Sequin in a Blue Room is the feature directorial debut of young Sydney based filmmaker Samuel Van Grinsven and stars an equally fresh actor in the main role, Conor Leach. The film is a remarkable accomplishment for both in what feels like the beginning of a big future on and off screen.
Conor’s character, known only as Sequin, explores the boundaries and consequences of being a sexually liberated and adventurous teenager interacting with older men, making questionable decisions without thought and showing little inhibition in his exploits.
As a self proclaimed ‘homosexual film’, Sequin in a Blue Room is delivered with a degree of sophistication and confidence that make it very easy to watch, whilst dealing with some fairly hard hitting moments within the relationships it depicts. Sequin navigates his friends, his sexual partners, and relationship with his father with the same self-absorbed mentality, giving little contemplation to how the effects of his actions will influence others.
The story is intimate in the nature of its content as well as the style in which it is delivered, whilst at times becoming cinematic and grand. The cinematography is highly stylised and sensual without being overtly/graphically sexual. For a film that deals with anonymity in a culture of random sexual encounters, it manages to give depth and elicit empathy from the random characters we meet, at the same time as they meet each other.
It is not surprising that Sequin in a Blue Room has debuted to much adoration at mainstream film festivals. It should be seen by anyone wanting to witness a fresh and mature take on the classic coming of age story.