Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo
10 Highlights From Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Bennett Miller's 'Foxcatcher' Toronto Press Conference 10 Highlights From Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Bennett Miller's 'Foxcatcher' Toronto Press Conference Will Julianne Moore's Long Standing Relationship With Queer Filmmakers Finally Get Her That Oscar? Will Julianne Moore's Long Standing Relationship With Queer Filmmakers Finally Get Her That Oscar? Willem Dafoe and Abel Ferrara On 'Pasolini' and 'Not Giving a F**k About Straight People' Willem Dafoe and Abel Ferrara On 'Pasolini' and 'Not Giving a F**k About Straight People' 9 Awesome Things Dan Savage Said at the Toronto Premiere of Fantastic New Doc 'Do I Sound Gay?' 9 Awesome Things Dan Savage Said at the Toronto Premiere of Fantastic New Doc 'Do I Sound Gay?' EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Chastain Joins Xavier Dolan's English Language Debut 'John F. Donovan' EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Chastain Joins Xavier Dolan's English Language Debut 'John F. Donovan' Recap: 'Please Like Me' Season 2, Episode 5: 'Sausage Sizzle' Recap: 'Please Like Me' Season 2, Episode 5: 'Sausage Sizzle' 10 LGBT Films We're Excited To See at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival 10 LGBT Films We're Excited To See at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival Let These Wise Words Meryl Streep Lives By Usher You Into September Let These Wise Words Meryl Streep Lives By Usher You Into September The 5 Best Gay and Lesbian Romantic Comedies On Netflix The 5 Best Gay and Lesbian Romantic Comedies On Netflix Steve Carell Joins Julianne Moore and Ellen Page In Gay Rights Film 'Freeheld' Steve Carell Joins Julianne Moore and Ellen Page In Gay Rights Film 'Freeheld' Watch: Gay Porn Star Diego Sans Releases NSFW Video For Beyonce's 'Pretty Hurts' Watch: Gay Porn Star Diego Sans Releases NSFW Video For Beyonce's 'Pretty Hurts' 14 Films On Netflix To Watch At Your 2014 Pride Party 14 Films On Netflix To Watch At Your 2014 Pride Party Reader's Poll: The 25 Most Important LGBT Television Series Reader's Poll: The 25 Most Important LGBT Television Series 'Game of Thrones,' Sex and HBO: Where Did It Go Wrong For TV's Sexual Pioneers? 'Game of Thrones,' Sex and HBO: Where Did It Go Wrong For TV's Sexual Pioneers? On Zac Efron, Homoeroticism and Gay Pandering: How 'Neighbors' Is The Gayest Studio Movie of the Summer On Zac Efron, Homoeroticism and Gay Pandering: How 'Neighbors' Is The Gayest Studio Movie of the Summer Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Are Officially Engaged But We Need To Talk About Bisexuality Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Are Officially Engaged But We Need To Talk About Bisexuality Read Sally Field's Impassioned Open Letter About Her Gay Son Read Sally Field's Impassioned Open Letter About Her Gay Son Why Sexy Gay Love Story 'Free Fall' Is Not Just a German 'Brokeback Mountain' Why Sexy Gay Love Story 'Free Fall' Is Not Just a German 'Brokeback Mountain' Watch a Teenage Boy Find a Stack of Gay Porn In Adam Baran's Adorable Short Film 'Jackpot' Watch a Teenage Boy Find a Stack of Gay Porn In Adam Baran's Adorable Short Film 'Jackpot' 10 Trans Actors Who Could Have Played Jared Leto's Role in 'Dallas Buyers Club' 10 Trans Actors Who Could Have Played Jared Leto's Role in 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Frameline Review: Julián Hernández's Sexy 'I Am Happiness on Earth' Will Get Under Your Skin

By Gary M. Kramer | /Bent June 20, 2014 at 10:59AM

Julián Hernández eroticizes nude men like no other filmmaker. His camera practically caresses the actors’ bodies, and viewers who appreciate his distinctive style of cinema often share the palpable desire his characters feel. His latest film, I am Happiness on Earth is not unlike his earlier film, Broken Sky, in that it tells of a love triangle where much of the communication is done without dialogue.
0
I Am Happiness on Earth

Julián Hernández eroticizes nude men like no other filmmaker. His camera practically caresses the actors'  bodies, and viewers who appreciate his distinctive style of cinema often share the palpable desire his characters feel. His latest film, "I am Happiness on Earth" is not unlike his earlier film, "Broken Sky," in that it tells of a love triangle where much of the communication is done without dialogue. 

When Emiliano (Hugo Catalán), a filmmaker, is attracted to a dancer, they do a “dance” in which smoldering glances and a game of hide and seek lead to a seduction. But their relationship is teasingly presented by Hernández, who seems more interested in the impact it has on the dancer and on Emiliano’s work. The filmmaker never calls the dancer, who succumbs to having a threesome with two women. Meanwhile, Emiliano’s latest film, which interrupts the narrative at the film’s midpoint, features an explicit threesome involving two men and one woman. 

"I am Happiness on Earth" boasts magnificent cinematography and highly sensual scenes as these two hypnotic storylines play out. If Hernández teases out a meaning in these two parallel stories, thing get further complicated when Emiliano hires a male prostitute, Jazen, and their one-night stand becomes something a bit more. Things come to a head when Emiliano faces a confrontation of sorts with his lovers. If some viewers will find the slow burning "I am Happiness" on Earth tedious and/or inscrutable, the film’s beautiful guys may offer some compensation. 

The film within a film storyline may be the weakest element in this film, but it is hard not to feel the emotional power of the various characters expressing and experiencing longing, betrayal, and heartbreak. Hernández may have a jaundiced attitude towards love, and an uninhibited view of sex, but his films get under the viewer’s skin.

"I Am Happiness on Earth" screens tomorrow night, June 21st, at the Castro.