“I wanted to capture that feeling of being teenage and powerless but still hopeful for the future”: Goran Stolevski on Of an Age
Australian filmmaker Goran Stolevski’s Of an Age marks something of a genre leap from his distinctive, otherworldly and critically acclaimed debut You Won’t Be Alone, which made a splash at London Film Festival last year. This latest takes as its premise the essence of the Before Sunrise/Before Sunset films, and elements of a road, summer, coming-of-age and coming-out movie, all rolled into one.
It follows 17-year-old Serbian-born Australian Kol (Elias Anton) in 1999 Melbourne, an amateur ballroom dancer all in a tiz-woz after his dancer partner, Ebony (Hattie Hook), calls him from a payphone after a late-night bender with no clue where she is and a very small likelihood of making it to the Australian Dance finals as planned. This frenzied opening perhaps creates the expectation of an entirely different film, but a whole different rhythm and timbre sets in once Kol calls Ebony’s brother and they set off on a road trip of sorts to go and collect her. Easy in his own skin and easy on the eye, Adam (Thom Green) is a calm and alluring presence within the confines of the car, and, as the minutes tick by, Kol finds himself in strange territory as an attraction grows.
As the narrative captures almost in realtime the feeling of falling in love amid the summer heat, the audience sees the romance unfold before their eyes between the two protagonists, with each look, glance and spark of connection subtly infusing the screen. As the sexual tension simmers and escalates over the remaining hours of the day, you might expect the story to end there, but Stolevski returns to their tale over a decade on, offering a fresh perspective on the passion they shared as less as flash in the pan and more something that has lingered on their minds and skin – much like this movie does with its audience.
We spoke to Stolevski about the roots of the story and how they relate to his own experiences, the contrast in genres from his debut, and discovering his ideal cast. We also discussed how he achieved the feature’s naturalistic, 90s aesthetic and feel, and the tendency for LGBTQ+ film always to be pigeonholed as such.
Of an Age is released digitally on demand on 7th August 2023.
Watch the trailer for Of an Age here: