The idea that a relationship has a sell-by date inevitably crosses everyone’s mind. And in many cases, it rings true. Some couples aren’t always going to mesh perfectly together all the time. Sometimes the date does pass and relationships are no longer at their most ripe, but the passing of that date doesn’t always mean the end. This is the idea that actor Mike Doyle explores in his feature directorial debut, Sell By.
Director Chucho E, Quintero explores youthful relationships by pulling the teens away from their phones and into this remote location, forcing confrontation and stresses to come to the surface. With little space to breathe and no escape from each other, the location has been used as an effective tool to explore these youthful relationships.
For his fourth feature, Mexican director Hari Sama has crafted an unusual coming of age story set within the punk underworld of the 80’s. On its own, this isn’t particularly unique – the power of rock music has helped many teenagers discover their own identities in the movies, and the conservative catholic backdrop of This is Not Berlin doesn’t twist this formula in ways you wouldn’t expect.
Emilia is a fun-loving, free-spirited experimental actress, with the ideal non-committal lifestyle to go with her non-committal personality; she gets invited to cool parties with drama students, has drunken sex with her sort-of girlfriend Mariana, and has a laugh with a trusted group of pals in her spare time. The only problem? Emilia is 35, and while everyone else has grown up and found stability, she’s been stuck in the same rut for the past two decades. Second Star on the Right, explores Emilia’s reluctance to let go of her arguably childish ways, and gently mulls over the true meaning of maturity.
It’s scathing and satirical as it sinks its teeth into predatory men and far right conspiracy theorists, providing the broadest dark laughs while offering something far more groundbreaking for the vampire genre below such surface pleasures. It’s a humble film that has no intention above making horror fans howl in delight – but on closer inspection, it’s clear that it deserves far more credit than a film in this style is likely to receive.