Gregg Araki is one of the most important figures of the New Queer Cinema movement and a flat out gifted filmmaker. He has never shied away from showing exactly what he wants on the screen, always providing a wild soundtrack to pair with the visions in his mind. I just started checking his stuff out recently and I’m totally upset that I’m late to the party. Araki is a pretty good writer but a one of a kind director that has me interested in checking out his filmography.
The Living End introduces us to a gay drifter named Luke with so much style and wonder about what exactly he is up to. Luke runs into another gay man named Jon who is a timid film critic. They are both HIV positive and see the world with cynical perspectives because society continually rejects them. After an incident with a homophobic cop, the two men go on the run with nowhere to really land.
I am really into Araki’s style as a filmmaker but it’s going to take more for me to be totally sold on his ability to construct an entire film because at times it feels like The Living End could be better as a short. Araki also serves as the cinematographer and editor for most of his films and that’s really cool because you are really inside his head at all times. Mike Dyrti gives a really mesmerizing performance as Luke but I find Craig Gilmore to be sort of lazy at times as Jon. The music is like the heartbeat of this film and I really appreciate the ambitious style of each scene even though they don’t all hit.