When the object of Quebecois Mathieu’s desire proudly sports a Gomorrah tattoo, things might not develop as he expects. Matthias, a smoldering young German appears mostly like a mythic creature. At least in the eyes of Mathieu. The latter’s interest is a little on the creepy side. Set to electronic music, Torontonian director Drew Lint’s M/M takes the viewer through the streets of Berlin, into strobe lights and wanton kisses. Matthias is both the unattainable, fiery figure, and the seemingly perfect boyfriend. Mathieu suffers from strange dreams and doesn’t seem to know day from night unless his mom phones from Quebec.
M/M is a journey into desire, the self and the Millennial existence. A Grindr/Tinder-like phone app, public bathroom hookups, the art scene, and the struggle to simply exist all play a part. Mathieu spends so much energy stalking Matthias, he may have slipped into a dreamlike state where nothing except his bed seems concrete. But what does he desire? Who is he, really? A low-key existential crisis collides with the concept of The Double. Mathieu starts to resemble Matthias, but how much of what we see on screen is real? Things veer in the direction of quasi-experimental film. Dreamy. Detached. Almost like contemporary dance.
With minimal dialogue, Lint instead gives the spotlight to Berlin itself. The sounds of the U-bahn, the techno music, the scenes in underpasses and abandoned places breathe life into the city as if it were its own character. Combined with Director of Photography Ann Tipper’s often monochromatic ‘bright neutrals’ with hints of beige (and blond), there is a striking aesthetic to M/M. Unexpected accents of red give way to a surprising finale, where no true ending exits. The viewer is left to interpret. A refreshing take on the Doppelganger thematic.
Friday October 12, 9:15PM, Cinema du Parc
Sunday October 14, 7PM, Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin