Out This Week: The Sea

A deeply erotic paean to modern sexuality, writer-director Marco Antonio Nunez‘s The Sea tells the story of Lorena and Diego (Ana Burgos and Marcelo Gutierrez), a seemingly straight couple who, upon moving to the coast of Chile, find their relationship tested when Diego begins to develop feelings for a handsome young local man named Vicente (Francisco Danobeitia).

What begins as a passionate clandestine affair comes to a dramatic, inevitable head when all three go on a camping trip together and the truth becomes too difficult to hide.

 

Watch the trailer for The Sea below and click here to order your copy. The film will be available on DVD and VOD starting May 17th.

 

Get two restored gay cinema classics in the new set Two Films by Arthur J. Bressan, Jr.

No other filmmaker better embodied the spirit of the gay liberation movement than Arthur J. Bressan, Jr. (the director behind films like Buddies and Gay USA).

A true pioneer of queer cinema, his films fearlessly blurred the boundaries between the artistic, the erotic and the cinematic – and never so clearly as with his first two narrative films, the critically-acclaimed Passing Strangers and Forbidden Letters. Altered Innocence and the Bressan Project are proud to present these two landmarks of early queer cinema, newly restored in 2K from their original film elements with a host of new bonus features.

In Passing Strangers, a closeted gay teenager (Robert Adams) finds love, community and a political awakening when he decides to answer a personal ad from an older, jaded man (Robert Carnagey). One of cinema’s first coming out stories, Passing Strangers is a romantic portrait of gay liberation-era San Francisco that still resonates today.

Lead actor Robert Adams returns in Forbidden Letters as Larry, a man trying to pass time on the day his older lover Richard (Richard Locke) is set to be released from prison. Unable to clear his head through casual sex, he reads through his letters to Richard – letters he could never send out of fear that his outing would lead to a harsher sentence. As Richard’s release draws nearer, the question remains: will the spark still be there when he gets out?

Special features include audio commentaries, interviews with Robert Adams and various queer film historians, five early short films by Bressan (on the Blu-ray only), print materials, photo galleries, theatrical trailers, a twenty-page booklet featuring writing by Bressan and an essay by queer trans film critic Caden Mark Gardner (Blu-ray only) and much, much more.

 

Watch a trailer for Two Films by Arthur J. Bressan, Jr. below and click here to pre-order your copy. The amazing new collector’s edition will be available on DVD and Blu-ray beginning June 8th.

 

This Weekend’s VOD Favorites: Friday the 13th Edition!

The Gay Cinema Video On Demand experience at TLAgay.com has your entertainment needs covered! We’re always working to expand selection of new and old gay-themed movies available for your viewing pleasure. As it’s FRIDAY THE 13TH (muahaha!), we’re spotlighting THIRTEEN of our favorite gay-themed horror and thriller flicks – ALL available to watch INSTANTLY! These aren’t our all time favorites necessarily, but just a handful of flicks we want to highlight that you can watch RIGHT NOW.

 

Arrebato (Rapture)
Arrebato (Rapture) is a dimension-shattering blend of heroin, sex and Super-8 film. Made in 1979, this towering feat of counterculture was the final feature of cult filmmaker and movie poster designer Ivan Zulueta. It is a film that defies genre and just so happens to be Pedro Almodovar’s favorite horror flick. Horror movie director Jose (Eusebio Poncela) is adrift in a sea of doubt and drugs. As his belated second feature nears completion, his reclusive bubble is popped by two events: the sudden reappearance from an ex-girlfriend and a mysterious package from past acquaintance Pedro (Will More) – containing a reel of Super-8 film, an audiotape and a door key. From there, the boundaries of time, space and sexuality are erased as Jose is once more sucked into Pedro’s sinister orbit. Together, they attempt the ultimate hallucinogenic catharsis through a moebius strip of filming and being filmed.

B&B
B&B earned praise from LGBT horror/thriller/suspense fans at festivals and now it’s available to watch at TLAgay! Lovers Marc and Fred (Tom Bateman and Sean Teale) initiated a major legal battle after they were refused a double bed at a remote Christian guest house. They came out of their court case victorious and now they’re back at the establishment to claim their conjugal rights. Triumph, however, quickly turns to terror when a scary Russian neo-Nazi also checks in. Their weekend of celebratory fun soon becomes a bloody battle for survival. B&B is a whip-smart and brutally funny dark comedy-thriller that has earned rave reviews from critics – some of whom have even compared it to the work of Alfred Hitchcock. The Hollywood Outsiders, specifically, called it “a film Alfred Hitchcock would be proud of.” The Horror Society said it’s “frickin’ fantastic and a trailblazer for LGBT cinema.”

Black Briefs
Curated by prolific writer/director Rob Williams, Black Briefs features six award-winning short films with pretty dark, horror or horror-adjacent stories and themes. When it comes to short film compilations, there is always something to recommend. If you don’t like the first one, chances are good there is a short just around the corner that you’re going to appreciate more. In Black Briefs, we really like Hong Khaou‘s steamy Spring, about a young man who meets up with a stranger for a little exploratory sadomasochistic sex. Our favorite, though, is Greg Ivan Smith‘s Remission. A man, all alone in a secluded cabin, awaiting the results of a serious medical test, is haunted by a terrifying presence. It’s genuinely chilling and it’s one of those rare movies that can create dread and unease even in its scenes set during the daytime.

Bloody Knuckles
Canada, our neighbor to the north, is not known for cinematic carnage or gore comedies, but first time director Matt O. shakes things up with Bloody Knuckles, a deliriously offensive, gory and happily un-PC horror-comedy. Travis (Adam Boys), an underground comic book artist with a penchant for obscene caricatures, upsets a thin-skinned crime lord, who responds by cutting off the young man’s hand. A despondent and now alcoholic Travis wallows in post-severed hand depression. Will criminality reign supreme? Will Travis give up his acerbic pen and live alone as a bitter one-handed man? Not if the slightly rotted hand, now alive and determined to exact revenge, teems up with his former body and a masked, S&M-loving gay superhero to rid the city of evil!

A Closer Walk with Thee
Jordan (AJ Knight), a young Christian missionary, gets caught watching his handsome pastor Eli (Gregory Shelby) in the shower. The rest of his church ostracizes him until Eli (who happens to be a fledgling exorcist) suggests it may be demonic possession that’s giving Jordan his ungodly homosexual urges. What starts as an exorcism to save their friendship quickly descends into psycho-sexual madness. An award-winner at film festivals, A Closer with Thee has earned some rave reviews from horror-savvy critics, Cineounx said it’s “like what would happen if someone handed Todd Solondz as exorcism script and said, ‘knock yourself out'” and Parade said it “Mixes exorcism, homoeroticism and evangelistic angst in a combo that clearly doesn’t cater to the Sunday School crowd.” Plus, the “hot young pastor and obedient church boy” dynamic is undeniable dirty fantasy fuel.

Der Samurai
Jakob (Michel Diercks) is a policeman in a village deep in the woods, where little happens… until the arrival of a mysterious wolf that is causing havoc. Working the night shift, Jakob is tracking the wolf, only to discover that the lupine lurker is actually a man clad only in lipstick and a ladies’ slip – and toting a samurai sword that he uses to lop off the heads of the townspeople, including Jakob’s tormentors. Jakob and the transvestite samurai seem to share a bond, and as the night gets darker, events get even weirder. Unlike any other horror film you’re likely to see, Der Samurai is a German mind-bender about shape-shifting cross-dressers, bloody decapitations, repressed sexual desires and small town life. It’s a surreal mix of dark comedy and eerie creep-out fun that recalls David Lynch and pays homage to, while often improving upon, the synth-soundtrack-packed horror classics of the 1980s.

Devil’s Path
In the early 1990s, two strangers (Stephen Twardokus and JD Scalzo) meet in a wilderness park where gay men cruise for sex. What seems like an innocent and random meeting quickly descends into a horrific nightmare. With recent disappearances and attacks, the two men soon find themselves in the terrifying position of being the next victims in a deadly game of cat and mouse. As they flee further into the woods to escape the danger, they begin to understand that the greatest danger of all may be closer than either of them realize. Will these two strangers be able to work together to defeat the darkness that has settled in on Devil’s Path? Or will their own secrets and lies lead them to be the next two missing persons in this perilous park? This riveting new gay thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Knife+Heart
Easily one of the most acclaimed gay cult films in recent memory, this sexually explicit throwback thriller from visionary writer-director Yann Gonzalez is an absolute must-see! Vanessa Paradis is incredible as Anne, a savvy French 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 the help of 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 the band M83, Knife+Heart is an ultra-stylish and blood-soaked ode to 1970s-era Brian De Palma, Dario Argento and William Friedkin.

Like Cattle Towards Glow
Dennis Cooper and Zac Farley‘s Like Cattle Towards Glow is a 93-minute film consisting of five independent, thematically and emotionally interconnected scenes. The film is a complex, intimate, strangely serene, wide-ranging, and always challenging exploration of sexual desire as a hiding place. In these unique, stylistically and temperamentally diverse scenes, each one featuring its own set of characters and storyline, sex makes a promise of something so intense and untenable to the characters that they feel they must enter it in secret – through an act of violence, or under the guise of an unrelated transaction, or by rationalizing its dangers away with the help of politics, or through utilizing it remotely as material for a purely aesthetic project. Like these characters, and like sex itself, Like Cattle Towards Glow is as deep, knowing, and unknowable as it is raucous, original, and explicit on the surface.

Rapture in Blue
Like a David Lynch thriller filmed through a queer lens, writer-director Ryder Houston‘s Rapture in Blue follows a young man’s quest through flickering neon and hazy noir shadows to find his true self. After Jason (Bryce Lederer) tries to use his childhood home for a steamy rendezvous with his girlfriend Valerie (Sarah Greenfield), they discover it has been newly occupied by the smoldering Sebastian (Tanner Garmon), who eagerly warms up to anxious Jason. Wracked with desires he’s long tried to ignore while also being pressured by his girlfriend’s sensual advances, a growing sense of unease and dread permeates his life. After receiving an “impossible” photo of him embracing Sebastian, Jason realizes he needs to confront the madness consuming him from all sides.

Rift
Paying homage to classic art-house horror films like Robert Wise’s The Haunting and Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, Rift is an enticing, well-acted and expertly-directed mystery-thriller from Iceland that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Gunnar receives a strange phone call from his ex-boyfriend, Einar, months after they parted ways. Einar sounds distraught, like he’s about to do something terrible to himself, so Gunnar drives to the secluded cabin where Einar is holed up and soon discovers there is more going on than he imagined. As the two come to terms with their broken relationship, some other person seems to be lurking outside the cabin, wanting to get inside. Eerie and stylishly crafted, Rift proved itself a big hit at film fests – not just LGBT festivals, but general horror film festivals as well, where it has earned rave reviews.

The Skin of the Teeth
Get Out meets Grindr in The Skin of the Teeth, a sinister new drama-thriller from writer-director Matthew Wollin, who evokes the feel of a contemporary film noir. When Josef (Pascal Arquimedes) arrives at John’s (Donal Brophy) apartment for a date, their prickly energy slowly gives way to an unusual and genuine chemistry. But after Josef swallows a pill with unclear effects, the night starts to take a shocking turn. Josef is suddenly plunged into a surreal world where he is forced into a literal and figurative interrogation of just who and what he is. While evoking the surreal work of David Lynch, this wild new film examines race, sex, love and identity in a mind-bending way – and the lead performance will keep you holding your breath from beginning to end.

The Year I Lost My Mind
From prolific German director Tor Iben (Love Kills, The Passenger, The Visitor) comes a brand-new thriller about a lonely young man who becomes dangerously obsessed with a perfect stranger. After encountering him during a burglary, Tom (Alexander Tsypilev), a disturbed young man prone to wearing creepy masks that obscure his quite handsome features, begins stalking and antagonizing the attractive young Lars (Julien Lickert). When Lars finally discovers that Tom is on his tail, and that his intentions may be somewhat sinister, he manages to turn the tables on him, leading to a unexpected game of cat-and-mouse and a shocking confrontation. Sexy and unsettling in equal measure, the tension is palpable in this stylish drama with shades of Alfred Hitchcock.

Coming Soon: Iftah

A 41-minute film from first-time director Moti Rachamim, Iftah follows a young man who, after years of denying his sexuality, leaves his family behind to start a new life in Tel-Aviv.

Iftah (Zohar Sabag) is attracted to men, but finds himself torn between his former family life and this new one of solitude. He is consumed with guilt and feels disconnected from everything around him – including the men he longs for.

Moving through different time periods, this contemplative Israeli drama shows both the romantic and traumatic scenes from Iftah’s life. We see him as a youth discovering his sexual identity. We also see scenes from the last days of his marriage, the drama from which ensued the break-up of his family and the freedom to truly become himself.

Watch a short teaser trailer for Iftah below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film will be available on DVD and Blu-ray exclusively at TLAgay beginning June 28th.

 

No Ordinary Man celebrates the legacy of musician and early trans icon Billy Tipton

American jazz musician Billy Tipton developed a reputable touring and recording career in the mid-twentieth century, along with his band The Billy Tipton Trio.

After his death in the late 80s, it was revealed that Tipton was assigned female at birth, and his life was swiftly reframed as the story of an ambitious woman passing as a man in pursuit of a music career.

The genre-defying documentary No Ordinary Man seeks to correct that misrepresentation by collaborating with trans artists. As they collectively celebrate Tipton’s story as a musician living his life according to his own terms, they paint a portrait of a trans culture icon.

No Ordinary Man features leading voices and breakout stars in the trans community, including Marquise Vilson, Scott Turner Schofield, Susan Stryker, C. Riley Snorton and Thomas Page McBee, among others.

 

Watch the trailer for No Ordinary Man below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film is coming to DVD and Blu-ray June 21st.

 

This Weekend’s VOD Favorites

The Gay Cinema Video On Demand experience at TLAgay.com has your entertainment needs covered! We’re always working to expand selection of new and old gay-themed movies available for your viewing pleasure. Here’s just five of our current favorites that you may have missed – ALL available to watch INSTANTLY!

 

My Best Part
French superstar Nicolas Maury (Call My Agent!, Knife+Heart) wrote, directed and stars in this coming-of-age dramedy as Jérémie, a hypersensitive struggling actor who seems to suffer from uncontrollable bouts of jealousy. Grappling with personal loss, a love life in shambles and a faltering career, he returns home to the loving arms of his clear-headed mother (played by ten-time César Award nominee Nathalie Baye) for support – all while scoping out some potential new companions and preparing for his next big audition. A critically-acclaimed hit on the international film festival circuit, don’t miss this auspicious and touching directorial debut, an official selection from the 2020 Cannes Film Festival now available in the United States.

 

Nowhere
Adrian and Sebastian (Miguel González and Juan Pablo Castiblanco) live an openly gay life in New York as immigrants. When Sebastian’s visa is rejected, the two must decide whether to return to Colombia – where they face rejection and persecution for their sexual orientation – or do whatever is necessary to stay in the United States. Either way, the thoughts and discussions associated with the decision will have a profound effect on the couple. Hitting upon hot button issues, Nowhere is a riveting new romantic drama that places its characters within the context of the difficult immigration situation in the US – as well as a furthering sense of homelessness and lack of belonging, which consistently haunts out main protagonists.

 

A Dim Valley
Ecology grad students Albert and Ian (Whitmer Thomas and Zach Weintraub) are spending the summer collecting samples with their curmudgeonly advisor (Robert Longstreet). At his woodsy cabin along the Appalachian Trail, close quarters foster comical friction and unexpected bonds between the two young men. When three mysterious, enigmatic female backpackers (Rachel McKeon, Feathers Wise and Rosalie Lowe) crash into their lives, they push the men to open up to one another and their true feelings soon begin to deepen. A clever new indie gem from writer-director Brandon Colvin, A Dim Valley is partly a queer allegory, partly a hilarious stoner comedy and partly a transcendental meditation on mysticism and love.

 

Grimsey
After his break-up with Bruno (Richard Garcia), Norberto (Eugenio Sanz) decides to leave everything behind and disappear to Iceland. Bruno, however, won’t give up on their relationship and he travels to Reykjavik on a mission to find his ex. Following his arrival, Bruno meets Arnau (Raul Portero), a fellow Spaniard who is working as a tour guide. The pair set off on a journey that will take them around the country and ultimately to the remote island of Grimsey. The stark beauty and desolate isolation of the Icelandic landscape provide the perfect backdrop for the quiet contemplation that is at the heart of Garcia and Portero’s emotionally affecting film.

 

The Revival
A secret relationship between a preacher and a young drifter challenges the equilibrium of a church. When Eli (David Rysdahl) begins preaching at his father’s old church, he is desperate to open the minds of the Old Testament-obsessed, fire-and-brimstone congregation. His plans are quickly derailed when he strikes up a relationship with a fascinating drifter (Zachary Booth). Tensions soon come to a head, with simmering resentments and repressed emotions all leading to a revival that will shake this sleepy Arkansas town to its core. The Revival  originated on the stage as a very successful off-Broadway play. Director Jennifer Gerber adapts the story into a film that is edgy, thought-provoking and essential.

 

 

 

Altered Innocence is releasing a collection of work from visionary director Yann Gonzalez

Horny monsters, erotic dancers, lonely youths, mourning lovers and people who just wanna party. The short cinema of Yann Gonzalez is full of unique islands with exciting characters, gorgeous cinematography and sonic arenas.

Before he made the acclaimed queer giallo homage Knife+Heart, these short films would go on to win Yann a devoted cult following and awards at festivals. Working closely with the director, the cult video label Altered Innocence has compiled seven of his short works here as a main program (many newly restored in HD) and an appendix of music videos and other works.

Also included in this amazing new collector’s set is the English-language Blu-ray premiere of Gonzalez’s first feature film You and the Night. Featuring characters like The Stud, The Teen, The Slut and The Star as guests at a pansexual orgy, You and the Night is an erotic and wild take on The Breakfast Club with each character baring their inner souls to the group to find acceptance and love. An original score by M83 sets the dreamy and transcendent tone for the eternal night.

 

Watch a new trailer for The Islands of Yann Gonzalez below and click here to pre-order your copy. The collection will be available on Blu-ray beginning May 31st.

 

A college freshman goes down a dark rabbit hole in the homoerotic new thriller Exploited

After Brian (Jordan Ver Hoeve), a closeted college freshman, checks into his dorm room, he discovers a thumb drive which includes files of a hot male webcam model (Colin Bates) interacting with clients. But the last session ends in what may be a murder.

Brian quickly becomes obsessed with unraveling the story, but his quest becomes complicated when he falls into the beefy arms of his hunky new wrestler roommate Jeremy (Andrew Matthew Welch) – who is seemingly straight and already has a girlfriend (Makenzie Vega). The mysterious disappearance of the webcam model takes on a dangerous voyeuristic role when this love triangle-embroiled trio finds themselves being manipulated, blackmailed and made to fear for their lives.

Unabashedly homoerotic, Exploited is a slick, scary and very sexy new thriller from actor-director Jon Abrahams (Kids, Scary Movie, Meet the Parents).

 

Watch the trailer for Exploited below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film will be available on DVD starting May 31st.

 

Coming Soon: Mascarpone

When Antonio (Giancarlo Commare) is suddenly dumped by his husband, whom he depends both psychologically and economically, his life begins to change radically.

Soon Antonio is flourishing. He rents a room in an apartment owned by the attractive, free-spirited and sex-positive Denis (Eduardo Valdarnini), starts pastry school – which he is passionate about – and takes a job working in a bakery owned by the extremely hunky Luca (Gianmarco Saurino). He also starts dating and having numerous hot sexual encounters. Through this process, Antonio discovers that it was wrong of him to give up his independence for the sake of his past relationship.

A perfect date movie, Mascarpone blends sexy men, endearing characters and charming humor. It’s as sweet and silky as the ingredient it is named for.

Check out these exciting photos from Mascarpone below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film is coming to DVD May 10th.