The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Beach Rats

From It Felt Like Love writer/director Eliza Hittmann comes Beach Rats, another entry in our LGBTQ Pride Month series as well as winner of the Directing Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Harris Dickinson plays Frankie, an aimless teenager who balances his free time between his friends, his dying father, drug experimentation, and secretly using the internet for anonymous sexual encounters with other men. As he attempts to steer clear of having his friends find out by meeting with older men, Frankie’s balance threatens to collapse in on itself with each passing day. Frankie’s isolation in his Brooklyn environment slowly begins to become more and more felt.

Shot on handheld 16mm by Hélène Louvart, the hypnotic, intimate style of Beach Rats has been compared by critics to the works of Barry Jenkins and Claire Denis. The film would cement Hittman as one of contemporary film’s most powerful and understated poets of teenage empathy.


“The film is hard to shake and hypnotizing to watch, like a neon dream you never want to leave.” — Samuel R. Murrian, Parade Magazine

“The impressive Dickinson brings just enough anguish and confusion to his performance, making Frankie a character you decide to care about.” — Allan Hunter, The List

“Hittman’s depictions of sexuality, emotional crisis and parent-teen relationships are rendered here without sentimentality – and with the burning urgency of a stick of dynamite with a lit fuse.” — April Wolfe, The Village Voice