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Everlasting Love: The forest of earthly delights


- Catalan director Marçal Forés regales us with a colourful and uninhibited take on genre films, with a story of passion, flesh and bewilderment

Everlasting Love: The forest of earthly delights
Joan Bentallé in Everlasting Love

The second feature by Catalan director Marçal Forés, Everlasting Love [+see also:
film profile
, heads deep into a forest: an uninhibited, perplexing and, eventually, savage garden of earthly delights that swaps Hieronymus Bosch’s paint brush for the curious gaze of the filmmaker, who three years ago made the inspired coming-of-age tale Animals [+see also:
film review
film profile
. Something of that title lives on in his more sexual and frivolous new movie: in a story of dark carnal desires and forbidden (or at least secret) sensuality, a young boy takes an interest in an older man, thinking he has found that most adult of things: eternal love.

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The film, which won a prize at the latest edition of the Sitges Film Festival, snagging the Noves Visions: Emergents Award, and having been presented at international festivals such as the recent Crossing Europe in Linz, follows the story of Toni (Aimar Vega), a young student who runs into Carlos (Joan Bentallé), his Chinese teacher, in one of Barcelona’s cruising spots. Between their chance encounters in that landscape, teeming with shadows, hiding places and tiny paradises, the connection between them gradually gains ground: however, while Toni’s eyes start opening up to love, the cold and hostile Carlos rejects anything that isn’t sex. Everlasting Love plays with both of these variables as it sketches out an unhealthy relationship that will turn into an ill-fated one, precisely because of this quest for eternity in the most visceral way possible.

That physicality is depicted perfectly in the approach employed by Forés, a director with a huge talent for creating breathtaking visual compositions: from the beautiful and murky picture postcards of the wood, impeccably thought through right down to the minutest detail, to the scenes inside cars in the middle of the night, not to mention the stylised sequence during a concert, where the music brings Toni to ecstasy. And while we’re on the subject, music plays a crucial role in the film: the all-enveloping and unsettling pieces by Don The Tiger and the involvement of Sonny and the Sunsets manage to provide the requisite atmosphere to a movie intent on making its characters’ skins quiver to the pulse of a synthesiser. Until it draws blood.

The strong, perverse personality of Everlasting Love has made it into one of the most international efforts to have been initiated by #littlesecretfilm, a project set in motion by TV channel Calle 13 to enable young filmmakers to come up with new ways of approaching genre films. The Barcelona-based producer of music videos Canada produced the movie and is in charge of its international sales.

(Translated from Spanish)

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