Film, Film Review

NEWFEST REVIEW: Dry Wind (2020) dir. Daniel Nolasco

First dispatch out of NewFest 2020 - An erotic journey straight out of Tom of Finland's wildest fantasies


I’m covering NewFest for the first time this year, a huge honor. I will be posting reviews and (hopefully) interviews as the festival runs from 10/16-10/27. All titles will be available to rent but tickets are limited!

Daniel Nolasco’s Dry Wind is a Tom of Finland fever dream. This is actually my second viewing after this summer’s Wicked Queer Film Festival, and I was extremely excited to revisit this world of sex, desire, swimming, neon, labor unions, secret leather parties, daydreams, nightmares, and chapped lips. Dry Wind truly has everything!

Our quiet hero Sandro (Leandro Faria Lelo) is a lonely factory worker in Brazil, spending his days swimming and hooking up with a coworker when they find the time to sneak away. He feels something is missing in his life, and wonders if that something is the new arrival in town, the impossibly handsome Maicon (Rafael Theophilo). From here things take a turn for the sensual, as Sandro begins to act on his many desires, drawing him closer to a world of immense pleasure and ecstasy while possibly harming those around him. He could stand to work on his communication skills, but nobody’s perfect.

Dry Wind is filled to the brim with incredible visuals. I’ve said it many times this year but I desperately want to see it on the big screen. Scenes open with wide shots of the arid land surrounding Sandro’s factory. There’s a birthday party on a man-made lake. A neon-infused carnival features a silent sequence I’d say is one of the best of the year, period. The film is a journey into a world of gay sex the likes of which we rarely see. Though some viewers may become increasingly frustrated by Sandro’s general silence and passive-aggressive nature, I was more than happy to just occupy the erotic world Daniel Nolasco presented to his audience. While Lelo has the most screen time, actress Renata Carvala (Paula) elevates a standard “best friend” role to something transcendent with her final monologue.

I’m excited for Dry Wind to find a wide audience, for people to see an uncommon protagonist like Sandro dare to dream bigger than his monotonous life may seem to allow.

Dry Wind
Dir. Daniel Nolasco
110 min

Dry Wind is available to stream through NewFest starting today, 10/16 at 10 am until Tuesday, 10/27 .

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