Sequin in a Blue Room
Conor Leach, Simon Croker, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor
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The dialogue is minimal and understated, but the situation becomes cumulatively tense, sinister, and somewhat scary.
Subtitled “A homosexual film by Samuel Van Grinsven”, this is a crisply made movie that’s wholly believable and subtly suspenseful.
The titular Sequin (Conor Leach) is a sixteen-year-old gay schoolboy whose nickname derives from the multi-sequinned top he wears. The blue room in question – with its pervasive and atmospheric blue lighting and plastic curtains – is the venue for regular group sex parties, so-called silent orgies in which everything is strictly anonymous. (“No talking. No names.”)
This is no coming-of-age story, and nor incidentally is it especially graphic. Sequin is already out, and his father (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) is progressive and accepting. The drama develops from an encounter between Sequin and a 45-year-old man he meets in a library. What follows is essentially a study in obsession, and the shifting power dynamics that can complicate even the most transitory relationship. The dialogue is minimal and understated, but the situation becomes cumulatively tense, sinister, and somewhat scary.
It’s particularly crucial in this case not to divulge much plot, because the twists and turns of who is chasing or avoiding who are rather the point. Moody music (predominantly electronic) compounds the feeling of risk and danger, and all the acting is admirably naturalistic and assured. Sequin is a relatively modest achievement, and not particularly ambitious, but it’s entirely successful in its own terms.