay community cliches head-on, challenging and subverting them without ever moralising. Instead, this is an honest, mature exploration of emotional interaction.



August

Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 8th October 2009

Distributed by: Original Media

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 35%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 17

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Eldar Rapaport

Producer: Alexander Brodzki, Samantha Manalang

Starring: Sylvana Krappatsch as Johanna, Hirota Otsuka as Hirota

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