Review: Hugo, XO / A Film by Dale John Allen

Liam Bodle
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This open and honest short film by Dale John Allen tells a story of finding identity through sexual exploration.

Hugo, XO is a confident film upfront and shocking about sex. Hugo retells stories from early years to adulthood, he tells the audience what he likes and what he wants, to the extent that his whole day is obsessing around sex. From eating fruit to having a shower you wonder if his mind is ever switched off from sex.

Could Hugo, XO be a true representation of a generation obsessed with how many likes they get, or how many Grindr messages they get in a day, to always having sex readily available wherever they may be?  Or is this a coping mechanism to deal with one’s own darkest depressions and anxieties?

However much I respect the frankness of the film, I find myself asking whether sex is the monster that is making Hugo somewhat saddened and detached from reality, and being able to form longing relationships. He is confident in his retelling of stories to strangers but does this translate to real life or is Hugo a character formed out of his own sexual obsessions.

Hugo, XO is refreshing, as it is honest, in its approach to sex and how sex is an important part of someone’s life, and how people should not judge but be open and more understanding.

Finally, it begs the question of community and do gay men still have that sense of belonging and protection? This film may be a frank and honest tale of one mans sexual escapades but how many of you can truly say you support others around you and how honest you really are about your own desires?

About Liam Bodle

Film and Media graduate from Manchester, I now use my time writing about all things film, music and games but also have a passion for being a voice for the LGBT+ community.