A gay California man embarks on a quixotic journey in the new doc Felix Austria!

Brought up in the anonymous confines of the California suburbs, Felix Pfeifle always suspected there was more to life than what he’d been shown. When he inherits an archive of mysterious letters between an ordinary American, a Mr. Herbert Hinkel, and the last heir of the Holy Roman Emperors, he begins to think he’s right—and it’s just the beginning of a transformative life-journey equally remarkable for the rollicking folly, sincerity, and tragedy along the way.

The trove of imperial correspondence leads Felix on a trip across the United States and over the Atlantic—to Austria, Bosnia, and Germany—as he sets about the seemingly impossible task of gaining an audience with the last crown prince of Europe’s most ancient and storied royal dynasty, Archduke Otto von Habsburg. But just as the past promises to bring redemption, the harsh realities of the present threaten to wipe it all away. Back at home, Felix’s father is dying of a fatal brain disease: Huntington’s. And Felix himself has a 50 percent chance of developing the devastating illness within the next few years.

Convinced of the importance of his quixotic task, and in the face of overwhelming obstacles, Felix wins his audience with the aging Archduke. Refusing a test that would tell Felix whether he has the disease or not, Felix soldiers on with his imperial cause. He delves deeper into a history that has fascinated him all his life; a history of alliances and culture played out in castles and museums. Meanwhile, his father lies at home, increasingly ill, in the aptly named humble town of Modesto, California. With the end of life looming all around Felix, his eventual place in the inner circle of the Archduke’s milieu emerges like a fantasy island set against the shocking realities waiting back home.

Told in verite format and supplemented by interviews with friends, historians, doctors, and psychologists, Felix Austria! spans two continents and hundreds of letters between the Archduke and another, mysterious Habsburg admirer. Felix Austria! is a once-in-world-history story told in the context of a single person’s life-defining passions, fears, and triumphs.

Check out the trailer for Felix Austria! below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film is coming to DVD in June.

Just Came Out: Sorry Angel

Paris, 1993. Jacques (Pierre Deladonchamps) is a semi-renowned writer and single father in his thirties trying to maintain his sense of romance and humor in spite of the turmoil in his life and the world. While on a work trip to Brittany, he meets Arthur (Vincent Lacoste), an aspiring filmmaker in his early twenties, who is experiencing a sexual awakening and eager to get out of his parochial life. Arthur becomes instantly smitten with the older man.

From acclaimed writer-director Christophe Honoré (Love Songs, Dans Paris) comes Sorry Angel, a mature and deeply emotional reflection on love and loss, and youth and aging. In its intergenerational snapshot of cruising, courtship and casual sex – Jacques’ forty-something neighbor Mathieu (Denis Podalydès) rounds out the triumvirate – Sorry Angel balances hope for the future with agony over the past in an unforgettable drama about finding the courage to love in the moment.

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Sauvage/Wild is a sexy and riveting gay drama

Sauvage/Wild, filmmaker Camille Vidal-Naquet‘s riveting and vibrant erotic journey of a 22-year-old male prostitute named Leo, features a stunning performance from Felix Maritaud (BPM, Boys, Knife+Heart).

Leo (Maritaud) trades in love as much as lust and wanders through his life without rules or restrictions. Through a series of encounters that offer a glimpse into the complicated and visceral world of male sex work, Leo finds himself searching for affection anywhere he can get it – whether it’s the unrequited love for his hustler friend Ahd (Eric Bernard) or in the arms of an older, vulnerable client.

Will Leo choose his freedom and the dangers that come with it, or the comforts of a stable relationship? After all, in this unpredictable world, who knows where he’ll end up?

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Trailer Alert: Love Blooms

A lovesick young man expands his horizons in the new romance from French filmmaker Michael Dacheux.

Martin (Paul Delbreil), an aspiring young filmmaker, arrives in Paris in a desperate attempt to reunite with his first love, Lea (Adele Csech). Though lively, cultured and curious, Lea is not very happy. Although she doesn’t quite know what her future is going to look like, she’s pretty sure that it won’t include Martin as a romantic partner.

Reluctantly, Martin begins to accept the fact that their relationship is truly over. Now he must find a way to rebuild his life from scratch. He’s just starting to do that when, much to his surprise, he ends up falling head-over-heels in love… with another man.

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Coming Soon: Knife+Heart

A delightfully strange and stylish throwback to the era of giallo thrillers (with a decidedly homoerotic twist), Knife+Heart is the gay cinema crown jewel of 2019 so far. The film has earned numerous raves from critics, our favorite of which comes from Katie Walsh in the Los Angeles Times who said “This magical, erotic, disco-tinged horror-thriller is like cinematic candy.”

Set in Paris during the summer of 1979, the film is focused around Anne (French pop star Vanessa Paradis), a somewhat rough-hewn woman who produces third-rate gay porn. After her editor and lover Lois (Kate Moran) leaves her, she tries to win her back by shooting her most ambitious film yet with her trusted, flaming sidekick Archibald (Nicolas Maury). But when one of her actors is brutally murdered, Anne gets caught up in a strange investigation that turns her life upside-down.

Shot on 35mm and featuring a killer retro score from M83, Knife+Heart is an ultra-stylish and blood-soaked ode to the 1970s horror-thrillers of Brian De Palma, Dario Argento, William Friedkin and more. The film was directed by Yann Gonzalez and co-stars Félix Maritaud and Romane Bohringer.

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Just Came Out: The Skin of the Teeth

When Josef (Pascal Arquimedes) arrives at John’s (Donal Brophy) apartment for a date, their prickly energy slowly gives way to genuine chemistry. But after swallowing a pill with mind-bending effects, Josef quickly slides helplessly down a rabbit hole of temporal sleight-of-hand, plunged into a surreal interrogation of everything he is.

From writer-director Matthew Wollin, the stylish and mind-bending new thriller The Skin of the Teeth has been described as “Get Out meets Grindr” (Newfest) and “Hypnotic and compelling” (My New Plaid Pants). The Film Stage said it “brims with sensuality and playfulness.”

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Out This Week: Every Act of Life

The new documentary Every Act of Life is about four-time Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally’s six ground-breaking decades in the theatre, hig fight for LGBTQ rights, his triumph over addiction, his pursuit of love and inspiration at every age, and the power of the arts to transform society.

The son of an alcoholic beer distributor in southern Texas, Terrence traveled the world as tutor to John Steinbeck’s children (Steinbeck’s only advice was, “Don’t write for the theater. It will break your heart”); suffered an infamous Broadway flop in 1965 at age 24; and went on to write dozens of groundbreaking plays and musicals about sexuality, homophobia, faith, the power of art, the need to connect and finding meaning in every moment of life.

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Throwback Thursday: Can’t Stop the Music

“The Movie Musical Event of the 1980s” (in theory only) is coming to Blu-ray!

Pour yourself a milkshake and experience the magic, music, and mirth of the all-time favorite camp-tastic classic Can’t Stop The Music! Batshit insane by any measure, this notorious flop exploits all of producer Allan Carr worst creative instincts… and it’s truly an unforgettable cinematic experience (for better of worse).

Although it was released in 1980, the film’s disco-pulsating heart lies squarely in the tacky 1970s – telling the highly fictionalized origin story of The Village People.

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Just Came Out: Confessions of a Gay Poet

Confessions of a Gay Poet is a brand new, independent documentary about the life and work of British writer, underground filmmaker and actor Wade Radford.

Known in underground gay cinema circles for his controversial role in Twink, as well as other films like One Last Chance at Paradise, Caught in a Landslide and the Boys Behind Bars series, Wade has been releasing poetry anthologies and recordings online for the last eight years. Confessions of a Gay Poet explores the themes of Wade’s work and introduces the audience to this complex and candid individual.

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Out This Week: Permanent Green Light

One of the inspirations for the new film Permanent Green Light was an Australian teen who ran away from home in 2014, joined ISIS, and wound up on a suicide bombing mission where he (luckily) failed (and only managed to explode himself). That’s heavy subject matter, but we’ve come to expect nothing less from co-director Dennis Cooper.

A celebrated novelist, poet, performance artist and critic, Cooper has been delivering a wide variety intelligent, deeply affecting work for decades – usually exploring queer characters and dark themes in ways that always subvert expectations. Now he’s continuing his controversial explorations through the medium of film.

John Waters called Like Cattle Towards Glow, Cooper’s debut feature co-directed by Zac Farley, “a real French tickler for the fucked-up literary set.” A collection of experimental vignettes, that film offers up a complex, intimate, strangely serene, wide-ranging and always challenging exploration of sexual desire as a hiding place. It’s explicit and often deliberately confounding, but difficult to erase from your mind once you’ve seen the images captured within.

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