Program 11 – Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo
France / 2016 / 97 min. | Directed by: Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau
In French with English subtitles.
WARNING: This film has graphic sexual content.
The illicit thrill of an anonymous sexual encounter paves a path toward something even more intimate in the erotic drama Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo. The film opens in the dimly lit depths of a Parisian sex club, where Hugo (François Nambot) catches the roving eye of curly-haired Théo (Geoffrey Couët). Théo works hard to make sure he catches Hugo’s as well, competing against the throbbing beat of the club’s sound system and an endless sea of naked, neon-lit flesh. But when the young men’s lips finally meet (while otherwise engaged with different partners), everything around them melts away and there’s an instant connection.
After their passionate encounter, Théo and Hugo decide they don’t want things to end there, and leave the club together. Renting bikes, they continue their flirtation, talking and gradually learning more about one another than either ever expected. Unfolding in real time, Théo and Hugo’s conversation takes them out into the streets of Paris afterdark, and into the wee hours of the morning, as the men eventually find an intimacy which penetrates even deeper than the activities that led to their meeting.
Despite the pulse-raising 18-minute hardcore orgy that kicks things off, Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo doesn’t feel gratuitous as it recreates the physical and emotional state of our two lovestruck leads. Reminiscent of Weekend, Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy, and Shortbus (ImageOut 2006), directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau (previous ImageOut selections The Adventures of Felixand Côte d’Azur), manage to find the perfect balance of sexy and sweet. Their shockingly romantic film feels thrillingly alive, capturing the intoxicating sensation of love at first sight.
— Adam Lubitow
Audience Award: TEDDY AWARD Berlin International Film Festival Audience Award:: BEST FEATURE Boston LGBT Film Festival Official Selection: Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival Official Selection: Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival Official Selection: Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival Official Selection: TLVfest Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival