In the new indie drama Everything is Free, Ivan (writer-director Brian Jordan Alvarez), an American painter living in Columbia, falls for Cole (Morgan Krantz), his best friend’s younger brother. Though not gay himself, the younger man returns his advances, but will older brother Christian (Peter Vack) be okay with that? As they say, true love conquers all… even if it takes years.
A recurring actor on Will & Grace and creator behind the series Go-Go Boy Interrupted and The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo, Everything is Free marks the feature-length directorial debut for director Brian Jordan Alvarez. Or, at least, it seems to. He also stood at the helm of the films Grandmother’s Gold and How to be a Slut in America (all completed within a prolific two-year stretch).
With a master’s degree in literature, writer/director Camille Vidal-Naquet broke onto the international film scene directing shorts. First was an experimental work, entirely in sign language, called Génie. He followed that with his first fiction films, Backstage and Heady Stuff. While teaching film analysis, he managed to write and direct his first feature-length film.
A premiere at last year’s Cannes Film Festival (quote an honor for a first-time feature director), Sauvage/Wild takes us on the riveting and vibrant erotic journey of a 22-year-old male prostitute named Leo (Felix Maritaud). Leo 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?
From wildly controversial writer-director Gaspar Noé (the same guy behind Irreversible, Enter the Void, I Stand Alone and Love) comes a hypnotic, hallucinatory, and ultimately hair-raising depiction of a party that descends into delirium over the course of one wintry night.
In Climax, a troupe of young dancers gathers in a remote and empty school building to rehearse. Following an unforgettable opening performance lit by virtuoso cinematographer Benoît Debie (Spring Breakers, Enter the Void) and shot by Noé himself, the troupe begins an all-night celebration that turns nightmarish as the dancers discover they’ve been pounding cups of sangria laced with potent LSD.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.