Lost in pe­riod haze

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS -


Three Stars Di­rected by John Ri­d­ley. Star­ring An­dré Ben­jamin, Hay­ley Atwell, Burn Gor­man, Imo­gen Poots, An­drew Buckley, Ruth Negge. Club, IFI, Dublin, Light House Cin­ema, Dublin, 118 min. Also avail­able on volta.ie Jimi Hen­drix’s ex-girl­friend Kathy Etch­ing­ham claims that scenes of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in All Is By My Side are en­tirely in­vented. We hardly needed telling. When said in­ci­dents oc­cur in this strangely muted biopic, they don’t feel re­al­is­tic Ro­mano, Eu­cir de Souza, Selma Egrei. Club, IFI Dublin, 95 min When we first en­counter Leonardo (Lobo) and his BF Gio­vana (Amorim), they’re ly­ing by a swimming pool com­par­ing notes on lazi­ness. We don’t im­me­di­ately re­alise that Leonardo, the young hero of this award-win­ning drama, is blind, a con­di­tion that at­tracts ca­sual, in­tol­er­ant jibes from school­yard bul­lies.

En­ter new class­mate Gabriel or even or­ganic to this al­readly curve­ball project.

A riff on Jimi’s early London years writ­ten and di­rected by 12 Years a Slave’s Os­car win­ner John Ri­d­ley, All is By My Side is no­table for its lack of Hen­drix tunes, as Ri­d­ley was un­able to se­cure the rights. It falls to cin­e­matog­ra­pher Tim Flem­ing and ed­i­tors Hank Cor­win and Chris Gill to in­ven­tively pa­per over a mostly Ir­ish shoot with nou­velle-vague–alike jump shots, over­lap­ping di­a­logue and mon­tages.

The re­sults feel like an im­pres­sive, if aca­demic, (Audi), who quickly bonds with Gio­vana and with Leonardo, in par­tic­u­lar. Slowly, the dy­namic be­tween the three shifts and ad­justs. As we watch Leonardo teach Gabriel how to use Braille and Gabriel teach Leonardo how to dance, it be­comes ap­par­ent that Leonardo is gay. As that re­la­tion­ship heats up, Leonardo and Gio­vana’s friend­ship cools.

Far more swiftly, we re­alise that Leonardo is des­per­ate for a de­gree of in­de­pen­dence away

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