Program 11: End of the Century (Fin de siglo)Directed by Lucio Castro
In Spanish with English subtitles.
WARNING: Strong sexual content and nudity.
When you look back on the casual encounters you’ve had, how fractured are those memories? Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you’d stayed with an old flame? The thrill of getting to know a new person is a genuinely hard thing to capture, but End of the Century director Lucio Casto delivers a Grindr sense memory film that is both sexy and quietly tender.
While staying at an Airbnb in Barcelona, New York poet Ocho (played with lean, scruffy charisma by Juan Barberini) spies Javi (Ramon Pujol) from his balcony and invites him up. Juliet would’ve been able to get Romeo into her bedroom faster if she had stronger WiFi. After their passionate tryst, the two grab some wine and food together and realize that they’ve met before, twenty years prior.
Reminiscent in tone to Andrew Haigh’s Weekend, End of the Century slowly reveals a connection (and future?) between these men that goes beyond a simple hookup. There is a refreshing openness between Ocho and Javi. While Ocho is more restless and willing to try new things with new men, Javi is enjoying the freedom of the open marriage he shares with his husband. Neither men are judging the other – they’re simply enjoying those post-coital moments when you feel like you can ask your new partner anything you want and get away with it.
Castro’s camera loves Ocho and Javi in the same frame together, and he wisely doesn’t rush their conversations. There are a lot of scenes where it feels like Castro doesn’t want us to interrupt his actors as he observes them flirting and making love. End of the Century also shows how hookup culture has changed over the years. It used to be about a chance connection – catching a man’s eye in a public place. Now you can decide whether you’re going to get lucky without leaving your home. The film plays with the structure of a normal hookup story and eventually tosses it out the window. It’s beautifully free.
While relationships often feel like they come to a complete stop, Castro makes us question whether the end is really just a beginning. He introduces different pathways to rewrite our own romantic journeys, and End of the Century is an erotic example of how we shouldn’t be closed-minded about how those journeys can transform us.
~ Joey Moser
Awards & Accolades
- Jury Award, Best First Feature – Frameline SF Int’l LGBTQ+ Film Festival
- Jury Award, Outstanding Performance in an Int’l Narrative, Honorable Mention – Outfest LA LGBT Film Festival
- Jury Award – Best Argentine Film – Buenos Aires Int’l Festival of Independent Cinema
- Official Selection – New Directors/New Films (New York)
- OFFICIAL Selection – Melbourne Int’l Film Festival