With the launch of brand-new TLAgay.com this summer, the Gay Cinema Video On Demand experience we have been offering for a long, long time was upgraded and improved. We have expanded (and continue to expand) our selection of new and old gay-themed movies available for your viewing pleasure. Here’s just five of our current favorites, from various years, that you may have missed – ALL available to watch INSTANTLY! These aren’t our TOP 5, by any means – just a handful of flicks we want to highlight.
2016, United States
“Rent” star Anthony Rapp (yep, he’s the same guy who recently outed Kevin Spacey as a total creep, but he’s also an accomplished, talented film and theater veteran) gives a tremendously powerful performance in this dark drama about grief and an unfortunate love triangle. He plays Brad O’Connor, a married, “straight” family man who, after the tragic death of his young son, becomes entangled in a chaotic and passionate online love affair with Yenny, a young Jamaican cyber buddy (played by Jimmy Brooks). With both Brad and his wife Marcia (De’Adre Aziza) seeking solace in destructive ways, their lives and relationships are pushed to the brink, culminating in terrible confrontations that no one can avoid. Directed by John G. Young, the same acclaimed filmmaker behind Parallel Sons and the little-seen, but terrific, Rivers Wash Over Me, bwoy has earned terrific reviews. Esteemed critic Amy Taubin said it’s “beautifully written and directed, with rich character twists and turns… This film is outstanding for all the right reasons.”
2016, United States
After a long stay in an “ex-gay conversion therapy” facility, James (Michael Grant), a young piano prodigy, returns home to his family farm and his emotionally distant father, Richard (Tom Wopat). After Richard pressures James to give up his music career and take over the farm, James agrees as a way to make up for his past. Soon, however, James finds himself face-to-face with his former lover, Charlie (Josh Green), who wants to help him turn away from his new beliefs and family expectations, and follow his dreams of studying music. A touching and deeply romantic drama, Fair Haven is often heartbreaking, but ultimately life-affirming. The performances, across the board, are terrific. Veteran character actor Tom Wopat is excellent (if infuriating – it’s intentional) as the reserved, conflicted father and young up-and-comers Josh Green and Michael Grant make their forbidden romance palpable (and very sweet).
2013, United States
In a gay cinema landscape with low budget indie American films, issue-driven documentaries and international dramas, Geography Club stood out when it was released in 2013. For this slickly made romantic pop dramady sports a Hollywood sheen, a teenage mall appeal and a modern message. Based on a best-selling novel, the story is set in a present day high school and centers around handsome 16-year old Russell (Cameron Deane Stewart), a closeted student and athlete. He is engaged in a frustrating “relationship” with school jock Kevin (Justin Deeley). The two have secretive make out sessions but then retreat back to buddy football teammates and even engage in homophobic taunts. After a disastrous date with a girl that begins school rumors of him being a fag, he reluctantly joins the “Geography Club“, an after-school meeting place for other closeted students. But will this group of misfits remain hidden, or generate the courage to come out? A smart, fast-moving and funny account of contemporary teenagers as they discover their own sexual identities, Geography Club is a unique treat.
In this bizarre meta-story from French filmmaker Philippe Valois, one never quite knows who’s who or what’s what, but that’s okay, because even if you lose the narrative thread, there’s plenty of gorgeous footage of beautiful men in various states of undress doing everything from dancing to playing cards to making sweet love to one another. Set in Paris, the plot concerns a filmmaker trying to make a movie about his erstwhile lover, Johan, who is “the kind of man you see once and never forget.” Trouble is, none of the actors he auditions can quite get it right. For that matter, the filmmaker can’t manage to cast himself either, because two other men portray him during the course of the film. As unhinged as the 1970s gay scene itself, Johan paints a dizzying portrait of gay youth in all its enthralling and often narcissistic glory. We’re shown gay cruising in public gardens, awkward encounters with doting mothers, bravura dance performances and even glimpses into that strange and wonderful relationship gay men have with raucous, free-spirited straight women. All this, plus forehead tattoos and bell-bottoms make Johan a wild retro trip that is sure to tease, titillate and astound viewers even now, 40 years later.
After his star actress, Indre (Irina Lavrinovic), murders her mother, rich-kid filmmaker Romas (Denisas Kolomyckis) plans to help her escape from Lithuania before she’s captured by the authorities. His sexy Mexican boyfriend Carlos (Adrian Escobar) helps them reluctantly. On the road, Romas begins shooting an improvised experimental film centered around their harrowing trip with his smartphone. As events take an unexpected turn, their secrets, memories and emotions make this journey wilder than any film Romas could have imagined or planned for. Stylish and supremely sexy, You Can’t Escape Lithuania is a gripping gay road movie from acclaimed gay filmmaker Romas Zabarauskas, who based it loosely on his own experiences and real-life events. Another intersting face: He funded the movie though Kickstarter… and went naked for donors to raise money (something, you’ll be happy to know, his very cute cinematic counterpart also does in the film).