‘Sequin in a Blue Room’ is the story of a young teenager, appropriately named Sequin (Conor Leach), who is exploring his sexuality (like most 16-year olds) but winds up addicted to the life of casual hook ups, anonymous trysts, and risky behaviour that puts him in danger.
Sequin lives with his father (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) who is very accepting of Sequin’s lifestyle, yet Sequin remains very uncommunicative with him. And like all teenagers, Sequin looks at his phone constantly, which includes being addicted to a gay app called Frnd. Sequin finds himself at a party called the Blue Room – it’s a club where anonymous encounters take place, a place bathed in blue light that makes everyone look good. Sequin also hooks up with other men from the app, including a man who is the age of Sequins’ fathers (Ed Wightman). They see each other more than once, but after one encounter Sequin, for whatever reason, takes his mobile phone, which leads the older man to track Sequin down. He even shows up at his school, and home, much to the anger of his father. So Sequin has nowhere to go, so he winds up at the home of a professional drag queen (Anthony Brandon Wong) to escape his father, and his stalker. But all along love is staring him in the face in the form of high school mate Tommy (Simon Crocker).
‘Sequin in a Blue Room,’ which is Samuel Van Grinsven’s first feature (and was his graduate project at film school), won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Sydney Film Festival and has played to wide acclaim around the world, including Outfest and Toronto International Film Festival. ‘Sequence in a Blue Room’ is beautifully filmed and acted, very stylish, and Leach is a real find. Van Grinsven is great at telling the how young gay men are living life not just through their phone but also through apps – not an ideal and safe way to find love which seems to be the message of this film.
On DVD, Blu-ray & On-Demand 17th May 2021
Review by Tim Baros