Young, handsome Sergio works the night shift as a trash collector in Lisbon, Portugal. Fatima, his co-worker, displays an avid interest in him, but it is not reciprocal, so instead Sergio roams the city with the company’s pet dog. He then becomes fascinated with the owner of a sleek motorcycle.
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Easily the artiest queer stroke movie of the year, Portuguese director João Pedro Rodrigues’s debut, O Fantasma, attempts an improbable triangulation, drawing boldly from Bresson, Feuillade, and Genet.
A true nocturnal animal. Ricardo Meneses gives one of the most fearless, physical, and ferocious performances of the 2000’s. The slow, explicit descent into pure abject psychosexual depravity is relentless in its depiction of unbridled male homosexual erotica. Rodrigues fashions a bold cocktail of textural details—dogs, trash, law enforcement, zentai latex, motorcycles—into a genuinely provocative queer fever dream.
Mesmerizing and refreshing. The super analytical way people talk about this film, even passively, annoys me more than usual here. This film renewed my interest in film. When everything starts blurring together, its incredible when something like this comes along to wake you up. Anything capable of that is worthwhile, and I wouldn't want to ruin it with some vulgar assessment on desire.
An edgy and fierce take on human desire, "O Fantasma" isn't apologetic about showing the twisted things one can do to re-enact sexual situations and fantasies: from picking the other guy's briefs from the garbage and wearing them, to humping his motorcycle and licking the walls of the shower where he took a bath... These are things that make you gasp but are so 'real'. Sergio was a perfect c-ass-t, so creepy/hot!
Puro deseo carnal, O Fantasma impresiona en su pavorosa obsesión por los impulsos desatados, de esos que liberan hasta dejar expuesta la verdadera cara animal. Una película de fragancias rancias, de tactos que raspan y de ojos que ven mejor en la oscuridad total (ecos de Tourneur). Convulsa, hace del deseo un camino hacia una liberación posible, una transformación a un salvajismo sin fronteras, un grito primal.
O masoquismo, a perversão e o desejo carnal de um homem-cão que deambula por entre o lixo da vida. Um início feroz para João Pedro Rodrigues, capaz de nos fazer sentir desconfortáveis e constrangidos, como se a assistir a algo que nos fosse proibido ver.
Cinematography by Rui Poças. "Desire" list: Having been one of the co-authors of the original script, I confess that what I like more in this film relates to Ricardo Meneses, an unique figure of desire and rage, of perverted innocence and innocent perversion, of a performative disarray. His presence in this film is its greatest achievement, embodiment of a sense larger than the fiction.
While the objective structure bothers me, it's great at keeping a mood and showing you the quirks of the characters through minute details. I agree that I did like it, but I with not much story, all the details must be inferred. Is a great film made through great dexterity from the filmmaker or through the layers you discover while analyzing each scene? I think that is my issue with this type of objective images.