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‘End of the Century’ Film Review: Lush Gay Romance Explores Paths Not Taken

‘End of the Century’ Film Review: Lush Gay Romance Explores Paths Not Taken

Evocative purple skies bear witness to a tantalizing and determining fling in Lucio Castro’s structurally audacious debut “End of the Century,” the gay equivalent of Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy, distilled into a single film that’s constructed of buoyant encounters separated by two decades, conversational walks through a European city, and the illusion of a married-with-children future.

“Kiss!” yells Ocho (Juan Barberini), an Argentine poet visiting Barcelona in 2019, from a balcony in reference to a T-shirt that Javi (Ramón Pujol), an ex-local now residing in Berlin who is in town to see family, wears as he walks by Ocho’s Airbnb-rented apartment. It’s the first word of dialogue spoken following a day of mute courting that culminates in intense intercourse. The garment itself is later unmasked as a keepsake charged with relevance beyond being trite rock-group merchandise.

Instinctually animalistic, the impromptu sexual rendezvous acts as Castro

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