Cola de Mono 2018
1h 42min | Thriller | 12 October 2018 (Chile)
It’s Christmas Eve, 1986, and Borja is a precocious teenager with a passion for film. As his extended family comes together to celebrate the holiday, the combined forces of the suffocating Chilean heat, free-flowing drinks, and repressed desire contribute to the eruption of long-held secrets. This hypnotic story from Chile is both an enticing family melodrama and an explicit erotic thriller about the ways that passion and desire control our lives – from our pop-culture tastes to our sexual fantasies.
“I grew up on Amblin films, but I always felt those teenagers were suspiciously un-horny.” –director Alberto Fuguet
Cola de Mono is no Amblin film—De Palma is the obvious influence, and movies like Looking for Mr. Goodbar where sex was dangerous—but I thought of the Shakespearean family drama of Insiang. The movie is the ravishing middle, a lonely, dangerous, colorful Christmas Eve night for two boys separately indulging their dicks and their overworked mother saying to hell with them, but I can’t watch a gay thriller anymore without recalling the wisdom of Dionne Warwick, as played by Maya Rudolph: “To what end?!” Stranger by the Lake captures the psychology, the politics, and the look and feel of cruising. Festivals this year have followed in its sandy footprints with “Fish Tank,” a paranoid short about Baby’s First Grindr Experience, “Hookup,” a straightforward version of the same thing, and Devil’s Path, about a serial killer of gay men at a popular park for cruising, all while Bruce McArthur haunts our collective unconscious. Are you gutting horny gay kids just to show us what homophobia does? I got news for you: We know. Nobody has ever shown up in the dark to get laid by a stranger and not been a little nervous. Is this nostalgia for when respectability was the farthest thing from gay life? Is this just about playing with toys, arranging cute naked boys into violent spectacle? What Psycho did for showers, you’re doing for gay sex. So I ask you: To what end?
And now some illuminating gems from the Q&A with director Alberto Fuguet, whose work I look forward to catching up with.
“Always wanted to know why all the American heroes never masturbate?”
“East of Eden, like imagine if James Dean was your brother and you had to sleep with him…I always thought it was very sexy, the idea of brothers…”
“A movie set during Pinochet where Pinochet is not the bad guy…sexual repression…the enemy is at home.”
Director: Alberto Fuguet
Writer: Alberto Fuguet
Stars: Santiago Rodríguez-Costabal, Cristóbal Rodriguez-Costabal, Carmina Riego
Language: Spanish | English
Release Date: 12 October 2018 (Chile)
Filming Locations: Santiago de Chile, Chile