(director/writer: Sebastian Silva; screenwriter: Pedro Peirano; cinematographer: Gabriel Díaz Alliende; editors: Santiago Cendejas, Gabriel Díaz Alliende, Sofia Subercaseaux; music: Nascuy Linares; cast: Jordan Firstman (Himself), Vitter Leija (Victor), Rob Keller (Sasha), Geraldo Sierra (Gustavo), Sebastian Silva (Himself), Mateo Riestra (Mateo, landlord), Juan Andres Silva (Juan), Catalina Saavedra (Vero, Maid); Runtime: 109; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jacob Wasserman; Mubi; 2023-USA/Mexico, in English & Spanish with English subtitles)

“Oddly funny, but not for all tastes.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The Chilean born gay filmmaker now living in Mexico City,
Sebastian Silva (“Paul Wears Dresses”/”Tyrel”), directs and co-writes with Pedro Peirano this provocative, creepy, dark comical satire, on one of the main characters vanishing.

Mexican filmmaker
Sebastian Silva (plays a version of himself) is in a creative funk as he snorts ketamine in his Mexico City apartment, reads E.M. Cioran’s “The Trouble With Being Born” and searches the internet for articles on “suicide by Pentobarbital.” Bored silly and restless, he travels to Zicateca, a gay nudist beach. There he meets the gay, narcissistic writer and popular Instagram influencer Jordan Firstman (plays a version of himself). When Jordan pitches an HBO TV show, a queer version of a Larry David Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, Sebastián invites him to his city apartment to work on the script after HBO approves the project, but when Jordan arrives there he finds Sebastián missing.

Jordan suspects that the maid, Vero (Catalina Saavedra), might have something to do with his disappearance. But the audience already saw what happened, as things get played out as an offbeat mystery comedy over what happened to the suicidal director suffering a nervous breakdown.

The nuanced performance by
Catalina Saavedra gives the lightweight film some heft.

It has lots of penis shots and is oddly funny, but not for all tastes.

It played at the Sundance Film Festival.

REVIEWED ON 9/14/2023  GRADE: B-