As relatable a story about your sexual awakening as you will see, My Year of Dicks is a wonderful short film that tells a sincere, funny and honest tale. A female-driven animation than harmonises exceptionally well with the story – a must-watch.
It’s 1991, and Pam is trying very hard to lose her. Always searching for her ultimate paramour, this old soul swimming in new puberty will struggle between the real world and her grandiose fantasies by exploring a relatable variety of boys of yore. Goths, skaters, indie film snobs, straight-edge poseurs– all while trying her best to avoid being grounded.
Losing your virginity and beginning your sexual awakening is an important milestone in your life; you have so many hopes around it. Where will it happen? Who will it happen with, and a plethora of other questions run through your head in fantasising about getting that perfect moment. As Pam finds out that life is not as simple as the romantic story she wishes it was via her narration of each chapter, we begin one clumsy journey after another, each one allowing her a new perspective and helping her mature.
That is what makes My Year of Dicks work so well is how relatable the story is. You may not have experienced exactly what Pam does, but you will likely have had some misadventures along your early sexual journey. This is what director Sara Gunnarsdóttir and writer Pamela Ribon seem to push home throughout the film, your first attempt at sex with your first main crush may not result in what you yearn for, nor will it be the way you dreamed or imagined.
We get a wonderful assortment of animation styles in My Year of Dicks that work perfectly for each story, whether that is the anime stylings in the fourth chapter that deviate away from using the actual voice actors’ faces (a type of rotoscoping) that works really well here. With it being an animation, Gunnarsdóttir is able to branch out a touch and give us more of a fantasy dream-like feel, as if it is someone retelling a tale and exaggerating it to compel us. This mix of fantastical moments and some very real ones provides that extra cog that a film like this needs to work fully, making My Year of Dicks a vulnerable yet fulfilling story.
My Year of Dicks truly feels like an ode to our teenage selves, a film that you can instantly connect to because of how universal it is; it is a fantastic short film.
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