As part of the IFI’s French Film Festival, a special screening of gay film ‘Being 17’ will take place this evening, followed by a Q&A with its hot new star, Corentin Fila.
Directed by 73 year-old André Téchiné (Wild Reeds), and co-written by Celine Sciamma (Tomboy, Girlhood), Being 17 (Quand on a 17 ans) follows the complexities of a burgeoining relationship between two very different teenage boys, which veers between aggression and desire.
17 year-old Thomas (Corentin Fila) has it in for classmate Damien (Kacey Mottet Klein), tripping him up in class and attacking him in the playground. His behaviour has all the hallmarks of anti-gay bullying – Damien is last to be picked for the basketball team, and wears an earring – there’s an energy between the two boys that suggests Thomas’s motivations may be linked to internalised homophobia.
When Thomas’s fragile mother becomes pregnant, Damien’s mother suggests that Thomas move in with them, so he can concentrate on his studies. With Damien’s father away at war, an increasingly violent relationship develops between the boys, that comes to a climax when Damien’s father is killed.
Corentin Fila’s brooding performance as Thomas is a stand-out in the film, with the New York Times calling the character “heartbreakingly beautiful, yet unaware of his charisma.”
Fila will attend the screening of Being 17 this evening (November 23), 6pm at the IFI, and will participate in a Q&A afterwards, hosted by GCN editor, Brian Finnegan. Tickets are available at the IFI box office (01) 536 7988, or here.
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