Everlasting Love (Amor eterno). Marçal Forés. Spain.
Comparing Marçal Forés’ Everlasting Love to Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake (L’inconnu du lac) is almost unavoidable. Both films explore the darker aspects of human desire. And both center around seedy public cruising areas where a lusty, fatalistic affair ignites before traveling down a sinister path of no return. Everlasting Love takes a more infernal path than Stranger by the Lake, blending horror elements with a touch of surrealism as a chance run-in between Carlos (Joan Bentallé), a Japanese language professor, and Toni, (Aimar Vega), a quiet, withdrawn student of his, in the gay cruising woods leads to an afterschool sexual encounter, initiating a dangerous obsession.
Following his debut feature Animals, a wonderfully offbeat coming-of-age film about a teenage boy and his teddy bear who’s come to life, Forés crafts another unsettling, polarizing tale that blends genres together to assemble its own strange and unusual world. Framing the film around Carlos, a handsome daddy with a taste for no-strings-attached encounters and a pattern of crossing ethical and moral boundaries, Everlasting Love highlights the fears of a specific type of gay man—single, professional, middle-aged man with the libido of a teenager and an aversion to commitment—and then perpetuates them by proving that playing with fire will lead to its proverbial conclusion and reiterating a dread-including concern many of us have speculated at some point in our lives: the kids are definitely not all right.
Everlasting Love was released by TLA Releasing in the U.S. and the U.K. and, under its original title Amor eterno, by Optimale in France a few months back. In the U.S., it’s available for streaming on the new gay platform Dekkoo.
With: Joan Bentallé, Aimar Vega, Sonny Smith, Joana Mallol, Miguel Rojas, Adrián de Alfonso, Oriol Vilalta