"An intriguing and grueling look at a man living on the edge."
Heavy drama is both a plus and a minus when it comes to HEAD ON, the award-winning Australian film by SHINE producer Jane Scott. Intense, deep and at times hard to bear, HEAD ON is the story of Ari (played authentically by Alex Dimitriades), the semi-closeted gay young man who lives his life through "instant gratification.” An intriguing and insightful look into his forbidden lifestyle, HEAD ON dives into the dark side of reckless sex in alleys, bathrooms and bars while being high on drugs and rock n' roll.With only his close friends in on his sexual preferences and his drug-filled world, we follow Ari through a little more than a 24-hour period leading a wild life of partying, dancing and imprudent behavior. His addictive lifestyle and his inability to conform to his parents' strict Greek ancestral beliefs make Ari an outsider in his own family as well.
First-time director Ana Kokkinos pushes HEAD ON in your face without tiptoeing through the harsh realities of life, resulting in a very real and liberating story void of any fantasy-like ending or mainstream fluffy resolutions. In fact, HEAD ON is exactly the opposite of mainstream, which is both good and bad, though mostly good.
To be true to the character, Kokkinos shows Ari’s true-to-life struggles within himself - being the nice Greek son who should have a planned future involving a job and a wife, and the rebellious and at times out-of-control son who lives from moment to moment never thinking of any consequences. At times this can be hard to watch. Ari's destructive outbursts are both sad and disturbing yet honest and revealing.An authentic piece of honest filmmaking, Kokkino's HEAD ON is an intriguing and grueling look at a man living on the edge of disaster while feeling only the repercussions of today. ---Pamela Harland - iF Magazine (http://ifmagazine.ifctv.com)