Frameline47: Pornomelancholia

  • A half-naked guy flexes his biceps as he poses in front of someone taking pictures of him on the phone

Looking to escape his mundane factory job in the mountain town of Oaxaca and make some easy money, Lalo decides to respond to a casting ad for an adult film. With his striking face and dark mustache, he quickly finds himself cast as Emiliano Zapata in an overheated porno retelling of the Mexican Revolution. Though Lalo’s online celebrity begins to skyrocket as he posts videos to Twitter, he finds the demands of the shoot beginning to wear him down, especially at the hands of a pretentious director who takes his cues from Luis Buñuel films. As Lalo navigates his new life as a sex worker, he finds that his rising star does not tame his loneliness.

Director Manuel Abramovich (Light Years) devised this artful, alluring mixture of fiction and documentary from Lalo Santos’ own personal experiences working in the porn industry. The result is an intimate portrait not only of Lalo but also of the reality of sex work in the age of OnlyFans. Santos’ performance anchors the film with a unique and raw vulnerability that is palpable throughout, making Pornomelancholia a deeply moving experience.

Presented as part of Frameline47 International Film Festival.

1h 38m
Manuel Abramovich
Argentina, Brazil, France & Mexico
Spanish & English
First Showing
June 19, 2023