Once A Year on Blackpool Sands is a triumphant new comedy-drama based on real events, regarding an extraordinary night in Blackpool 1953, several days after the Queen’s Coronation.
Tommy and Eddy (Macaulay Cooper and Kyle Brooks) are coal miners and secret gay lovers who spend their holiday at a quirky bed and breakfast in Blackpool, along with a few other “alternative” members of society. Together, they summon up the courage to do the first fabled walk towards Gay Pride.
Written and directed by Karlton Parris, this true story offers a rare glimpse into an underrepresented era in LGBTQ history. Touching and poignant, Once a Year on Blackpool Sands offers up a portrayal of the lives of working-class gay men and the women who supported them, in a time when homosexuality was a crime.
Javi (Nestor Goenaga) is an attractive young rent boy in need of work. So when he arrives at the local bathhouse, his first priority is not a quick encounter, but gainful employment. What he doesn’t anticipate finding, in its steamy, illicit walls, however, is love… and murder!
A gloriously colorful gay musical, replete a drag queen chorus, celebrating the exuberant joys of the male body and hot sex with stunningly choreographed dance numbers and cheeky lyrics, The Phantom Of The Sauna is a true unadulterated pleasure from start to finish.
A selection of the Venice Film Festival and Brazil’s official submission to the Academy Awards, Private Desert boasts lush cinematography and a hauntingly atmospheric score. You’ll never hear “Total Eclipse of the Heart” the same way again.
The film follows Daniel (Antonio Saboia), a police academy teacher who has been placed on unpaid leave after a violent incident. The only thing holding him together is his cyber romance with Robson (Pedro Fasanaro), an attractive young gender-fluid worker who goes by “Sara” online and keeps their female identity secret in daily life.
When Sara suddenly goes missing, Daniel drives 2,000 miles across Brazil to find her. He posts Sara’s picture all over town but no one recognizes her… until he receives a mysterious call from someone claiming to know her and asking to meet. What follows is a journey of the heart that will change both lovers forever.
In the tradition of A Fantastic Woman and Strawberry and Chocolate, Private Desert is both a swooning, sun-baked romance and a triumphant affirmation of queer love and humanity at a time when LGBTQ+ rights are increasingly imperiled.
“Boldly provocative… a bracingly clever celebration of youthful physicality.” – Shadows on the Wall
“As you might guess, there’s a lot of beautiful bodies on display.” – The Arts StL
“A compact and sexy crowd-pleaser… The filmmaker is playing up the eroticism for sure, but when the nature of the sport you’re portraying is already pretty nude, he’s managed – with aplomb – to turn up the voyeurism to thirteen.” – The Pink Lens
“A potent depiction of prejudice and loneliness… pulls out all the stops for an enchanting finale that’s sure to make you cheer.” – Radio Times
“Rendered with style and rich psychology… sweat pools around the athlete’s body and the line between ambition and obsession is enchantingly legible.” – The New York Times
Speedos, water, desire… and only one ticket to the Olympics. A critically-acclaimed film festival hit from up-and-coming Israeli director Adam Kalderon, The Swimmer is a sexy and boldly provocative crowd-pleaser.
Erez (Omer Perelman Striks), a rising star in the Israeli swimming scene, arrives at a godforsaken training camp held in a boarding school – where only one winning athlete will get a ticket to the Olympics. There he meets the beautiful and talented Nevo (Asaf Jonas), who awakens subconscious desires in him.
Unfortunately, their swimming coach does not believe in friendship between competitors. Warned to stay away from Nevo, Erez is way too attracted to him to give up completely. In between practices, he attempts to act upon his feelings and comes to believe that winning a medal is less important than winning Nevo’s heart.
“Immersive, visually stunning and compelling.” – FilmWeek
“It’s got humor and hear to spare.” – National Post
“A beautiful testament to the power of authentic storytelling.” – Indiewire
“Leaves us with a sense of freedom and acceptance that is lighter than air.” – Washington Blade
“A thoughtful, poetic and transcendent meditation on growing up, finding one’s way and creating a better life.” – What She Said
“Such a gorgeous film… shares concepts of fluidity, gender, sexuality, sacredness and vulnerability in a truly magical way.” – The Austin Chronicle
“Wildhood combines the foundation of heartrending coming-of-age narratives with the feel-good elements of road trip flicks to create a delicate, not to mention visually appealing, film.” – Hollywood Reporter
“Bristling with attitude, the film revels in its youthful characters’ loose physicality as they begin feeling freedom for the first time.” – Shadows on the Wall
“Believable, heart-tugging, well-scripted and performed… a perfectly lovely road movie and a screen win for indigenous representation.” – Celluloid Dreams
It’s only August, but this new romantic coming-of-age drama, the feature-length debut from writer-director Bretten Hannam, is already shaping up to become one of the best gay films of 2022.
Wildhood follows Link (played by Phillip Lewitski in a star-making performance), a lost young man who lives with his toxic father and younger half-brother in a rural trailer park. When he discovers that his Mi’kmaw mother could still be alive, it lights a flame inside of him. Soon, he and his little brother Travis (Avery Winters-Anthony) make a run for a better life. On the road they meet Pasmay (Joshua Odjick), a pow-wow dancer drawn to Link. As the boys journey across Mi’kma’ki, Link finds community, identity and love in a land where he finally feels that he belongs.
After a prolonged disappearence, Adam (Beau Swartz) reluctantly returns to sex work. Following the urge to protect a young aspiring adult film star, Lucy (Keiva Bradley), from their terrorizing handler, Felix (Francisco Antonio), Adam’s actions trigger a series of events that send violent ripples through the Los Angeles underground sex-trade.
Though it faltered at the box office, Bros has proved a big success with critics. And, financially successful or not, there’s still something thrilling about the fact that Universal Pictures gave this proudly gay comedy such a wide release in the first place. Let’s hope it’s not the last.
From producer Judd Apatow, director Nicholas Stoller and the ferocious comic mind of Billy Eichner, Bros is a smart, swoony, hilarious and deeply heartfelt new comedy about finding sex, love and romance in the modern gay world. For anyone who missed it in theaters, we’re happy to announce that you can now order your copy on DVD and Blu-ray!
Eichner stars in Bros as Bobby Leiber, a podcaster and writer assigned to author a romantic comedy about a gay couple that also appeals to straight audiences. Instead, Bobby is more interested in detailing how LGBTQ+ relationships differ from straight relationships by portraying an unadulterated version of gay romance. When he meets Aaron, an alluring, almost “too good to be true” jock played by Luke Macfarlane, he suddenly finds himself questioning his identity and long-held views on love.
Watch the trailer for Bros below and click here to pre-order your copy.
From acclaimed director Antonio Campos (Afterschool, The Sinner, The Devil All the Time), The Staircase is a riveting 8-episode limited series from HBO.
Based on the shocking true story and the massively influential docuseries of the same name, the show follows Michael Peterson (Colin Firth), a closeted crime novelist who is accused of killing his wife Kathleen (Toni Collette) after she is found dead at the bottom of a staircase in their home. As the investigation continues, the entire Peterson family is thrown into a tumultuous legal battle. Meanwhile, a French documentary crew takes an interest in the story and dramatically changes the lives of everyone involved.
Featuring an exceptional supporting cast – including Patrick Schwarzenegger, Olivia DeJonge, Sophie Turner, Dane DeHaan, Michael Stuhlbarg, Rosemarie DeWitt, Parker Posey and Juliette Binoche – The Staircase is easily one of the year’s best limited series. Anyone familiar with the still-mysterious true story will understand how difficult it is to depict, but the filmmakers handle the challenge with aplomb, presenting numerous possibilities without any definitive answers – which works surprisingly well in the show’s favor. Also of interest to our LGBTQ+ viewers is the way the series examines repressed sexuality and they way it both effects and is used against the characters.
Watch HBO’s trailer for The Staircase below and click here to pre-order your copy. The series will be available on DVD starting December 27th.
Jane Campion returns to the kind of mythic frontier landscape – pulsating with both freedom and menace – that she previously traversed in The Piano in order to plumb the masculine psyche in The Power of the Dog, set against the desolate plains of 1920s Montana and adapted by the filmmaker from Thomas Savage‘s novel.
After a sensitive widow (Kirsten Dunst) and her enigmatic, fiercely loving son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) move in with her gentle new husband (Jesse Plemons), a tense battle of wills plays out between them and his brutish brother (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose frightening volatility conceals a secret torment, and whose capacity for tenderness, once reawakened, may offer him redemption or spell his destruction.
Campion, who won an Academy Award for her direction here, charts the repressed desire and psychic violence coursing among these characters with the mesmerizing control of a master at the height of her powers.
With some titles disappearing from streaming services, it’s nice to know that there will be physical copies of The Power of the Dog available – especially from The Criterion Collection, who have long celebrated Jane Campion’s work. This upcoming special edition includes numerous special features. There is a new interview with Campion about the making of the film, a documentary featuring interviews with members of the cast and crew and behind-the-scenes footage captured on location in New Zealand, an interview with composer Jonny Greenwood about the film’s score, an essay by film critic Amy Taubin and much, much more.
From celebrated gay filmmaker Francois Ozon, Peter von Kant is a critically-acclaimed retelling of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s classic drama The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.
Set in the 1970s, the film follows Peter (Denis Menochet), a famous director who lives with his assistant Karl (Stefan Crepon), whom he likes to mistreat and humiliate. Through his actress muse Sidonie (Isabelle Adjani), he meets and falls in love with Amir (Khalil Gharbia), a handsome young man of modest means. Quickly becoming smitten, Peter offers to help break Amir into cinema – setting up a tense love triangle and complicated working relationship with Karl.
Having previously helmed the cult film Water Drops on Burning Rocks, an adaptation of a play by Fassbinder, back in 2000, Ozon creates a loving tribute to one of his cinematic idols while also offering up a colorful, sexually-charged drama all his own.
Watch the trailer for Peter von Kant below and click here to order your copy. The film is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.