Lost in Transition. Put on your thinking caps. End of the Century (Fin de siglo) plays with time, reality and imagination—it’s a sexy romance wrapped in an enigma and definitely should be viewed in a movie theatre. I can tell you, from experience, that watching End of the Century with interruptions makes for one very confused viewing experience. Damn you phone!

The plot is simple. After a seemingly casual sexual encounter, two men explore their lives and loves, past and present and ponder their futures. So, it’s a deeply philosophical film but not in a preachy, teachy kind of way but in a is-that-what-I-think kind of way.

Ocho (Juan Barberini) is holidaying in Barcelona; he’s a poet cum marketing manager and is contemplating his future – will he give up his New York job and devote his life to literature. Enter Javi (Ramon Pujol). Javi is in Barcelona on business. He’s a television show producer working on a show. Ocho spots Javi, attracts his attention and the two have sex. Afterwards, foregrounding a spectacular Barcelona backdrop (thank you Bernat Mestres), they swap life stories and philosophies. Then, mike drop, Javi confesses that they’ve met before, 20 years before.

Another version of their “relationship” is played out; and finally, a third version is posited.

Written and directed by Lucio Castro, the film’s strengths are its quiet contemplation of the everyday. In fact, there is no dialogue for the first 12 minutes. Castro perfectly captures the banality of a solitary life in Ocho’s holiday – the quiet hours people watching, solo museum visit, book reading, solitary meals, and, my particular favourite, Ocho washing his underwear in the shower. It’s like Castro has been on every holiday I’ve ever had.

Cultural references punctuate the movie with meaning and chronology, whether it’s Flock of Seagulls’ Space Age Love Song (best dance sequence, ever?) or David Wojnarowicz’s Closer to the Knives, A Clockwork Orange (and by default The Big Lebowski) or a KISS teeshirt. On a less obvious level

If you’re a fan of Proust or the premise of Sliding Doors or this quote speaks to you

Transition is always a relief. Destination means death to me. If I could figure out a way to remain forever in transition, in the disconnected and unfamiliar, I could remain in a state of perpetual freedom then definitely make the time to see End of the Century. In airconditioned comfort, without distraction.

84 minutes

Release 26th December

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