Homme au bain [Men at Bath] (2010)

Homme au bain
Director: Christophe Honoré
Writer: Christophe Honoré
Cast: François Sagat, Omar Ben Sellem, Chiara MastroianniDustin Segura-Suarez, Dennis Cooper
Part of: identities Festival

[Trigger Warning]

Omar (Omar Ben Sellem) is leaving for New York to present a film there together with his friend Chiara (Chiara Mastroianni). Before he leaves, though, his boyfriend Emmanuel (François Sagat) turns their good-bye into a rape. So Omar tells him to be gone before he returns after a week. While Omar meets Dustin (Dustin Segura-Suarez) in New York, Emmanuel moves from money-making attempts to random sex, not knowing what to do with himself.

I did not like this film. It had me cringing a couple of times and when it didn’t make me uncomfortable, it mostly bored me. There were some redeeming moments, but it really wasn’t enough to make the film worth it.


Me and the film, we got off to a wrong start. I don’t know if it wasn’t in the program or if I didn’t read it closely enough, but the rape took me by surprise. I can stomach a lot and I’m not really trigger sensitive but I do like to know what’s coming. I didn’t in this case and it was the first moment that made me cringe a lot. But okay, I probably could have gotten over that.

But then the movie mostly focuses on Emmanuel and I got the distinct feeling that we’re supposed to, you know, pity him for being a lost soul or something and no. If you want me to pity a character, don’t introduce him by showing how he rapes his boyfriend. [SPOILERS] I also got the feeling that it was supposed to be sad when Omar got home and Emmanuel is actually gone, but all I could think was good riddance. Break-ups suck, but it was certainly the right decision. [/SPOILER]


When I wasn’t uncomfortable from Emmanuel’s aggression or the neighbor/artist/sometimes john Robin’s (Dennis Cooper) casual suggestion that Emmanuel could rape/beat a young guy, because maybe that would make him more attractive, I was mostly bored, though. I mean, the movie does have its moments – for example, when Emmanuel compares butts with his best friend – and it is rather explicit, so you at least get a bit of porn to keep you going, but that just isn’t enough to make it very interesting.

Maybe you have to be a (gay) dude to appreciate this film, but somehow I doubt it. It’s just pretentious artsy-fartsy unlikeableness.


Summarising: No. Nuh-uh.
(Really not the way I should have ended the identities Festival this year. But since it was the only bad film I saw, it’s a pretty good overall thing.)

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