You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


Far more convinced of its own psychological intrigue than audiences will be.

With: Carlos Echevarria, Javier De Pietro, Alejandro Barbero, Antonella Costa, Rocio Pavon.

Announcing its suspense-ratcheting intentions with a score that makes Bernard Herrmann sound downright dainty by comparison, Argentine thriller “Absent” is far more convinced of its own psychological intrigue than audiences will be. Writer-director Marco Berger has almost nowhere to go with the story of a homoerotically inclined teenager who tries to ensnare his presumably straight swimming coach into an illicit liaison. Though gay auds eager for some underage Latin action should fill seats at queer fest engagements, nothing much happens to justify their interest.

Absent” plays on a familiar male fantasy: What if the off-limits object of desire were the one to initiate? The film opens with a rather indecent dissection of 16-year-old Martin (Javier De Pietro), a bullish lad with big cow eyes and a vaguely mischievous look about him. Sensing weakness in his coach (Carlos Echevarria), Martin makes up an elaborate story that leads to a sleepover at the older man’s condo. The tension that ensues has less to do with pent-up sexual energy than the wait for something to happen, as the hormonally charged first half-hour devolves into guessing games about what’s going through inexpressive Echevarria’s head.



Production: A Rendez-vous Pictures presentation of an Oh My Gomez! Films production with the support of Universidad del Cine. (International sales: Rendez-vous Pictures, Paris.) Executive producer, Mariana Contreras. Directed, written, edited by Marco Berger.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Tomas Perez Silva; music, Pedro Irusta; production designer, Silva; art director, Paula Lombardi. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 11, 2011. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Carlos Echevarria, Javier De Pietro, Alejandro Barbero, Antonella Costa, Rocio Pavon.

More Film

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.” BOX OFFICE Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, with $135 million of that from China, where it opened on [...]

  • 'Winter's Night' Review: Enigmatic, Offbeat Korean

    Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night'

    There are thousands of films about love’s beginning, and a great many about love’s end. But far fewer deal with a relationship’s late-middle: the spreading, sluggish delta of coupledom when decades of familiarity, if they have not bred contempt, at least threaten irritation. “Winter’s Night,” Jang Woo-jin’s playfully melancholic third feature, after the acclaimed “A [...]

  • Tomasz Kot UTA

    UTA Signs ‘Cold War’ Star Tomasz Kot (EXCLUSIVE)

    UTA has signed “Cold War” star Tomasz Kot. He has appeared in more than 30 films and 26 plays as well as dozens of television series. Most recently, Kot has received award-season buzz for his starring role as Wiktor in Pawel Pawlikowski’s feature “Cold War” for Amazon. The project has earned him a nomination for [...]

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content