End of the Century (‘Fin de Siglo’)

DRAMA; 1hr 24min (Spanish with subtitles)

STARRING: Juan Barberini, Ramon Pujol

Brief encounter? Pujol (left) and Barberini

Not a syllable is spoken in the opening 12 minutes of writer-director Lucio Castro’s debut feature as Ocho (Barberini) explores the sunscape of Barcelona. Ocho is a New York–based Argentine poet who also works in airline marketing. (Because, you know, a guy has to eat.) He spots Spanish kids’-TV director Javi (Pujol) at a beach, then later in the street outside his Airbnb. Coincidence! You’d better believe it. This beauty is loaded with them.


Being young, gorgeous and on a reality break, the two hook up for some tastefully framed hot sex. But reality is only a dimension away, and when they chat later over a muy civilised snack of white wine and goat’s cheese, Javi, who is living in Berlin, reveals that he is married with a daughter, while Ocho confides he has just left a 20-year relationship in search of the freedom of solitude.


It also comes to light that, incredibly, the two men first met 20 years before when both were in relationships with women and Ocho was rediscovering his sexuality in a not-fun way. What are the chances, and what does that matter when these meetings of minds, bodies and timelines are so fluid, unfussy and easy on the eyes? Castro’s twisty head trip down roads less travelled is a dream in melded shades of meaning, shot with the lingering precision of a meditation and underscored by the ambiguity of what could have been. Make of its choices what you will.