Australian films that deal with homosexuality have been few and far between over the years, but there are three that come to mind which enjoyed success at the all-important box office. The Sum Of Us which starred Russell Crowe was an instant hit when released into cinemas in 1994 and the sexual content in Ana Kokkinos’ feature Head On raised eyebrows in 1998. The emotionally charged Holding The Man brought the true-life story of a gay relationship between two men to the screen, the tragic conclusion leaving audiences teary.

Now award-winning indie drama Sequin In A Blue Room joins the ranks, screening exclusively at Newtown Dendy Cinema.

This is the controversial coming of age story of Sequin, a 16-year-old gay man whose insatiable sex drive has him searching and meeting men for sex via hook-up apps. He receives an invitation to attend a group sex party at the Blue Room where three rules must be observed – strict anonymity, no names, and no talking.

There he meets and becomes obsessed with a black youth who whispers in his ear “find me out there.” Sequin is on a quest to search for this stranger who he imagines to be ‘his perfect love interest’ and ignores advances from a fellow male student. Along the way, he is stalked and has a violent encounter.

Will Sequin find this stranger and if so, will it lead to what he is looking for? Can a relationship evolve or is the Blue Room just a place where men go to for one-off sexual hook-ups before moving onto the next? Is a loving and monogamous relationship safer and preferable?

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 This is writer/director Samuel Van Grinsven’s first feature, a remarkable film that takes audiences on an authentic exploration of young gay culture. Scenes, where men go cruising for sex in the Blue Room, are suffocatingly erotic and seductively conceived.

Conor Leach delivers an astonishing first-time performance on screen as Sequin, the overly confident and independent gay teenager whose father (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) seems to allow far too much freedom to roam the streets at night.

It’s inconceivable that this film was produced on a micro-budget as the high production values are evident throughout the film.

Sequin In A Blue Room is described as ‘a homosexual film’ in the opening credits. It’s confronting and the sexually explicit scenes are softcore, with an overload of beautiful semi-clad male bodies on display. All gay audiences and open-minded heterosexual audiences who enjoy a good Aussie flick with thriller elements and plenty of sex and nudity should agree that this is an incredibly satisfying cinematic experience.

★★★★

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