Head On

  • Film
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The background is set up in the credit sequence: a montage of docking post-war immigrants to Australia, among whom are the family of Ari (Dimitriades), a second generation Greek rebel. This first feature, a big hit in Oz, follows 24 hours of Ari's life in Melbourne's underbelly: techno blasting in his ears, cocaine up his nose, risky fast sex, fights with his father. This is one confused gay man, who covers his feelings of insecurity and isolation with a bullish assertiveness that comes dangerously close to a desire for self-destruction. Director Kokkinos provides no easy solutions, preferring to keep more or less consistently to Ari's rollercoaster point of view, but the resulting aimlessness drifts towards punk-aesthetic nihilism. Things aren't helped by Dimitriades' sullen performance. Kokkinos sets up a few potentially progressive scenes, morally speaking, where Ari might acknowledge the difficulties faced by his sister or the courage of his trans-sexual friend Johnny (Capsis), but even here he registers no more emotion than any dumb bystander.

Release details

Duration: 104 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ana Kokkinos
Screenwriter: Andrew Bovell, Ana Kokkinos, Mira Robertson
Cast: Alex Dimitriades
Paul Capsis
Julian Garner
Elena Mandalis
Tony Nikolakopoulos
Damien Fotiou
Eugenia Fragos
Andrea Mandalis
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