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Directors ofFor Sama

Lulu Wang(The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra(Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes(Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu(Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke(Ash is Purest White)

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Sep 08 2018

Queer TIFF: "Diamantino"

byChris Feil

Plenty of the quasi mainstream queer movies are quickly labeled as not queer enough,the queer intelligencia (however rightfully) upset if gay life is reduced for the straight masses.Yeah,Diamantinohas never heard of any of them,nor is it all that interested in your intellectual approval either.

And still it delivers something batty enough (and honestly flat out sweet enough) to knock potential naysayers off of their pretentious perch while delivering something foaming with queerness to fill all of its corners.Get ready for a fantasia of giddy gender confusion to glitterbomb the square conformity delusion,all set to Donna Lewis' "I Love You Always Forever".Diamantinois an absolute gas.

Our titular hero is quite the lovable dope,a Portugese futbol star whose grand failure at the World Cup sets into motion a series of increasingly delirious events.First there's Diamantino's existential crisis at the death of his father,resulting in his newfound desire to become an adoptive parent himself.Next are the lesbian spies,one dressed as a nun and the other as Diamantino's new would-be son.Third and most dastardly fabulous is Diamantino's watchful evil sisters (twins!) exploiting him by cloning him off for global conservative supremacy and berating him endlessly to keep him in his frozen manchild state.Oh and not to mention the clownfish DNA that has Diamantino sprouting breasts.

From its opening shots of a neon-clad stadium the camera approaches like a gay alien orb (or orifice),Diamantinomarks a visual and narrative identity that borrows from a slew of genre influences.Directors Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt fill the film with a litany of subverted genre elements from science fiction and sports drama to fairy tale and screwball comedy.Part of TIFF's Midnight Madness section,it satisfies many oddball tastes while also feeling very much like its own thing.A beautiful,odd,perfectly goofy thing.

The film's silly side doesn't diminish any of its casual smarts or the frank offhandedness with which it approaches its queerness.Despite the way his body his exploited by the archly evil forces around him,Diamantino meets the development of his sexual identity and physical body with an acceptance and curiosity.Played by Carloto Cotta,Diamantino is expected to be the thirst trapping dolt,but his simpleton outlook is precisely what saves him from the cruel world that thinks him simply stupid and for pigeonholing.Aisha,the would-be "son"played by Cleo Tavares,is torn between a rigid lover and her mounting feelings for Diamantino,showing queer strictures sometimes also come from within.

But then there's plenty of easy treasures of its genre: the evil Miranda Priestly fembot sisters,theDanger Diabolik-esque tech,and most importantly,giant fluffy imaginary puppies.

Think of it like John Waters'Austin Powerswith kitsch replaced by mild psychedelia and a smart vantage on contemporary sexual persona and global evils.All while undercutting it with the charmingly juvenile (in the best sense) perspective of how Diamantino sees a dangerous world.Though it may sound like a stylistic high wire act of insanity,Diamantinoplays it smart by actually somehow keeping it simple,tongue forever in cheek while it relies on standard archetypes.In the end,it's just the story of a possibly bisexual virgin manboy and his cat.


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Reader Comments (3)

This review put this film on my radar.I want to watch it so bad now.

September 8,2018 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

Diamantino blatantly makes fun of Cristiano Ronaldo,the portuguese athlete superhero of the country.Sport is not my thing,but the movie seems to be more about the character and not his profession.Happy is the country that laughs at its heroes.

September 8,2018 | Unregistered CommenterFeline Justice

Hope Portugal submits "Diamantino"for Best Foreign Picture...Might not be AMPAS cup of tea,but sometimes (good) weird things happen at the Oscars.亚博主页
Just because Portugal has submitted 34 times - SCORE: 0 nominations

September 8,2018 | Unregistered CommenterEd

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