Army of losers

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Filmreviews -

UN­MADE BEDS Di­rected by Alexis dos San­tos. Star­ring Fer­nando Tielve, Déb­o­rah Fran­cisIddo Gold­beg Club, IFI/ Screen, Dublin, 92 min

THE PRES­ENCE of jolly Span­ish stu­dents in our streets is greatly to be wel­comed, but they do have a habit of mass­ing across the pave­ment to form in­fu­ri­at­ing, back­packed, white-head­phoned hu­man bar­ri­cades.

Sit­ting though Alexis Dos San­tos’s smug youth drama is a lit­tle like be­ing trapped be­hind such a mob for 90 min­utes. You keep telling your­self they’re just typ­i­cal slope-shoul­dered un­der­grad­u­ates – like, per­haps, you once were – but your brain still fizzes with a hith­erto un­sus­pected yearn­ing for the re­turn of na­tional ser­vice. Get out of my way. The chief an­noy­ance in Un­made

Beds is a sen­si­tive young Spa­niard named Axl (Fer­nando Tielve from

The Devil’s Back­bone). Liv­ing in a Lon­don squat, which, with end­less pa­rades of beau­ti­ful met­ro­sex­u­als re­clin­ing in el­e­gantly de­cayed cav­i­ties, re­sem­bles some­thing from a fan­tasy se­quence in 8½, our hero be­comes in­creas­ingly trou­bled about the un­cer­tainty of his parent­age.

It seems Axl’s English dad, whom he has never met, is out there some­where in the team­ing streets. Should he track him down? Should he leave the fel­low be? Should he nod his head to a tune called (no joke) Hot Mon­key and hang out in a bar full of sim­i­larly use­less poseurs?

Well, Axl does more of the lat­ter than any­thing else and the end­less preen­ing and ado­les­cent, recre­ational non-con­form­ity – watch as I an­ar­chi­cally de-al­pha­be­tise my book­shelf – fast be­comes tire­some. Th­ese look like the sort of kids who will be work­ing as mort­gage ad­vis­ers be­fore they hit 30.

Un­made Beds seems to have its ori­gins in Jean Luc-Go­dard’s

Bande à Part, but, in the near-half cen­tury since that film was made, this school of ca­sual bo­hemi­an­ism has be­come as con­ven­tional as life at the lo­cal golf club.

Grow up, the lot of you. Maybe a spell in the army would do you some good. DON­ALD CLARKE

12-year-old Alan Davies looka­like

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