Inside Out 2017: Our Review of ‘Sebastian’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Inside Out 17, Movies by - May 25, 2017
Inside Out 2017: Our Review of ‘Sebastian’

Writer & director James Fanizza expands his short film Sebastian into a feature length film. And it disappoints me at how unsuccessful and derivative it is. I say the latter because of its aesthetic. It borrows too heavily from the Harry Savides school of evoking the magical romance of urban hipsteria. It looks stylish but it doesn’t fool me. And the story. The short portrays two men spending their last ten minutes together. The full length feature, on the other hand, shows us how they meet. There’s the titular Sebastian, who falls in love with Alex (Fanizza). Alex is his cousin Nelson’s boyfriend (Guifré Bantjes-Rafols).

A lot of my reservations come with Alex, a cliché of an artist. Graphic design agencies reject his commercial work. This gives him apprehensions on even making real artistic material. He passes by an art gallery. Of course that one moment shows how he’s too afraid to submit his work there. I can understand why some audiences would be into characters like him but he’s not for me. And yes, it’s a bold decision to start a romantic relation with your cousin’s boyfriend. But plot lines like this remind me of what Lenny Bruce said about keeping your kitchen away from your bathroom.

People who know me know that I’m the least qualified applicant for the moral police. Cheating in general involves difficult logistics, and Alex makes things more difficult for himself by keeping it in house. It doesn’t matter how great Fanizza’s chemistry is with the actor his love interest. He subs out the actor playing Sebastian in the short, Andy McQueen, with Alex House. I remember House working his way up from cameos in TV shows to love interest status. I just wish this cast was in a movie with a better premise.

This post was written by

While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you’re working.