Army of losers
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