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North Sea Texas

North Sea Texas

Released 18 May 2012
Director Bavo Defurne

Jelle Florizoone, Eva Van Der Gucht, Mathias Vergels, Thomas Coumans, Nina Marie Kortkaas, Luk Wyns
Writer(s) Bavo Defurne, Yves Verbraeken
Producer(s) Luc Roggen, Yves Verbraeken
Origin Belgium
Running Time 93 minutes
Genre Drama
Rating TBC


There are a lot of things to say about North Sea Texas and few of them complementary. A coming of age drama draped in redundant metaphor with emotionally barren characters, it fails in almost every attempt to engage its audience. Casting a glance over other recent favourable reviews I can only assume people are treading lightly over the eggshell subject matter of gay youth and in an effort to seem unbiased have lumped praise on an unworthy end product. Maybe not, maybe it's just a matter of bad taste on other reviewer's part, but being gay and holding no such hypothetical barrier I can say with as much authority as I've decided to vest in myself, "Don't, on any account, see this film".

Set in what I imagine to be an early seventies Belgium, based on the book Nooit gaat dit over by André Sollie, this debut effort from director Bavo Defurne is, however, filmed beautifully with, at times, some exquisite cinematography. The plot is pretty straightforward, decidedly drippy Pim falls in love with best friend Gino, things don't work out not least because of Gino's across the border girlfriend or his sister's love for Pim.

The character of artistic almost mute Pim has a lot to answer for, but really all of the leads have lives so boring that I was at points wondering what level on the Glasgow Coma Scale I was sure to slip into before the film's end. While Pim spends his time collecting momentos for a creepy little box of sexual trophies, Sabrina seems fully occupied with sticking dance step sheets into a diary and occasionally making lemonade, Gino has his bike, Pim's mother an accordion, drinking habit and greasy lover, while Sabrina and Gino's mother sits at their table muttering quietly to herself. Except once again make note, none of it is the least bit quirky or entertaining. No one in North Sea Texas really interacts very well with anyone else, character's bounce uncommunicatively off each other, and reaction often comes from nowhere in manners so pedestrianly put across that all I could do was sink lower in my cinema seat and groan. Most every cliche of gay cinema is thrown in the mix, as well as a few cliches found elsewhere, but cliches they, without doubt, all are.

What did I say earlier, oh yes, "Don't on, any account, see this film."

- Cormac O’Brien