Trailer Alert: Benjamin

British comedian Simon Amstell wrote and directed this charmingly offbeat romantic comedy about a mess-of-a-filmmaker juggling the anxieties and excitement of his upcoming film premiere with the fear and awkwardness of a burgeoning romance.

Gangly and neurotic, and always ready with a self-defensive quip, indie film director Benjamin (Colin Morgan) nervously prepares for the premiere of his sophomore feature when he meets and falls for hard for Noah (Phénix Brossard), a young French musician. Will Benjamin’s insecurities and anxieties get in the way of success and happiness? Will his film be a critics-savaging disaster and he, a one-hit wonder? Amstell peppers this entertaining tale with hilariously deadpan one-liners and a scene-stealing cast of supporting characters including Joel Fry as Stephen, Benjamin’s manic-depressive stand-up comedian best friend; Jessica Raine as Billie, his unbearable publicist, Harry (Jack Rowan), his egocentric, bi lead actor; and Anna Chancellor as his patient producer.

Benjamin is a charming, laugh-out-loud look at one man’s land mined road to success and love.

Watch the trailer for Benjamin below and click here to pre-order your copy. It’s coming to DVD and VOD in August!

 

Now Available On-Demand: 15 Years

After fifteen years together, Yoav (Oded Leopold), a successful architect, has everything he’s ever wanted and he and his younger lover Dan (Udi Persi), a lawyer who idolizes him, seem to have a charmed relationship. Their sex life is still off the charts, their emotional bond is strong and they enjoy an intimate circle of friends. When Yoav’s best friend Alma (Ruti Asarsai), an esteemed artist who’s like a mother and sister to him, announces she’s pregnant, it ignites Dan’s desire to become a father himself. But Dan’s parental urges have the opposite effect on Yoav who is haunted by long buried demons, leading him to self-destructive behavior that threatens to destroy his life with Dan, unravel his friendship with Alma, and cost him everything.

Filmmaker Yuval Hadadi has written and directed a searing, insightful drama that offers a telling portrait of the emotional darkness lurking beneath the deceptively placid surface.

Read More

Fairytale is a surreal, over-the-top Italian satire all about America in the 1950s

America. The 1950s. Mrs. Fairytale (Filippo Timi) spends her days locked in a world of stuffed poodles, whiskey-infused teas, risqué mambo lessons and threats of alien invasion. In this Technicolor fantasia, all her hopes and dreams would appear to have come true, but something troubling lurks behind the polished veneers. When Mrs. Fairytale and her friend Mrs. Emerald embark on a journey of liberation and self-discovery, their cozy, colorful world is turned upside down.

With nods to everything from Doris Day movies, Douglas Sirk melodramas, the thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock and the early work of maverick queer filmmakers Todd Haynes and Francois Ozon, Fairytale is as much a homage to classic Hollywood as a satire of American values. Featuring gloriously camp costumes and performances, it’s a feast for the eyes.

 

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

 

Throwback Thursday: A Bigger Splash

Released in the early 1970s, A Bigger Splash is an intimate and innovative film about English-born, California-based artist David Hockney and his work, honoring its subject through creative risk-taking. Director Jack Hazan creates an improvisational narrative-nonfiction hybrid featuring Hockney, a wary participant, as well as his circle of friends, capturing the agonized end of the lingering affair between Hockney and his muse, an American model named Peter Schlesinger.

 

A Bigger Splash is at once a time capsule of hedonistic gay life in the 1970s, an honest-yet-tender depiction of gay male romance that dispenses with the then-current narratives of self-hatred and self-pity, an invaluable view of art history in action and a record of artistic creation that is itself also a unique work of art. We’re very happy to see that it has been preserved so lovingly.

 

This Newly Restored Special Edition includes audio commentary by director Jack Hazan, the short documentaries Love’s Presentation (1962) and Portrait of David Hockney (1972), the original theatrical trailer and a deeply informative booklet essay by film critic Nick Pinkerton.

 

Watch the original trailer for A Bigger Splash below and click here to pre-order your copy. This new collector’s item is coming to DVD and Blu-ray in late-July.

 

Trailer Alert: Pornstar Pandemic

What happens to adult film stars when their industry comes to a halt? Pornstar Pandemic seeks to discover just that by opening the doors to a rare, intimate examination of LGBTQ adult actors and their lives during the COVID-19 quarantine.

Follow top adult stars Dante Colle, Pierce Paris, DeAngelo Jackson, and newcomers like Elijah Wilde and Jack Loft during their daily activities. Discover their personal thoughts on the current state of the industry, their own roles in it, how the shutdown has affected their lives and livelihood, and what’s next once everyone can return to work.

Watch the trailer for Pornstar Pandemic below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film is coming to DVD and VOD in July!

 

Coming Soon: You Don’t Nomi

“SMARTLY ANALYTICAL AND ENTERTAINING”
– DAVID ROONEY, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

 

“ALMOST AS ENTERTAINING AS SHOWGIRLS ITSELF”
– RICH JUZWIAK, JEZEBEL

 

“PLEASINGLY WONKISH”
– BEN KENIGSBERG, THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

“EXHILARATING, MADCAP CINE-ESSAY”
– DAVID EDELSTEIN, VULTURE

 

“THE MOST THOUGHTFUL DECONSTRUCTION OF A FILM IMAGINABLE”
– KENT TURNER, FILM FORWARD

 

In You Don’t Nomi, a chorus of film critics and fervent devotees explore the complicated afterlife of 1995’s biggest film flop, Paul Verhoeven’s salacious Showgirls, from disastrous release to cult adoration and extraordinary redemption. The film features Adam Nayman, April Kidwell and Joshua Grannell (a.k.a. Peaches Christ) as well as archive interview footage with the cast and crew of Showgirls. Don’t miss the exceptional pop-doc that Jezebel called “almost as entertaining as Showgirls itself.”

 

Watch the trailer for You Don’t Nomi below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film is coming to DVD and Blu-ray in July.

 

Don’t miss the deeply affecting three-part Swedish period piece Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves

Based on an acclaimed trilogy of novels by Swedish author Jonas Gardell, the three-part drama Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves follows two young men in love and the impact of the AIDS crisis on Stockholm’s gay community in the early 1980s. Originally airing in Sweden in 2012, the series is now coming to the United States on DVD. Each episode covers one of the three novels: Love (Kärleken), Disease (Sjukdomen) and Death (Döden).

 

As the show begins, it focuses on nineteen-year-old Rasmus (Adam Pålsson), who after graduation moves from rural Värmland to Stockholm to attend school. As soon as he arrives in Stockholm he begins to seek out the gay community, where he meets and befriends Paul (Simon J. Berger). At a Christmas dinner party in Paul’s apartment he eventually meets Benjamin (Adam Lundgren), a young man who is struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality and faith as a Jehovah’s Witness.

 

Rasmus and Benjamin fall deeply in love just as the AIDS crisis is about to begin. An early scene in the first episode shows two nurses dressed in heavy-duty bio-protective clothing in the early ’80s, caring for Reine (Kristoffer Berglund); suffering from AIDS. As the nurses tend the pained man, one nurse wipes a tear from his eye, which leads to the second nurse rebuking her afterwards with the sentence that serves as the title of the series: “Don’t ever wipe tears without gloves,” reflecting the unnecessary fear surrounding the virus at the time.

 

With terrific writing, direction and performances, Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves is a deeply powerful romance and period piece and a strong reminder of how hard we have fought (and continue to fight) as a community. Watch the series trailer below and click here to pre-order your copy. It is coming to DVD in July.

 

Now Available On-Demand: Siberia & Him

In the stunning new gay romance Siberia & Him, two men begin a clandestine and erotically charged affair – far removed from the prying eyes of their dictatorial society.

Brothers-in-law Sasha, a meek farmhand, and Dima, a policeman, have always had a fraught relationship. When the two set out on a trip together through the desolate, wide-open country of Siberia in an effort to reach a troubled relative, things begin to change. Along their journey, unspoken truths are uttered and a deep intimacy is built. The pair soon become not only travel companions, but secret lovers – spending their days hiking and hunting for food and their nights in one another’s arms. Although they may be far from their oppressive society, their relationship teeters on a dangerous precipice.

 

Watch the trailer for Siberia & Him below and click here to watch the film or order your copy. The film is now available on-demand.

Read More

The Prince is an explosive new film about masculine aggression, conflicting loyalties and pent-up sexual desires

“A dark, raw film that takes us directly into the harsh life behind bars in the notorious San Bernardo prison outside Santiago, Chile… beneath this primal surface there exists a tale of loyalty love and compassion that blooms even in the most horrific of circumstance.” – The Chicago Times Weekly

 

The Prince is brutal, raw and cold, yet also beautiful, sincere and honest.” – WireMag

 

“A pretty boy — or, to be more precise, an angular jawline and a head of lush curls in search of a personality — is thrown into a dark and dank prison in 1970 Chile in The Prince. For most people, this would be a horror scenario, but this feature is such a work of homoerotic fantasy, pilfering liberally from sources ranging from Un Chant d’amour to Querelle and the opera omnia of Jean-Daniel Cadinot, that the protagonist doesn’t mind being locked away with a bunch of handsy, well-endowed inmates for even one hot minute. Quite the contrary, as behind bars he’ll find plenty of man-on-man action, cute bell-bottoms and perhaps even the homosexual Holy Grail decades before the age of marriage equality: love.” – The Hollywood Reporter

 

The Prince deals with the homosexual awakening of a young man called Jaime (played by Juan Carlos Maldonado). It’s a realization that, sadly, he could not come to while he was a free man, given that any sign of desire between two men would have been suppressed by the conservative society of the time… The Prince is a story of survival revolving around a young man condemned to remain in this hellhole of a prison.” – Cineuropa

 

“Just wait until you see all the sweat, pubes, and grime on display here: Muñoz treats men’s bodies the same as most studios treat women’s, and that’s the point… The guards are brutal and the hyper-masculinity only reaches a ceasefire in inmates’ passionate expressions of their sexuality… it’s wonderful how Muñoz plays with masculinity. He shoots men like we’d expect to see them only to stage them like lingerie models minutes later. They get to be domineering; they get to be vulnerable. It gets to a point where it isn’t so much about gender as it is raw emotions, and DP Enrique Stindt complements this wonderfully with patinas and grain detail. There are too many supporting characters at times, but The Prince sure knows how to develop a sense of place.” – TheSpool

 

“As in the work of Jean Genet, The Prince offers a gritty but phantasmatic world of social deviance and sexual liberation, where the close proximity of barely clothed or naked male bodies sparks an irrepressible eroticism that can only be answered through intercourse or violence. Muñoz, a first-time director, does an elegant job of balancing the lurid and the tender; there’s certainly enough exposed flesh here to reflect the material’s pulp origins, but the feelings that are evinced, the yearning for intimacy and affirmation between men who’ve been denied them, is just as affecting.” – CineFile

 

From director Sebastian Muñoz, The Prince is an explosive homoerotic prison 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”  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.

 

Watch the trailer for The Prince below. The film is coming to DVD, Blu-ray and VOD in July.

 

Trailer Alert: Seahorse

Seahorse follows one trans man’s pioneering quest to fulfill an age-old desire: to start his own family. This is the story of the dad who gave birth.

Freddy is 30 and yearns to start a family but for him this ordinary desire comes with unique challenges. He is a gay transgender man. Deciding to carry his own baby took years of soul searching, but nothing could prepare him for the reality of pregnancy, as both a physical experience and one that challenges society’s fundamental understanding of gender, parenthood and family. He quickly realizes that what to him feels pragmatic, to others feels deeply confusing and confronting; this was not part of his plan. Against a backdrop of increasing hostility towards trans people the world over, Freddy is forced to confront his own naivety, mine unknown depths of courage and lean on every friend and family member who will stand by him.

Made with unprecedented access and collaboration over three years, Seahorse follows Freddy from preparing to conceive right through to birth. It is an intimate, audacious and lyrical story for the cinema about conception, pregnancy, birth and what makes us who we are. The film is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Jeanie Finlay (Game of Thrones: The Last Watch) and produced by Andrea Cornwell (Saint Maud, Apostasy).

 

Watch the trailer for Seahorse below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film is coming to DVD in July.