Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
Some enchanted evening… you may find romance across a crowded Paris sex dungeon. A wild night of lightning attraction and its uncertain consequences begins exactly there when Théo, an infrequent visitor to sex clubs, first spies Hugo pounding the flesh in an orgy room. Spellbound, he manoeuvres his way through the melee into Hugo’s arms, until all others fall away and the two of them are hungrily entwined. That takes them from 4.27 am until 4.47 am. For the post-coital 82 minutes of the film’s simulation of real time, the pair weave their way through deserted Paris streets for a bumpy, but exhilarating night of mutual enquiry and discovery.
Filmmakers Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau (Drôle de Félix) inflect a seductive vision of the City of Light with the wariness of two young men electrified by desire but not at all certain that belonging together is a concept that suits either of them. Proving that explicit sex on screen is no obstacle to interstellar chemistry, actors Geoffrey Couët and François Nambot bring every moment of their evolving rapport to life, with or without their clothes on.
“Everyone will talk about the 18-minute gay orgy at the start, but the real achievement lies in how Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau capture love at first sight. Some books make you like the characters so much that you close the covers and imagine a happy future life for them together. That rarely happens in the cinema anymore, but Paris 05:59 is that kind of film.” — Jay Weissberg, Variety