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Review by Sean Bugg
Rating: (3 out of 5)
Friday, 10/14/2005, 11:00 PM
Feature presentation, $9 at Lincoln Theatre
In Spanish with English Subtitles
PABLO PEREZ IS a young poet living Buenos Aires, struggling to make ends meet as a French tutor while writing his diary/novel, Un Año Sin Amor, and living with his mentally unstable aunt. Wracked by coughing fits, a result of his HIV infection, he spends his time breathing oxygen at the hospital, crafting personals to which no one responds and having anonymous sex in a dark, dingy movie theater. He is, in a word, lonely. A Year Without Love chronicles Pablo’s search for love and belonging as he struggles to both regain his health and complete his art. It’s a bleak world he inhabits, all chipped, faded paint and desiccated interiors. Only when he enters the world of rich S&M enthusiasts do all the surfaces take on the gleaming sheen of expensive wood and black lacquer. Pablo’s time as a bottom leatherboy involves a number of scenes of whipping and such, but none of the scenes are really too far away from the wilder side of Falcon. And his infatuation with one of the dominant men is an obvious dead-end, and you find yourself actively rooting for it not to work out. Grudgingly low at times, A Year Without Love occasionally soars with its depiction of loneliness in a bustling urban world. But the moments in between, as well as the frustration inherent in watching such a passive protagonist, makes for a somewhat indifferent overall experience.