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Friday, January 10th, 2020

Orpheus’ Song: Porn scenario gets a touch of magic 

 

Orpheus’ Song is a deceptive movie. It borrows from buddy movies, porn scenarios and classical myth to create a movie that gently simmers in a touch of magic.

Philipp (Sascha Weingarten) and Enis (Julien Lickert) are work out buddies in Berlin. That oddly fraternal situation where it’s OK to focus on each other’s narcissism and get a supportive dose of selfie esteem. Phillip is eagerly flirtatious but makes it so much about himself that it registers more as ego play than a come on to those around him. He is maybe gay but like all true flirts he is about the potential of sex without the promise. Enis is seemingly comfortably in boo with his girlfriend. Both Philip and Enis are more interested in what is in each other’s supplements than what is in each other’s pants. 

After Philipp invites Enis to a trip to Greece there is a switch from a buddy focused realism that holds little sexual tension beyond the fact that they are both handsome and in tune with each other. The gays might have been cheering for a little romance but up until then the movie avoids being about repressed sexual tension and unrequited passion. Its two friends who both get on and look good together. 

While lost exploring deserted spots in Greece there is a slip out of realism into magical realism that is both surprising and delicate. A chance encounter with a guy who claims his name is Hercules (Henry Morales) brings in a tale of nymphs bearing gifts of pomegranates that have unexpected and life changing effects. Cut to the two guys hungrily devouring that fruit after days being lost without food. And damn it, those nymphs don’t let them down. That fruit must have been one of the five a day in old Lesbos. Phillip and Enis are swept by passion for each other that plays out on an idyllic beach where the sand gets in every crack. 

The movie is beautifully shot, the guys are charming, handsome and believable.  What could have descended into porny cheese stays firmly on the side of a slowly simmering story of friendship turned into eye opening passion. The mixture is only odd in description, on screen, thanks to casting and director Tor Iben, it is touchingly well blended. 

 

Review by Andrew Hebden

Queerguru Correspondent Andrew Hebden is a MEDIA & CULTURAL STUDIES graduate spending his career between London, Beijing and NYC as an expert in media and social trends. As part of the expanding minimalist FIRE movement he recently returned to the UK and lives in Soho. He devotes as much time as possible to the movies, theatre and the gym. His favorite thing is to try something (anything) new every day.


Posted by queerguru  at  13:22

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Genres:  drama, international

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