Beach Rats – Streaming on Netflix

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor
Image courtesy of HOME

19 May 2020 — 31 January 2021 Tickets from £5.99 — Book now

Coney Island provides the setting for this sweaty, intimate 16mm indie about closeted gay teen, Frankie, from director Eliza Hittman. Frankie’s friends – the beach rats of the title – are a bunch of Brooklyn-bros, musclebound and outfitted in baseball caps and vest tops as they spend their days getting high, nabbing wallets and competing to see who has the hardest punch on the boardwalk arcade. It’s a hyper-masculine environment where the boys take pride in their hustle and ability to pick up women at the beach.

Blue-eyed Brit, Harris Dickinson, plays Frankie, who, when he isn’t trawling the boardwalk with his buddies, holes himself up in his darkened room with his webcam, seeking out men for sex on a site called Brooklyn Boys. He keeps his face in the shadows and prefers older men – with whom he is less likely to have any acquaintances in common – in case they reveal his secret. Frankie compartmentalises his life (he even has two bedrooms); suffering under the weight of secrecy and burdened by his father who lies terminally ill in the family living room.

Filmed in grainy 16mm, Hittman emphasises the closed spaces and darkened atmospheres that Frankie is forced to operate in. The irony is that liberal, cosmopolitan Manhattan is just a short subway ride away, but Frankie is constrained by his poor socio-economic circumstances and the natural pull of his lifelong friends. Handsome and chiselled, with piercing eyes and a natural swagger – Dickinson’s electric lead performance marks him as one to watch – he appears supremely confident; but Hittman’s claustrophobic film shows us that appearances can be deceiving.

Beach Rats is available to watch on Netflix with a subscription. 

19 May 2020 — 31 January 2021 Tickets from £5.99 Book now

Where to go near Beach Rats – Streaming on Netflix

Manchester Factory international Festival - People enjoying Festival Square in the city centre
Manchester
Café or Coffee Shop
Factory Square

Factory Square is a huge beer garden, on the banks of the River Irwell, with top-quality drinks and street food selections.

Manchester
Restaurant
Fenix

Modern Greek Mediterranean cuisine from the team behind Tattu.

Flat Iron Leeds
Leeds
Restaurant
Flat Iron Leeds

Relaxed restaurant in Leeds serving impressively high-quality steaks at an affordable price point.

Odioba
Stockport
Restaurant
Odioba

Odioba is a new audiophile bar in Stockport, from the team behind the much-missed NAM. Coffee shop by day, bar by night.

Universally Manchester Festival 6-9 June 2024
Manchester
The University of Manchester

Celebrating its 200th year in 2024, The University of Manchester is the largest single-site university in the UK, and boasts come incredible cultural institutions, found on campus, across Manchester and…

What's on: Cinema

Until
CinemaCheetham Hill
Jewish Culture Club

Meet new people, explore contemporary cultural works and learn about Jewish culture with Jewish Culture Club at Manchester Jewish Museum.

free entry
A still from the original Godzilla, showing the monster terrorising Tokyo.
Until
Cinema
KaiJuly at Showroom Cinema

Showroom present a celebration of all thing’s kaiju, of giant monsters, rubber suits, of nuclear horrors, mystical fantasy, and royal rumble free-for-alls. The Godzilla franchise is recognised as the longest continuously running film franchise in history, with 33 Japanese films to its name, and 5 US productions.

from £5.00

Culture Guides