Many fine films have been made about boys plying their trade on the streets, none of which appear in this latest Boys Briefs anthology. Tony Krawitz’s Into the Night shows us that hustlers and johns have feelings like the rest of us, a similar point pounded out by Gigolo, which replaces Krawitz’s movie-of-the-week banality with Euro-art pretense—it’s 8½ after catching a venereal disease from Madonna’s “Erotica” video. Sample dialogue from Bastian Schweitzer’s short includes, “I feel guilty but I forgot the reason.” The general idea here seems to be that loveless splooging effects our short-term memory, but in Boy the damage goes deeper. A better name for this strange mélange of Quay-like grotesqueries, Russellesque shocks to the cosmos, music video affectations (the work of Samuel Bayer and Tarsem comes to mind), and dialogue that’s written on the wind might have been Instituta Fagamenta. It’s all rather random but you can’t accuse director Welby Ings of not having balls. Build has the whole package—cute guys, good acting, and a significant through-line—but its overriding metaphor courts heavy-handedness. Rock Bottom hits, perhaps appropriately, the bottom of this anthology’s barrel, a laughably acted short about an overweight john who brings a cute tweeker back to his place for some nookie. Director Mary Feuer lays on the suspense thick, but the worst of it comes when Billy goes for Jason’s lips, treading the same point as Into the Night that hustlers don’t kiss on the mouth because that’s just, like, too real, man. From the good (Build) to the bad (Gold, about an almost-blind sugar daddy who paints vicariously though his kept boy), the unimaginative gist of these shorts seems to be that gay men don’t have very many options besides hooking should their real ambitions threaten to fail them. If that were true, we would have turned Slant Magazine into a bordello years ago.
- Picture This!
- 110 min
- Tony Krawitz, Welby Ings, Bastian Schweitzer, Greg Atkins, Mary Feuer, Armen Kazazian
- Cath Moore, Welby Ings, Bastian Schweitzer, Greg Atkins, Mary Feuer, John Militello, Armen Kazazian
- Bryan Marshall, Sam Barlow, Sebastian Lamour, Jesse Lee, Bryan Bevege, Tammy Warwick, Francie Gray, Salim Kechiouche, Amanda Lear, Stéphane Rolland, Nancy Beatty, Greg Atkins, D. Garnet Harding, John Militello, Timothy Lee DePriest, Aron Tager, P.J. Lazic, Darryn Lucio
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