Head On strives to portray an extremely realistic view of the life of an immigrant family’s gay son, and never seeks to clean up the messiness that such a life results in. The film’s protagonist, Ari (Alex Dimitriades), is a hedonistic thrill-seeker, who doesn’t feel the same attachment to Greek traditions that much of his family does.
Ari spends the duration of the film hopping from one source of pleasure to another, be it chemical or sexual in nature. He seems relatively disinterested in anything that could be considered stable, and hurls as much racially-fuelled anger as he receives within the explosive and tense confines of the immigrant communities of Melbourne.
Even after a terrifying show of police brutality towards him and his drag queen friend Toula, Ari seems to show no interest in bettering himself or finding a higher path. Although its only hinted at, they key to his salvation may in fact lie in his family. Although he eschews many traditions, he is still protective of his sister, and touching moments occur with some frequency between him and his relatives.
“This film brilliantly exposes the gay male condition: living between two worlds, rarely capable of fitting into either, and too often failing to successfully rise to the challenge, no matter how strong a performance of masculinity is given.”
— Gay Meditation
“The film is a solid exercise in generational angst”
— Gary Morris, Bright Lights
“Stylistically bold with a pulsating urgency, Head On is intense, passionate filmmaking at its most revealing”
— Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
Did You Know?
Head On was based on the highly-praised novel Loaded, by Christos Tsiolka. The film gained a bit of notoriety over controversy around an explicit masturbation scene shown early in the film’s proceedings; this only served to help propel interest, marking it for much consideration of prestigious awards surrounding the commitment of both the director and lead actor. Review our Gay Themed Films Here