Polari's strangest, darkest selection is worth a look
By David Estlund, 9:00AM, Sat. Oct. 19
Animals is as lovely and haunting as its stars and setting, but be warned: here be triggers.
Equal parts, bleak, beautiful, and unnerving, Animals explores the world of a slightly disturbed teenage mind, and pulls no punches in the process. Pol (Oriol Pla) has a past and a secret: his yellow teddy bear, Deerhoof, walks and talks (in roboticized English), but only he can know it. This secret is nothing new, as it appears Pol has been previously under medical supervision for the same issue, but as Pol nears adulthood, it would clearly be taken a bit more seriously. Add in a mysterious death and other unnerving happenings at school (trigger warning), and a perfect storm ensues. The film could be compared to Donnie Darko, but is actually more brooding, more feral, and more intimate, and the beautiful landscapes of Catalonia and beautiful nearly extinguished-by-Franco Catalan language make this film a strange, dark standout. Bear in mind, though, that there is no horror nor sci-fi here; just a clear and present sense of foreboding.
The Polari Film Festival runs through Sunday, Oct. 20 at the Stateside at the Paramount, Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz, the Marchesa Hall & Theatre, Studio 4D at UT, and Violet Crown Cinema, plus installation screenings at the Polari offices on the weekend. See www.polarifest.com for full schedule and ticket info, and read our full Polari preview here.