Written and directed by the up-and-coming Brazilian duo of Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon, Hard Paint immerses the viewer in the turbulent double life of Pedro, a disconcerting young gay man by day and a sexually provocative webcam actor at night. Only in the darkness of his room, covered in fluorescent paint and dancing as thousands of strangers watch him over the webcam, does Neonboy feel safe.
Matzembacher and Reolon firmly distance themselves from the grim fatalism that characterises so many coming-of-age stories. Rather, they portray Peter’s adopted lifestyle as a good way of accepting his sexuality in the apparent absence of a queer community to support him, a choice that enables him to relate to others at least through art. An atmospheric movie, a gripping depiction of disaffection and loneliness, Hard Paint uses eroticism to lay bare the very essence of its characters through explicit and convincingly hypnotic images. This superb film received a string of awards on the international circuit in 2018.