Samuel van Grinsven’s impressive graduation project is a gay coming-of-age tale that ripples with sexual energy
Boldly declaring itself a “homosexual film”, Sequin in a Blue Room is neither coy nor moralistic about online gay hookup culture. The apps have a toxic side, yes, but the film also acutely understands the heady, tactile pleasure of casual sex. Despite the thriller aesthetics, Sequin in a Blue Room is at its heart a coming-of-age tale in a digital world filled with instant sexual gratifications and perilous risks.
The film is, in one word, hot; rippling with an electrifying sexual energy. The anonymity is key. Even the 16-year-old protagonist, played by Conor Leach, has no name. He is known only as Sequin, a display name on a hookup app where he procures no-strings sex from much older men. With cut-glass cheekbones, Sequin is striking and arrogantly cocksure of the power attached to such assets. The silvery, sequin-encrusted crop-top reserved for his trysts only enhances the detached precocity.