Head On NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(77) IMDb 6.6/10
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Living in Australia's immigrant Greek community, Ari is a handsome young Greek who finds himself torn between his traditional upbringing and his sexual identity

Starring:
Alex Dimitriades, Julian Garner
Runtime:
1 hour, 41 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Ana Kokkinos
Starring Alex Dimitriades, Julian Garner
Supporting actors Elena Mandalis, Tony Niko, Damien Fotiou, Eugenia Fragos, Chris Kaglaros, Dora Kaskanis, María Mercedes, Alex Papps, William Zappa, Andrea Mandalis, Ourania Sideropoulos, Anthony Lyritzis, Ana Gonzalez, Maya Stange, Aimee Robertson, Nathan Farinella, Paul Capsis, Paul Farinella
Studio Strand Releasing
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

207 of 211 people found the following review helpful By Daisy Lou on October 4, 2000
Format: DVD
I saw this film in the theater last fall (1999), and the protagonist Alex's self-destructive quest into hard drugs and graphic anonymous unsafe sex still haunts me. Hitting close to home, the movie helped me realize certain things about the nature of many gay men torn between being accepted by society and being accepted by oneself. The film, more than just one down note after another, says that sometimes we cannot have both. Alex needs to express his homosexuality but has grown up in a strict orthodox Greek family in Melbourne, Austraila. The family serves as a microcosm for today's critical attitude toward homosexuality and Alex as a symbol for the gay man's (and gay woman's) struggle for acceptance. Since he can't have both, he doesn't want either. And Alex -- a beautiful, heart-breaking, masculine man -- fills his day with the most gratuitous, disturbing acts imaginable. But the film somehow breaks through the barrier of self-pity and self-loathing by portraying the most extreme nature of gay men in a way that distances itself just far enough. We the audience promise never to get as bad as Alex. We walk away shaking our heads, trembling from a life that's never too far from our reaches. Head On is a must-see for any gay man struggling with identity and how it's better to accept the hate of others than to accept it as a part of yourself.
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110 of 121 people found the following review helpful By John Cardenas on January 2, 2001
Format: DVD
It's wonderful to be able to recommend a gay-themed movie that doesn't pour on a lot of pc platitudes about the nobility and martyrdom of misunderstood gays. Or that doesn't try to envelop us in propagandistic sickly sweet sentimentality that attempts to show how the gay world is one big happy, touchy-feely family of "normal" types. Reality, as this film shows, proves the opposite to be true.
The star of this independent film, and really the only reason for seeing it, is Alex Dimitriades. He plays a darkly handsome, heavily sensual male gigolo waiting for his sugar daddy. He's so believably screwed up, however, that he never gives anyone a chance to get near him. You can see the angry edginess in his eyes--he's too smart to accept the bourgeois dream of marriage, a serious work ethic, and life in the suburbs that his traditional Greek parents wish for him--he won't even bother to get a job. He'd rather spend his days stoned and sated by the furtive, sleazy sexual encounters, usually in alleys, he indulges in. The rest of the time he rails at everyone within reach for their shoddy dreams and for selling out to conventional morality. And yet he's traditionally macho in spite of himself--when his sister's virtue is compromised by a rival Lebanese youth, he tries to beat him up--while at the same time being ashamed of his Greek background and particularly his traditional strict father, who won't even bother to speak English. And when Alex finally does get a chance to be with a guy who wants more from him than anonymous sex, he screws that up too. He turns his back on family, friends, and love. He's committed to the shadowy, superficial life of gay sex in the fast lane, even though deep down he wants something more but he can't bring himself to be open to it.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By C. James Brown on January 7, 2001
Format: DVD
"Head On" is a film which many will see purely for its graphic content - indeed much of its success is attributed to the Australian public's fascination with seeing Dimitriades naked. Behind the sex, behind the hype, lies an artful examination of the pressures of a greek homosexual existence which marks a beautiful debut for Ana Kokkinos. Ari's beat-sex and inability to commit are rendered with a respect and compassion that could so easily have been replaced with a sensationalist approach. Kokkinos prefers to treat her subject cinematically, rather than in the straight-to-video style so many other gay-themed films are produced. Ultimately the film is a visceral but uniquely touching insight into its protagonist's life which haunts for weeks after viewing. The DVD transfer is high quality. There is little in the way of extras bar trailers from the distributors other recent releases.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Vasilius Trokis on June 17, 2002
Format: DVD
"Head On" is a wonderful, but dark feature about young Greek Ari and his exploits in the gay underground in Melbourne, Australia. I first saw the film during its original theatrical release in 1999, and am still haunted by its disturbing and evocative acting, style, and forward content. Most of all, its a film young (as well as mature) audiences can relate to about a young man whose strong, conservative "old country" traditions clash with contemporary times, and his struggle to define his sexuality. Ari's traditional Greek parents are at odds in their new homeland of Australia, as they attempt at raising their children, especially elder son Ari, with their traditional belief system. But his overbearing father, inept mother, and Ari's self-destructive behavior only contributes to a plunging relationship within the family. Once more, Ari only satisfies his insatiable appetite for sex in the dark, dank back-alleys of Melbourne with some unsavory-looking men. Only once when he's almost saved from the abyssmal reality of his actions do we understand his fate.
Alexander Dimitriades is excellent as the handsome, young, but torn Ari. He delivers a tour de force performance under the brilliant direction of Ana Kokkinos. The film's frank and explicit depiction is a stunning and bold presentation showcasing contemporary Greeks' struggle from the influential ways of the past.
...Its eerie "Head On" can mirror how the "old country values" can have a profound grip on younger Greek generations, especially in these days of acceptance and open-pride in sexuality.
Nonetheless, "Head On" is an indelibly strong, dramatic feature. Great acting, a stylized soundtrack, symbolic cinematography, and an excellent direction bring together a magnificent film for the gay genre. Don't miss it!
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