Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo
Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau

DIRECTORS: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau

Bay Area Premiere

Explicit sex has rarely been used to explore the contours of a new relationship as effectively as in Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau’s new film—an exquisite return for the pair after Born in ’68 (Frameline33) and Côte d’Azur (Opening Night Frameline29). In the wee hours of the night at a Paris sex club called Impact, Theo spots the handsome Hugo just a couple of naked bodies away. After some intense glances—and even more intense sex—they leave together, joyfully exclaiming that their intercourse “helped with world peace.” Riding their bikes through the mostly deserted streets, the two young men begin a conversation that will take them through the evening and traverse an extraordinary range of personal and psychological territory.

Shifting from a lengthy X-rated sequence to the dialogue-driven territory of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy or Andrew Haigh’s Weekend requires a careful balancing act indeed, but it’s what makes Paris 05:59 (winner of a Panorama Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Berlin International Film Festival) so remarkable. With a digital clock flashing on the screen now and then to state the current hour, the film follows Theo and Hugo in real time as they wander from a kebab joint to Theo’s apartment, discussing their current jobs, family and relationship history, and their possible future together. Ducastel and Martineau unfold their dialogue in carefully orchestrated scenes beautifully performed by Geoffrey Couët as Theo and François Nambot as the more impulsive Hugo. As the two discuss, argue, make out, and even enjoy being silent with one another, it’s a distinct pleasure to see how the mating dance can begin and evolve for many gay men. For Theo and Hugo, as they watch the dark give rise to day on a night they won’t soon forget, the hot sex is just the beginning.

— Rod Armstrong

This film contains sexually explicit material.

In French with English subtitles.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F126

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