As arousing as it is provocative, “Neptune”, now showing at NakedSword Film Works, dives deep into the obsessive quest for love in a dreamlike depiction of queer lust.
The danger of the obsessive quest for love pops up again and again in all the great gay fiction by authors like Truman Capote, Christopher Isherwood, Andre Aciman and especially in the work of gay European filmmakers like Francois Ozon and Joao Pedro Rodrigues.
NEPTUNE, a superb South American gay short, which has just premiered on NakedSword’s NSFW site, should propel director Daniel Nolasco into the same company as those two gay arthouse gods. Like Rodrigues’ O Fantasma, Nolasco’s film details a dangerous obsessive quest an older man Sandro pursues to get closer to his object of love and/or lust, Maison.
As in certain films by Ozon and Rodrigues, we’re never wholly sure what is reality and what is a dream. The film throws us off balance, puts us off center, to make us feel the uneasiness Sandro feels as he struggles with his desires and how to achieve them.
Does Maison really stop to help Sandro in the pool? Does he really strip for him on sight when they lock eyes in a club? And is Sandro’s trip to an underground sex sauna really happening or just a gorgeous, lustful dream?
For fans of dark, dreamlike depictions of queer lust, NEPTUNE is a rare gem which viewers should find highly arousing. Strange, yes, but no less hot for being so. Because really, the core of the movie is all about that red-lit sauna scene, down below the pool where Sandro swims every day, where he enters a coupling of naked sweaty swimmers who happily welcome him.
It’s this – possible – fantasy that is what he wants most in the world. In his private world, during his masturbation session, he can propel himself into it. It’s both thrilling and kind of sad and the brilliance of Nolasco’s film is that it lets you dance on that edge, never knowing whether to stay near the surface, or dive down deep where it’s dangerous.
Explore all of films selected for NakedSword Film Works (NSFW).