A gay teenager’s hookup obsession sends him on a dangerous path in the Australian queer film Sequin in a Blue Room, coming to streaming this week.
The film follows a 16-year-old student (played by newcomer Conor Leach) who pursues no-strings-attached sex on fictional hookup app Anon. The teenager communicates under his alias Sequin, from the sequined crop top he wears during each encounter.
Sequin gets an invite to the alluring maze-like Blue Room, an anonymous sex party. There, he connects with a stranger but the pair separate suddenly.
Fixated on the mystery man, Sequin sets off on an exciting but dangerous mission to track him down.
Sequin in a Blue Room is the directorial debut of filmmaker Samuel Van Grinsven.
He said a mental image he had of the film’s glowing Blue Room was the genesis of his “coming of age thriller”.
“It was just a picture that I have no idea how it ended up in my head, still to this day,” he said at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
“At the time I was doing my masters focusing on New Queer Cinema. But I was also studying a lot of queer theory and a lot of queer history.
“Eventually the blue room turned into something between a private sex party which you would see in the drug scene of London, mixed with something that is very much a part of our history, like gay saunas.”
‘Sequin in a Blue Room’ explores dark side of hookup culture
Samuel Van Grinsven said hookup apps like Grindr were a “really crucial” part of his own coming of age.
“I wouldn’t have known that these feelings I was feeling were normal, if it weren’t for apps and social media,” he said.
“And yes, there’s the dark side that comes with that, which we see in Sequin.”
The film won an Audience Award at this year’s Sydney Film Festival. It was also nominated for an AACTA award last December.
Sequin in a Blue Room is streaming on Amazon Prime Video from Friday (November 27).
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