The second feature from writer-director Eliza Hittman, Beach Rats concerns Brooklyn teenager Frankie, who, unbeknown to his family, his macho boardwalk-dwelling friends and a potential new girlfriend, is navigating an interest in cruising with older gay men he meets online.
It’s rare for an actor’s first feature film role to involve them being the focus of every scene, and British newcomer Harris Dickinson is a revelation as Frankie. “I thought I was ready to take on a lead role in a feature and be able to carry it on my shoulders,” he says of the project’s demands. “And I think I was, but it was inevitably still daunting with the pressure that came with that.”
Full interview for the BFI
Writer-director Eliza Hittman made a splash on the festival circuit in 2013 with It Felt Like Love, an intimate portrait of a 14-year-old girl’s rush into sexual discovery. Her follow-up feature, Beach Rats, similarly deals with the sexual awakening of a teen, albeit with key differences…
Full review for The Skinny
“I’m not aspiring to explain the psychology of the character to the audience,” says Eliza Hittman of her style as writer-director. “That’s not my job. In a way, I’m more interested in exploring the complexity and contradictions in our behaviour. And the audience can think about why. I’m not trying to answer those questions.”
We’re on the phone to the New York-based filmmaker about her sophomore feature, Beach Rats, for which she picked up a directing award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Hittman’s intimate 2013 debut, It Felt Like Love, made some waves on the festival circuit, but Beach Rats has already picked up the kind of acclaim, and subsequent international distribution deals, that one hopes will lead to more consistent opportunities for the rising talent, who also currently works as a film professor…
Full interview for The Skinny