Tue 25 Oct, 2016 18:39 Leave a comment
The box of this movie proudly proclaims that it’s “bringing gay sex back on film” – it was one of a few that I bought during one of my recent trips back to the UK in 2015, and took a shamefully long time to get around to watching. No way I could find such things here, but that’s a rant for another time, and one that I’ve already had before, indeed.
It means this quite literally, as it, like such films as Shortbus or 9 Songs before it, features explicit sex. “Is it porn?” people ask. Yes and no, I’d say. Fortunately, the BBFC seems to say “no”, and it’s on general release in the UK, rated 18 instead of R18. It was certainly produced by a porn company. It was evidently workshopped in a similar way to Shortbus, with the actors helping to shape their characters.
It’s about a guy in San Francisco who is going to leave for the sticks somewhere, perhaps his hometown in the Midwest. It follows him and his group of friends, mostly other gay males, as they explore their emotions through sex with each other.
The characters are all spot-on, in my opinion, and I could see aspects of myself in each of them. The acting is not always great, but the movie weathers the inconsistencies well.
It’s quite a claustrophobic movie – it seems to have been shot on the cheap mostly within San Francisco townhouses, and a lot of the movie and acting is in close-up. This had merits – it fostered a more intimate atmosphere, and allowed certain actors a chance to shine – but mostly I wished it would back away from the characters a bit and show the full picture more.
Mainly, to be honest, I’ll remember this movie for how rooted it is in a certain sociopolitical clime. It’s very 2012. The main character is moving back to Ohio or Indiana for economic reasons – it’s now too expensive to live in San Francisco and too difficult to find a job there. The fashion sense, too – there are a lot of ironic hipster beards, and the main character among many others is quite unkempt, with five-day old stubble and tatty clothing. Like another gay movie I watched recently, In Bloom, these things root it in the early part of this decade, post-collapse in 2009.
For some people, the explicit sex is reason enough to watch it; for others, this might be a reason to avoid it. I liked it, and certainly at only 68 minutes it’s not a big time commitment like so many modern movies. Just don’t watch it with your family.