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Duck Season.

* Directed by Fernando Eimbcke * Starring Diego Catano * Warner Independent Pictures

Writer-director Fernando Eimbcke's strange and minimalist Mexican import Duck Season (Temporada de Patos) is also slyly and subtly queer. In a Mexico City apartment complex, 14-year-old best pals Flama (Daniel Miranda) and Moko (the very likable Diego Catano) spend a typical weekend afternoon playing Xbox games, snacking, and getting up to minor mischief. But the pair is soon joined by a couple of guests. Sixteen-year-old neighbor Rita (Danny Perea) ingratiates her way into the kitchen to bake a cake. And after the building's power goes out and the bored boys order a pizza--with no intention of paying for it--a peeved deliveryman (Enrique Arreola) arrives and refuses to leave without his money. As the clock ticks, the four find unusual connections, revealing profound secrets and surprises.

Eimbcke has crafted a dry, avant-garde black-and-white comedy for which "deadpan" is barely an adequate description. The camera is usually locked down, capturing long takes of seemingly inane events--from the boys mindlessly manipulating their Xbox controls to a dripping faucet. But this minimalism (which gives way to surrealism by the climax) is deliciously effective when it comes to revealing the sexuality of one of Duck Season's pubescent protagonists.

From the get-go, Eimbcke suggests that Moko is gay and has a crush on Flama: In their first scene together, Flama changes his clothes while Moko quietly yet quite curiously watches, Later, Rita asks the reluctant Moko to make out with her in the kitchen. He finally puckers up and starts smooching, only for Rita to stop the action and ask him who he's really thinking about. And later still, Moko musters up the gumption to show Flama a make-out technique he just learned.

There's a winning truth to this portrayal of emerging adolescent queerness--as a confusing, awkward, yet compelling urge that's nonetheless easily set aside when a cool video game or fresh pizza is around--and for that, Duck Season shouldn't fly under the radar.
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Article Details
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Author:Ferber, Lawrence
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Movie review
Date:Mar 14, 2006
Previous Article:Living in the "Outzone".
Next Article:Young docs in love.

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