6.5/10
3,886
54 user 33 critic

Head On (1998)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 13 August 1998 (Australia)
A 19 year old Greek Australian youth struggles with his sexual identity and has one clumsy heterosexual and several homosexual encounters.

Director:

Ana Kokkinos

Writers:

Andrew Bovell (screenplay), Ana Kokkinos (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
9 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alex Dimitriades ... Ari
Elena Mandalis ... Betty
Damien Fotiou ... Joe
Alex Papps ... Peter
Andrea Mandalis Andrea Mandalis ... Alex
Dora Kaskanis Dora Kaskanis ... Dina
Tony Nikolakopoulos ... Dimitri
Chris Kaglaros Chris Kaglaros ... Groom (as Chris Kagiaros)
Ourania Sideropoulos Ourania Sideropoulos ... Bride
Eugenia Fragos Eugenia Fragos ... Sophia
María Mercedes ... Tasia
Anthony Lyritzis Anthony Lyritzis ... Boy in Car
Ana Gonzalez Ana Gonzalez ... Woman Sweeping
Maya Stange ... Janet
Julian Garner ... Sean
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Storyline

Nineteen-year-old Ari confronts both his sexuality and his Greek family. Ari despises his once-beloved parents, former radical activists, for having entombed themselves in insular tradition. Ari is obsessed with gay sex, although he does make an unenthusiastic attempt to satisfy the sister of one of his best friends. While all of this is going on, he's facing problems with his traditional Greek parents, who have no clue about his sexual activities. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

full on - all night - come on

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Greek

Release Date:

13 August 1998 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

De cabeza See more »

Filming Locations:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,224, 15 August 1999

Gross USA:

$379,384

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$708,334
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White (flashbacks)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In a sex scene between Aria and Dina, the actress' sweater is buttoned closed but her body double's sweater is fully open. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ari: They tell you that God is dead but, man, they still want you to have a purpose. They say look at your parents: hard-working migrants, work two jobs, struggle all your life, buy your kids a house... there, that's purpose. They tell you to be a doctor, a teacher, be creative, do something, believe in something, believe in family and the future, save the world, believe in love, but, fuck it, I'm no scholar, I'm no worker, I'm no poet.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Another Gay Movie (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Dimitroula mou
(My Dimitroula)
by Panayiotis Toundas
Performed by the haBiBis
toubeleki: George Kiriakidis
clarinet: George Kirkopoulos
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A study in brutalisation
30 October 1999 | by JohnM-9See all my reviews

I've just come back from the cinema, and having read the book ('Loaded' by Christos Tsiolkas) and being British/Greek and gay I thought it was excellent. It is a rarity for a start: a very good adaptation of a book, with amazing performances from an all-Greek Australian cast, including the gorgeous Alex Dimitriades himself who, incidentally is straight. I was particularly impressed about the cinematography (I looked it up later - by Jaems Grant and no, it's not a spelling mistake), all moody and dark like the plot.

The whole point about the film is encapsulated in the scene where Ari is having oral sex with Sean. He was selfishly roughing up and gagging Sean who had just said that he loved him. It was the ultimate brutalisation of sex by a brutalised closeted youngster in a hopeless, brutalising society. At that moment we wince, as Ari consciously rejects love for the anonymity of the street corner suck-off, but we *do* understand why he is unable to form a relationship: in his own way, he acts according to type, obeying his family's and society's homophobic and racist insults and conventions. Symbolically he looks up from his knees in the end, just as his TV friend Toula pushed him a few scenes before dismissively. The moral of the film as she says is that if you don't stand up for yourself you spend your life on your knees.

That moral may perhaps be irrelevant or far gone for gays who have come out and have asserted themselves in society by rejecting the hypocrisy of a double life full of compromises, but it is nevertheless still relevant for a large number of people in many different cultures.


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