MOVIE #1,226 • 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿 • 11.07.23 The November gimmick for my TWO FOR TUESDAY series is that every film (released in the last 3-4 ye...

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The Most Beautiful Boy in the World

MOVIE #1,226 • 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿 • 11.07.23
The November gimmick for my TWO FOR TUESDAY series is that every film (released in the last 3-4 years) has the word “WORLD” in the title. And this is fitting because I am a very WORLDLY man (both movies today are Scandinavian productions). This is a very stylish doc about the actor and musician Björn Andrésen, who I was completely unaware of before this, although I did recognize his face from his small part in Ari Aster’s Midsommar (he’s one of the old people who jumps off the cliff). There’s actually some behind-the-scenes stuff from that, but it’s far too brief and presented without much context. Although that’s understandable as the focus of this is on Andrésen’s role in Luchino Visconti's 1971 feature Death in Venice, which he shot when he was just 16.
This is a very sad film as we see how being thrust into fame at such a young age basically ruined his life. If there’s any subtext to sexualizing a teen in Visconti’s movie (I haven’t seen it), well, it’s all text here: the heterosexual Andrésen was deeply affected by his becoming an underage gay lightning rod against his will. The film doesn’t quite go over the line in levying accusations against the famous homosexual director (who dubbed Andrésen “the most beautiful boy in the world”) but, suffice to say, that shit wouldn’t fly nowadays.

They also get into Andrésen’s equally bleak familial past (we seem him tearfully read the police report from his mother’s suicide when he was just 10) that has affected his dire present (he’s living in filth and facing eviction when the movie begins). When you see him in the present, with his long hair and beard and weathered face, the title has even more resonance. Co-directors Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri do a great job in capturing this stark reality as well as carving out the past with archival footage and audio that works much better than your typical parade of talking heads.

⫷ MOVIE #1,225 - (YOU ARE HERE) - MOVIE #1,227 ⫸

The Most Beautiful Boy in the World (Swedish: Världens vackraste pojke) is a 2021 Swedish documentary film about Björn Andrésen and the effects of fame thrust upon him when he appeared in Luchino Visconti's 1971 film Death in Venice. Andrésen was just 16 when the film came out, and was unprepared for instantly becoming an international celebrity. It was released on January 29, 2021.


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