In her sophomore feature Beach Rats, filmmaker Eliza Hittman (It Felt Like Love) delves deeper into performed masculinity and hidden sexualities. The film brought Hittman a directing award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and looks like it will be one of this year’s most emotionally charged arthouse films. Brand-new distributors Neon acquired rights to the film at the festival and are planning to release it in theaters on August 25.
Beach Rats stars Harrison Dickinson as Frankie, a Brooklyn teenager struggling with his identity and sexuality while under the pressure of his family and his outwardly masculine delinquent group of friends. Frankie turns to hookup sites to look for older men and meet up with them at a nearby beach while simultaneously carrying on a relationship with a young woman. His competing decisions and desires take him down a precarious path of self-identification and irreversible consequence.
Madeleine Weinstein and Kate Hodge also star. See the trailer below that features what looks to be an intimate and groundbreaking character study à la last year’s Moonlight.