Nighthawks (c) Water Bearer Films

Throwback Thursday: Nighthawks & Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks II

When it was first made and released way back in 1978, Nighthawks was billed as the first British film to deal with gay life in positive light. Viewed almost thirty years later it seems as if life hasn’t changed all that much. London’s gay scene, and one man’s search for belonging in it, are explored in this sensitive and intelligent drama.

 

Ken Robertson plays a quiet teacher who divides his time between the classroom and the closet – and spends his evenings aimlessly cruising the city’s gay bars and discos. Using mostly unprofessional actors, this gritty, heartfelt drama has surprising depth despite the lack of any discernible plot, as it sympathetically portrays one man’s homosexual lifestyle without resorting to theatrics, hysterics and stereotyping.

 

Made over thirty years ago, the film has a “period” feel, offering strong evidence to the rapid change of gay lifestyles and gay men, specifically, in both how they accept their homosexuality as well as the social possibilities offered.

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Even Lovers Get the Blues (c) TLA Releasing

Coming Soon: Even Lovers Get the Blues

Parties and love affairs lead to heart searching, deep desires and a craving to live life to the fullest as a group of good friends come to terms with the unexpected death of beloved group member, Hugo. Ana, Hugo’s partner, attempts to overcome her loss by going to sex clubs, while Hugo’s brother, Arthur finds comfort in Grindr hook-ups. One night Arthur begins an affair with sexy Graciano, who has yet to come to terms with his bisexuality, adding fuel to an already raging fire. Even Lovers Get the Blues is an explicit portrait of the love and the fluid sexual lives of disenchanted and passionate young people.

 

A contemporary pan-sexual drama that can best described as the darker, equally sexy Belgian versions of John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus, this film features a ton of nudity and some truly explicit sex scenes. It’s an adult-only exploration of the love and sexual lives of a group of fascinating young lovers. And though there is lots of explicit sex, as we mentioned, this isn’t some debauched affair. There are deeply emotional characters that you will come to care about – and romance and discovery a-plenty!

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B&B (c) Breaking Glass Pictures

Just Came Out: B&B

The new film B&B follows gay couple Marc and Fred (Tom Bateman and Sean Teale), who recently went to war when they were refused a double bed at a remote Christian guest house. They won their court case and now they’re back to claim their conjugal rights. Triumph turns to terror, however, when a Russian neo-Nazi checks in. Their weekend of fun soon becomes a bloody battle for survival.

 

Out this week, just in time for Halloween, comes this smart, brutally funny and dark thriller from veteran British television director Joe Ahearne. “I love Hitchcock and all manner of suspense thrillers but I’ve barely seen any where gay characters are the heroes. I also wanted to do a thriller where there’s a lightness of touch but shocking intensity where you need it,” said Ahearne. “I see this as a black comedy thriller about two guys who take a holiday for a joke which goes badly, seriously, terribly wrong. As the stakes amplify, the last thing they lose is their sense of humour. Imagine the couple from Withnail and I checked into the Bates motel.”

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I'll Love You Forever... Tonight (c) No Restrictions Entertainment

Throwback Thursday: I’ll Love You Forever… Tonight

A gritty gay curio available only recently on DVD and VOD for the first time ever, I’ll Love You Forever… Tonight will transport you back in time, right to the pulse of the New Queer Cinema movement.

 

Made back in 1992 for under $100,000 by writer-director Edgar Michael Bravo as his thesis film for UCLA, this somber and searing drama, set in queer twenty-something Los Angeles, revolves around the lives, loves and sexual relations of a group of friends and acquaintances. Serious with occasional flashes of humor, the film delves into the loneliness, self-deception and self-loathing of its several gay male characters with an unflinching realism.

 

Described as “Pinter-on-Fire Island” and “a queer Big Chill,” this thought-provoking tale, filmed in shadowy black and white, captures the tensions of post-AIDS male youth in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Compassionate and always perceptive, the film is rough around the edges, but represents a certain time and place in independent filmmaking that will charm anyone who remembers the the arthouse video store era fondly.

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Heartstone (c) Breaking Glass Pictures

Just Came Out: Heartstone

In a remote fishing village in Iceland, teenage boys Thor and Christian (Baldur Einarsson and Blaer Hinriksson) experience a

turbulent summer. As one tries to win the heart of a girl, the other discovers that he has been harboring new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends – and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights – it becomes apparent that it’s time to leave the playground and face adulthood.

 

Written and directed by Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson, based on his own experience growing up in a small fishing village, the core of Heartstone features a strong, beautiful friendship between two boys, and shows how their environment and inner conflict drive them apart, before the bond they share manages to reunite them again. Speaking of the film, Gudmundsson said “I believe Heartstone is a story that carries an important message for everyone, especially youth. A story of brotherhood, self-acceptance, strong girls and the importance of family.”

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Eastsiders: Season 3 (c) Wolfe Releasing

Take a Road Trip with EastSiders: Season 3

Season Two of the Daytime Emmy nominated series, EastSiders, left Cal and Thom (Kit Williamson and Van Hansis) determined to make things work, despite some confusing developments in their newly “monogomish” relationship. After a challenging year in New York City, the guys hit the road back west to Los Angeles to pick up the pieces of their old life, but nothing can prepare them for the unexpected twists and turns they’ll face on the journey home. As they travel west, their tumultuous relationship is tested by an empty bank account, arguments about the future, and an encounter with a handsome drifter that tempts them to once again redraw the map of their relationship. Will this be the trip of their lives, or the end of the road? One thing is for sure: “The Great American Road Trip” is about to get a lot gayer!

 

EastSiders launched in 2013 to a lot of love from fans and critics alike, with Entertainment Weekly calling the show “funny and heartbreaking” and Out Magazine praising it as “relatable, fresh” and “darkly funny.” The show won Best Web Drama at the 2013 LA Weekly Awards, Best Ensemble at the Indie Series Awards and was nominated for a Satellite Award from the International Press Academy. Season Two was even nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards, for Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series and Outstanding Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series for Van Hansis. In 2016 the series found a world-wide audience, and has now been subtitled in a dozen languages.

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The Daydreamer's Notebook (c) Michael J. Saul

New Exclusive: The Daydreamer’s Notebook

Michael J. Saul, the same wildly versatile gay filmmaker behind The Surface, Crush, Scenes of Inquiry, Adults Only, True Love and Go Go Reject, has a new collection coming soon to DVD – a TLA Exclusive. An anthology of seven short, experimental films from prolific artist, The Daydreamer’s Notebook reflects the filmmaker’s obsession with daydreaming in the work he’s created over the past 40 years.

 

This absolutely gorgeous compilation showcases some of his most beautiful experimental work. This collection contains his short films Nightcrawler, Euphoria, Cons, Idol, Boat 14, Subterranea and The Cipher and the Boar, for which there is behind-the-scenes footage included. It also features informative and moving narration from Michael himself, who reflects on his work and it’s biographical aspects.

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Santa & Andres (c) Breaking Glass Pictures

Coming Soon: Santa & Andres

In 1983 Andres, a non-compliant gay writer, resides in the rural mountain region of Eastern Cuba, having been blacklisted by the government for “ideological problems.” After a major event occurs, the government decides someone reliable must be appointed to watch over him and make sure he does not make any political statements. Santa, a country girl who works on a farm, is assigned to the task. For three days in a row Santa will sit in front of Andres’ hut and keep watch over him. Santa and Andres are as close as it gets to being true opposites, and are not meant to like each other. However, they soon find that they have more things in common than they expected.

 

Reminiscent of Before Night Falls, this tender and powerful new film from director Carlos Lechuga takes a look at what it was like to be out and gay in Cuba under Castro. Unfortunately, this film was actually banned in Cuba. Lead actors Lola Amores and Eduardo Matrinez give terrific, emotionally affecting performances. The Hollywood Reporter called Santa and Andres “achingly beautiful” and Queer Guru called it “a heart-breaking, compelling tale.”

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Beach Rats

Just Announced: Beach Rats

One of the year’s most acclaimed gay movies, Beach Rats is coming to DVD and Blu-ray in November.

 

On the outskirts of Brooklyn, Frankie, an aimless teenager, suffocates under the oppressive glare cast by his family and a toxic group of delinquent friends. Struggling with his own identity, Frankie begins to scour hookup sites for older men. When his chatting and webcamming intensify, he begins meeting men at a nearby cruising beach while simultaneously entering into a cautious relationship with a young woman. As Frankie struggles to reconcile his competing desires, his decisions leave him hurtling toward irreparable consequences.

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Dream Boat (c) Strand Releasing

All Aboard the Dream Boat!

Once a year, the Dream Boat, a cruise only for gay men, sets sail off the coast of Spain. This stunningly beautiful documentary takes you on board, keeps you riveted from start to finish and makes you feel like you’re really part of the cruise – and having a hell of a good time.

 

Aboard the ship, it’s raining men. Sun, sea, naked skin and lots of testosterone stoke the vibes. The countdown is on for seven days of hunting for love, happiness, and eternal youth. For months, the passengers have been eagerly awaiting this journey. They have pumped up their bodies, purchased push-up swimwear and filled their suitcases with hot outfits and glamorous costumes. For many of the men, a trip on the Dream Boat offers liberation from political, social, or internal boundaries.

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