Trailer Alert: Ernesto

Ernesto (Federico Russo) is a teenager who wanders, in search of himself, through the streets of Rome. Chapter after chapter, time passes – and people just seem to disappear. But he continues to live impromptu relationships, causing pain to himself and to others. Taking refuge in his happy moments and in political ideologies, he believes he can save his soul from suffering… although life will force him to grow and move forward.

Directed by partners Alice De Luca and Giacomo Raffaelli, Ernesto was shot in the 4:3 aspect ratio to give viewers a sense of the fragments of the lead character’s life – as if the film you’re watching were a lengthy re-working of the protagonist’s own memories. Ernesto is the first feature film the pair has made.

As a creative team they go by the name Freeres, which is synonymous with Brothers and Free Projects. Before making this debut, they organized several film forums, attended film festivals and made short films focusing on the inwardness of young people, reckoning that the modern Italian cinema has not really probed adequately into its complexity and suffering, thus failing to represent it correctly on the screen.

 

Check out some select stills from Ernesto below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film will be available on DVD and VOD starting March 9th.

 

Now Available On-Demand: The Strong Ones

From writer-director Omar Zuniga, The Strong Ones tells the romantic saga of a fisherman and an architect in the beautiful landscape of Southern Chile as they find love at the edge of the world.

 

Lucas (Samuel Gonzalez) travels to visit his sister who lives in a remote town in Southern Chile. Beside the ocean shrouded in the wintery mist he meets Antonio (Antonio Altamirano), a boatswain on a local fishing boat. When an intense romance blossoms between them, their strength, independence, and adulthood become immovable, just like the ebb and flow of the tide.

 

A confidently-crafted festival favorite, The Strong Ones took home both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at Outfest this year. It’s a heartwarming romance you won’t want to miss.

 

Watch the trailer for The Strong Ones below and click here to watch the film. It’s available now on-demand at TLAgay.

 

An unusual bromance turns sinister in the eerie new indie thriller Rent-A-Pal

Set in 1990, the trippy, weirdly homoerotic new thriller Rent-A-Pal follows a lonely straight bachelor named David (Brian Landis Folkins) as he searches for an escape from the day-to-day drudgery of caring for his aging mother (Kathleen Brady). It’s not the sunniest living situation – by far – and David is in desperate need of a friend.

 

While seeking a partner through a less-than-helpful video dating service, David discovers a strange discount-bin VHS tape called Rent-A-Pal. Hosted by the charming and charismatic Andy (Wil Wheaton), the tape offers him much-needed company, compassion and friendship. But, Andy’s friendship – however bizarrely one-sided – comes at a cost… and David desperately struggles to afford the price of admission.

 

With an eerie high-concept premise and excellent performances, Rent-A-Pal resides somewhere between a pitch-black comedy, bleak kitchen sink drama, tense sci-fi thriller and gory psychological horror flick. All grown up, Stand by Me and Star Trek: The Next Generation star Wil Wheaton gives an ambiguously demented performance as a seemingly friendly video host who may have some majorly toxic issues lurking just under the surface. And while this isn’t a gay-themed film, there’s some subtle, off-kilter homoeroticism to the main relationship that grabbed our attention.

 

Watch the trailer for Rent-A-Pal below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film will be available on DVD and Blu-ray starting March 9th.

 

Photo Gallery: Ernesto

Ernesto (Federico Russo) is a teenager who wanders, in search of himself, through the streets of Rome. Chapter after chapter, time passes – and people just seem to disappear. But he continues to live impromptu relationships, causing pain to himself and to others. Taking refuge in his happy moments and in political ideologies, he believes he can save his soul from suffering… although life will force him to grow and move forward.

Directed by partners Alice De Luca and Giacomo Raffaelli, Ernesto was shot in the 4:3 aspect ratio to give viewers a sense of the fragments of the lead character’s life – as if the film you’re watching were a lengthy re-working of the protagonist’s own memories. Ernesto is the first feature film the pair has made.

As a creative team they go by the name Freeres, which is synonymous with Brothers and Free Projects. Before making this debut, they organized several film forums, attended film festivals and made short films focusing on the inwardness of young people, reckoning that the modern Italian cinema has not really probed adequately into its complexity and suffering, thus failing to represent it correctly on the screen.

 

Check out some select stills from Ernesto below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film will be available on DVD and VOD starting March 9th.

 

 

 

Coming Soon: 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 from writer-directors David and Francisco Salazar. The film 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.

 

Watch the trailer for Nowhere below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film will be available on DVD and VOD starting February 23rd.

 

The Films of Casper Andreas

Selected as one of the 100 most influential and newsworthy LGBTQ+ people by Out Magazine, Casper Andreas is an accomplished actor, writer, film director and producer. In 2020, he was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirit Awards for producing Wild Nights with Emily, Madeleine Olnek’s comedic biopic about Emily Dickinson starring Molly Shannon. Also in 2020, Casper premiered his 10th feature film as a producer, the Swedish relationship drama Are We Lost Forever, directed by David Färdmar.

Prior to all this, Casper wrote, produced and directed numerous multi-award winning features through his production and distribution company Embrem Entertainment. Floating effortlessly between comedy, drama, romance and thrillers, he’s an incredibly versatile filmmaker with a bunch of gay cinema crowd-pleasers under his belt. We’re spotlighting six below.

Flatbush Luck and Kiss Me, Kill Me are available currently at TLAgay. His films Between Love and Goodbye, The Big Gay Musical, Going Down in La-La Land and Violet Tendencies are available to pre-order now and will be released on DVD starting February 9th.

 

Between Love and Goodbye
Kyle and Marcel (Simon Miller and Justin Tensen) are in love at first sight. Marcel, who is from France, marries his lesbian friend Sarah (Jane Elliott) so that he can stay in the United States with Kyle. Enter Kyle’s sister, April (Rob Harmon), a former prostitute who needs a place to crash. Taking a quick disliking to Marcel, April methodically drips poison into their happiness. The perfect couple falls headlong into possessiveness, jealousy and rage; trapped in the tangled emotions found in that space between love and goodbye.

The Big Gay Musical
Starring in the Off-Broadway musical comedy Adam and Steve: Just the Way God Made ‘Em, aspiring actors Paul and Eddie (Daniel Robinson and Joey Dudding) find their complicated lives mirroring their onstage characters. Through rousing musical numbers that feature scantily-clad, tap-dancing angels, a clever retelling of Genesis, creepy televangelists and a camp that attempts to turn gay kids straight, everyone realizes that life gets better once they accept who they really are: just the way God made ’em!

Flatbush Luck
Flatbush Luck tells the story of two hunky cousins from Flatbush, Brooklyn. Former Wall Street hotshot Jimmy (Tanner Novlan) and his buttoned-up cousin Max (Robby Stahl) work as phone repairmen. One day they stumble across insider trading tips and start tapping a phone line to get even more. But when stock tips turn to murder plots, the hapless men are unable to go to the police and soon find themselves in over their heads and flat out of luck. An impending wedding and sexual confusion round out the plot in this romantic comedy crime caper.

Going Down in La-La Land
Young, handsome and ambitious, Adam (Matthew Ludwinski) arrives from New York with dreams of becoming a star. Soon, Adam finds himself dealing with down-and-out directors, washed up starlets, closeted celebrities and meth addicts as he starts to lose himself in an underworld of gay porn and prostitution. Going Down in La-La Land is a candid, sexy, outrageously funny look as what an actor can – and will – do to survive in Hollywood.

Kiss Me, Kill Me
Dusty (Van Hansis) blacks out while confronting his cheating boyfriend Stephen (Gale Harold). When Dusty comes to, he finds that Stephen has been murdered… and now he’s the prime suspect. But West Hollywood is filled with other possible perpetrators: an unstable lawyer, a couples’ therapist, a jealous ex, a sketchy best friend, a resentful lesbian couple, and a drag queen hypnotist. Now Dusty must put all the pieces together to figure out what really happened – even if it means he’s guilty of murder.

Violet Tendencies
In this charming romantic comedy, Violet (Mindy Cohn), finds that her love life is one big belly flop. Realizing she’s at a certain age and still single, Violet starts to wonder if her close attachments to her gay best friends, and their packed social life, are preventing her from finding a real relationship. Seeking out a straight male version of herself – the mythical “fag stag” – Violet strikes out on a hilarious quest to change the woman she is. Chasing love and lust at all costs, she may find them both in the most unlikely of places.

Get an Extra 30% OFF Streaming Rentals & Downloads THIS WEEKEND at TLAgay!

 

From now until Monday, February 1st at 4:00pm, we’re offering a whopping 30% OFF ALL STREAMING RENTALS AND DIGITAL DOWNLOADS at TLAgay!

Catch up on the latest and hottest gay movies and adult titles while you’re staying home and safe. Check out our current top gay movies below and click here to start browsing the full selection!

 

Dry Wind
A gloriously erotic new film from Brazilian director Daniel Nolasco, Dry Wind follows factory worker Sandro (Leandro Faria Lelo) as he escapes his rural boredom via secret trysts with his co-worker Ricardo (Allan Jacinto Santana) – and through elaborate sexual fantasies that would make Tom of Finland himself blush. Though his sex life is in full swing, Sandro shies away from any emotional attachment, preferring to imagine worlds of anonymity, leather and unbridled fetish-play – which Nolasco brings to stunning life in color-drenched widescreen glory. When a new arrival to town (Rafael Teóphilo) – a certified hunk straight out of Sandro’s dreams – sets his sights on Ricardo, Sandro finds himself brimming with jealousy and fearing exclusion from the kind of romance he never thought he wanted.

 

The Acrobat
Montreal is snowed under. While the downtown cranes dance their ballet, two strangers (played by Yury Paulau and Sébastien Ricard) meet randomly in an unfinished apartment. Their chance encounter leads to a violent attraction and a dependency beyond reason. One man is a Russian-born professional acrobat whose future is jeopardized by a broken leg. The other is a buttoned-down, well-groomed man of few words. Which one dominates? Which one manipulates? As it turns out, love is painful and human relations are complex. Staggeringly sexy, this new film from French-Canadian provocateur Rodrigue Jean (Love in the Time of Civil War, Men for Sale) features real, completely unsimulated and incredibly explicit gay sex scenes. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.

 

No Hard Feelings
Parvis (Benjamin Radjaipour), the son of exiled Iranians, copes with life in his small hometown by indulging himself with pop culture, Grindr dates and raves. After being caught shoplifting, he is sentenced to community service at a refugee shelter where he meets siblings Banafshe and Amon (Banafshe Hourmazdi and Eidin Jalali), who have recently fled Iran. As a romantic attraction between Parvis and Amon grows, the fragile relationship between the three is put to the test. They find and lose each other throughout a summer of fleeting youth, an intense first love, an attempt at a joint future and the stark realization that, in Germany, they are not entirely equal. A critically-acclaimed new romantic drama, No Hard Feelings won the coveted Teddy Award for Best Queer Feature Film.

 

A Skeleton in the Closet
When Manuel (Facundo Gambande) returns to his hometown on the occasion of his parents’ wedding anniversary, he has a bit of an ulterior motive. He’s planning to ask for money so that he can move to Denmark with his boyfriend. The last time he saw his family, he came out of the closet – and things have been tense ever since. When his boyfriend suddenly dumps him, Manuel finds himself diving head-first into an existential crisis. Now more in need of his family’s love and support than ever, an unexpected opportunity to reconnect presents itself. Featuring a terrifically endearing lead performance, A Skeleton in the Closet is a tender and heartfelt Argentinian family comedy-drama that you don’t want to miss.

 

The Prince
The Prince is an explosive new homoerotic drama set in a repressive 1970s Chilean prison. During a night of heavy drinking, Jaime (Juan Carlos Maldonado), a hot-tempered narcissist, suddenly stabs his best friend. He is sent to jail for murder and there, alone and afraid, he comes under the protection of a tough older inmate known as The Stallion (Alfredo Castro). The unlikely pair begin a clandestine romance but violent power struggles inside the penitentiary threaten their bond. This searing story of survival at all costs, takes its inspiration from Jean Genet’s Un Chant d’amour and Fassbinder’s Querelle in its affecting exploration of masculine aggression, conflicting loyalties and pent-up sexual desires. “For most people, this would be a horror scenario,” said The Hollywood Reporter. “But this feature is such a work of homoerotic fantasy… that the protagonist doesn’t mind being locked away with a bunch of handsy, well-endowed inmates for even one hot minute.”

 

Young Hunter
A tense new thriller from acclaimed writer-director Marco Berger, Young Hunter follows Ezequiel (Juan Pablo Cestaro), a fifteen year old boy on the cusp of his sexual awakening. While his parents are away, he meets a handsome, slightly older guy named Mono (Lautaro Rodríguez) and quickly starts a relationship. Mono invites him to his cousin’s villa to spend a weekend together, but while returning from the trip Mono seemingly disappears, no longer responding to texts. Ezequiel is surprised and confused until Chino (Juan Barberini), Mono’s cousin, sends him a hidden camera video of their sexual encounter, blackmailing him into participating in an increasingly dangerous criminal conspiracy. Against his own will, Ezequiel must decide whether to come clean or turn from prey to hunter.

Now Available On-Demand: Madame

The touching new documentary Madame is a double portrait of a young boy slowly coming out of the closet and of the lady that was, even more than his own mother, the woman of his life – his grandmother.

 

Based on private archival footage, Madame takes us onto an intimate journey where Caroline, a flamboyant 90-year-old grandmother, and her filmmaker grandson Stephane explore the development and transmission of gender identity in a patriarchal environment. Promised to domestic life in the 1920s, Caroline manages to free herself from the clutches of forced marriage and becomes a successful businesswoman, defying the social rules of her time. In parallel, Stephane struggles to play the role everyone expects in his Swiss bourgeois family until the day he comes out of the closet and sets off on a crusade against homophobia and sexism.

 

Watch the trailer for Madame below and click here to rent or download the movie. The film is available now on-demand at TLAgay!

 

Out This Week: Welcome to Chechnya

With searing urgency, the edge-of-your-seat documentary Welcome to Chechnya shadows a group of activists who risk unimaginable peril to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ purge raging in the repressive and closed Russian republic.

 

Since 2017, Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has waged a depraved operation to “cleanse the blood” of LGBTQ Chechens, overseeing a campaign to detain, and execute them. Operating without the sanction of the Kremlin, activists take matters into their own hands.

 

In this riveting new film, acclaimed director David France (the same filmmaker behind How to Survive a Plague and The Death of Marsha P. Johnson – also both must-sees) uses a remarkable hands-on approach to expose this atrocity and tell the story of an extraordinary group of people literally putting their lives on the line to confront evil.

 

Originally broadcast on HBO, Welcome to Chechnya is available on DVD starting this week. Watch the trailer below and click here to order your copy.

 

Just Came Out: Spiral

“A solid flick simmering with mystery and tension.” – We Live Entertainment

Spiral demonstrates the horrors of othering in a way that is both modern and classic.” – Quelle Movies

“A queer leading couple, super creepy atmosphere, and so many turns I wasn’t sure what to expect.” – I Love Splatter

“A damn good horror movie, gripping from start to finish.” – Bloody Disgusting

“An unapologetically gay horror that is also quietly impressive.” – Smash Cut Reviews

“One of the most powerful, socially conscious and memorable horror movies of the year.” – Wicked Horror

“A frightening and compelling addition to queer-powered horror.” – Dread Central

 

Malik (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) and Aaron (Ari Cohen), a same-sex couple, move to a small town so they can enjoy a better quality of life as they raise their 16-year-old daughter Kayla (Jennifer Laporte). But nothing is as it seems in their picturesque new neighborhood. And when they see that the folks next door are throwing a very strange, cult-like party, being the new LGBTQ family in town suddenly feels extremely dangerous. Are they just being paranoid, or are they in some serious trouble?

A clever gay horror-thriller that tackles deep themes, Spiral is a must-see for gay-movie horror fans! Watch the trailer below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film is now available on DVD and Blu-ray at TLAgay.