Review | Teenage Kicks is raw, uncompromising queer cinema

Teenage Kicks | M | Dir: Craig Boreham | ★ ★ ★ ½

Australian queer cinema tends to land in one of two categories. It trends towards either the high camp of the Priscilla Queen of the Desert end of the spectrum or the gritty lo-fi turf occupied by movies like 1998’s Head On.

Teenage Kicks and its tale of secrets, lies and sexual awakenings falls firmly into the latter category.

It opens with an emotional walloping when Mick (Miles Szanto) witnesses the tragic death of his older brother which sends his life into a tailspin. Faced with his survivor’s guilt and fueled by his emerging sexual desires Mick erupts into adulthood.

In a blur of pain, exploration and ultimate trancendance director Craig Boreham has crafted a bittersweet exploration of the journey from young adulthood to becoming a man and all of the complications and obligations that happen along the way.

Set in suburban Sydney Teenage Kicks is beautifully acted by its largely unknown cast and the film doesn’t pull any punches or shy away from the darker parts of Mick’s story. Family, love and lust are all intertwining themes that Mick attempts to unravel in his own unsteady way toward finding where it is that he needs to be.

Teenage Kicks is a raw uncompromising story that is well told and deserves a place in the canon of not just contemporary queer film but in the Australian film-making storybook.

Clinton Little

Teenage Kicks is available on DVD through JB HiFi.

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