With the launch of brand-new TLAgay.com this past 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.
Fasten your seat belts for this visually torrid tour through the streets of Barcelona and into the violently emotional world of its love-starved inhabitants. Released in 1998, director Ventura Pons proved to be a daring and original filmmaker as he wove together several seemingly unconnected stories into a complex tapestry of people trapped by their sexual desires and who find their passions both ignited and muted – all in an effort for some kind of human tenderness. The stories begin with a husband and wife’s violent style of dinner preparation. Other stories include an older woman who tries to talk to her long estranged and now homeless brother who is still angry that she and his wife became lovers. It then follows an angry teenage boy who longs for an intimate relationship with his father and looks at a scene where an older man tries to stay young through the oral sexual services of a young male hustler. The cutting is rapid, the images glossy and the issues lurid and controversial. Caresses is drama of human detachment that will excite and mesmerize the viewer.
Director Ahmed Imamovic’s debut film, Go West, takes a risk that somehow works – it’s a movie that exhibits exhilarating changes in mood as daringly impressive as anything found in the works of John Ford or Frank Capra. The time is 1992, when war gripped Sarajevo. Kenan and Milan are young and in love. And if being gay is difficult in more reasonable times and places, it is just about impossible here, where prejudice against homosexuality is especially heightened in the Balkans. And so Kenan, who is Muslim, and Milan, a Serb, attempt to escape to Milan’s father’s home in Eastern Bosnia. When they are stopped by soldiers along the way, they have to think fast: after all, Kenan is uncircumcised, a dead giveaway that he is a Muslim. The guys get around the body check by passing Kenan off as a woman – as Milena, Milan’s finance. Meanwhile, Milan’s father (played by the iconic Rade Serbedzija), delighted with the idea of a new daughter-in-law, prepares wedding festivities. Imamovic’s film swings rather breathlessly from knockabout farce to wartime tragedy, filling in the space between with colorful characters. He manages to twist and pull his audience with a rare confidence, successfully having his way with our emotions. The result is a movie that keeps surprising us – as well as itself. Look for Jeanne Moreau in a brief cameo towards the climax.
2017, United States
Farleigh Knock (Thure Riefenstein) is wildly successful. A famous interior designer and host of a successful reality show, Farleigh has great taste and uses his money to ensure that he’s surrounded by beautiful things. One of those “things” is Dennis (Jon Paul Phillips), Farleigh’s handsome, much-younger boyfriend – who lives the high-life thanks to his youth and good looks. There’s just one problem: no one stays young forever. As his thirtieth birthday approaches, his benefactor whispers those six little words every “kept boy” dreads hearing: “Get a job… or get out.” Soon enough, Dennis finds himself being replaced by a sexy, younger pool boy. No longer a kept boy, he finds himself a lost man – learning, slowly, that it’s never too late to become the man you should have been all along… and that, sometimes, living the good life with a sugar daddy can be bittersweet. Don’t miss this funny, poignant and incredibly sexy new romantic comedy/drama.
2015, United States
Seed Money tells the the fascinating and largely unknown story of Chuck Holmes, the San Francisco pornographer who founded Falcon Studios. As a major contributor to gay advocacy groups, Holmes helped create and shape gay identity in the 20th century, only to find out that while his money was welcome in philanthropic circles, he sometimes was not. Funny, candid and completely eye-opening (in more ways than one), this feature-length documentary is packed with mind-blowing (and often load-blowing) archival footage as well as interviews with notable figures, including Chi Chi LaRue, Jeff Stryker, Scissor Sisters front-man Jake Shears and John Waters. Learn all about one of the gay communities most unheralded hero – seems like it’s the least we can do for him!
1999, United States
Made on an extremely low budget, this gritty comedy-drama follows the lives of David (Ben Berkowitz), a comedy club worker who is a loud, opinionated, overweight lout and womanizer (yet strangely sympathetic and likable) and his best friend and neighbor Jack, a quietly thoughtful construction worker involved in a long relationship with Maxine. When Maxine leaves suddenly, the despondent Jack moves in with his buddy. The character-driven tale looks at the men’s difficulties in their sexual lives and in maintaining their often-strained relationship with insight and wit. But when Jack comes out as gay, a whole new wrinkle unfolds. With some unusually sexy scenes and a real different approach to gay love and coming out, Straightman appeals to the “regular guy” in all of us. A wonderfully understated and knowing film – refreshingly distant from the gay-friendly but overly familiar gym bunny world of West Hollywood and Chelsea.