Run time: 93 mins
At the height of his fame, Björn Andresen was beset by a particular fear: that fans who sought him out were wielding scissors, to snip one of his golden locks. So overwhelming was the young Swede’s fame that the idea wasn’t just possible, it was probable.
In the winter of 1970, Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti traveled to Sweden in search of a “pure beauty” to anchor his film, Death in Venice (also showing this month). Visconti cut an imposing figure: rich, famous, openly gay, and a visionary who wanted nothing less than a star whom he would later term “the most beautiful boy in the world.” Andresen was that boy, who soon rocketed into public consciousness at only fifteen, a consuming rollercoaster ride that has never quite abated.
The film shows an absence of responsible adults in the life of a boy who’s sad past started long before Visconit. It is a sensitive rendition of Andresen’s story; even kind to the man, or at least unlikely to cause him any more pain than he currently bears. Today Andresen is a forlorn presence in his own life, and, it seems, he always was. (Jack Whiting)