Daddy's Boy

by Dale Reynolds

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday October 18, 2016

Okay, exactly what writer/director Daniel Armando had in mind with this black and white, surreal exploration of male sexuality, "Daddy's Boy," is not clear. But, shot with intensity in NYC, with a cast of Latino-Americans and one Canadian, all dark-toned, his film is really quite impressive.

If there's any one character that stands out, possibly as Armando's stand-in, it's Max, played with full emotional vigor by Al Miro, an actor somewhere in his mid-to-late 30s. The other three main characters are performance artist James Koroni as Jorge -- brother, we find out later, to Manuel (Jonathan Iglesias), who may be the "boy" to his father, played with equal sincerity by Tico Flores, and Joe Lopez as Fabian, another lost soul.

But all the men -- none of them wedded to any specific sexual orientation -- such as the "cowboy from Arizona," "the dancer," "the actor" and "the hustler" are all singularly solo, bouncing off each other and the city itself.

But I think his film works because of how it held my attention, including the various sexualized images which may or may not be "real."

Armando's film is very "artsy," with its glittering images of Manhattan at night, Central Park's pond, the Westside Highway, the men who pay other men for their sexual imagery, ignoring who they are for real. What does Armando think of all this? The movie is essentially plotless, and the director has dozens of images to pick and choose to make his point. I was left literally in the dark.

But I think his film works because of how it held my attention, including the various sexualized images which may or may not be "real." Armando's crew has helped create the mood and the feel of his film, especially the B&W cinematography and the subsequent film editing by Ryan Andrew Balas and the sound department work of Sean Balas.

Now, just how clear Armando wants his film to be, one supposes, is left up to the individual, and if you don't need a written out script, with characters explaining themselves to each other, and to us, then this film will intrigue. And it is all quite sexual, if not explicitly so.

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