End of the Century
Shades of ‘Before Sunrise’ and Andrew Haigh’s ‘Weekend’ in this touching and lyrical romantic drama, the debut picture from Argentinian menswear designer turned director Lucio Castro. Ocho (Barberini) is a thirtysomething Argentinian poet holidaying in Barcelona. On the beach he spies Javi (Pujol), but Javi cycles away before Ocho has a chance to approach him. Later Ocho spies Javi from his Airbnb balcony and cheekily invites him up. After spending the night, Javi reveals that they have met before, in this very city twenty years earlier. The story flashes back to the recalled meeting when Ocho drops in on Javi and his singer girlfriend Sonia (Maestro), and the two men end up spending the day together. Beautifully played by the leads who, although looking pretty much identical in the flashback scenes, convince as the characters’ younger, more callow selves. Slight at eighty-four minutes, but elegantly assembled, the picture sports a dreamlike, elusive quality – we’re never really sure if what’s happening is real or an idealised memory or wish – with the director finding poetry and preciousness in the transitory and quotidian.
End of the Century is available on DVD and View on Demand on Curzon Home Cinema