Absolution of Anthony 1997
13min | Comedy, Drama, Short | 21 October 1997 (USA)
A 16-year-old gay boy lives with his Catholic grandfather in the Bronx.
Struggling to harness his emerging sexuality, a Hispanic teenager (Joe Quintero) makes anonymous phone calls to various guys around town, but meets his match after pulling a similar stunt on the local priest (Victor Garber).
Dean Slotar’s low budget short is a coming of age tale, in which a closeted teenage boy living with his Catholic grandfather (Carlos Rafart) expresses his newfound sexuality by making obscene phone calls to uncomprehending ‘victims’. It’s difficult to sympathize with such dubious behavior, made worse by Slotar’s insistence on staging these scenes in tight close-up while Quintero’s fractured breathing dominates the soundtrack. Thankfully, the movie ends with Our Hero emerging from his shell after a sympathetic priest (Garber, in a small but touching cameo) brings the boy to his senses. The movie isn’t especially memorable or revelatory, but Quintero is persuasive as the conflicted teenager, and production values are professional throughout.
Director: Dean Slotar
Writer: Dean Slotar (screenplay)
Stars: Joe Quintero, Carlos Rafart, Gary Cohen
Release Date: 21 October 1997 (USA)