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! Stay home, stay safe and enjoy a movie!

 

Song Lang
Set in a richly imagined 1980s Saigon, Song Lang is both a gritty underworld noir and an operatic romance. An unlikely bond develops between hunky, brooding Dung (Lien Binh Phat), a tough debt collector for a ruthless loan shark, and Linh Phung (popular V-pop singer Isaac), a charismatic young opera singer. The two meet when Dung comes to forcefully collect a debt from the struggling opera troupe. But when their paths cross again, a deep friendship develops, awakening romantic feelings in both men. Making his feature-length debut, Vietnamese director Leon Le serves up a uniquely lush melodrama, teasing a smoldering relationship between two apparent opposites set against the backdrop of a gorgeous art form as it fades out of fashion.

 

Al Berto
It’s 1975 and the winds of change are blowing over post-revolutionary Portugal. Al Berto (Ricardo Teixera) returns to his small village after spending several years away in Brussels, where he trained as a painter. Settling illegally in a mansion that had been expropriated from his family during the revolution, young Al Berto begins to hang out with locals – who seem to share his interest in the arts and his dream of a different life. Among them is the handsome Joao Maria (Jose Pimentao), who quickly finds himself falling for Al Berto’s charm. Soon the young man begins forming his own counter-culture revolution – one that bewitches the town’s youth, but proves deeply threatening to the ideals of the conservative locals. Colorful, sexy, provocative and deeply political, Al Berto is a compelling period piece.

 

Kanarie
Drafted during Apartheid by the South African Army, Johan (Schalk Bezuidenhout) has a love for Boy George and Depeche Mode that lands him a spot in the SADF Choir called the ‘Canaries.’ Against a landscape where law and religion oppress individuality, Johan and the Canaries have to survive military training and go on a nationwide tour, entertaining people whilst fortifying belief in the military effort and promoting the cause of both Church and State. Then, an unexpected romance on the battlefield forces Johan to reckon with his long-repressed sexual identity. Examining the effects of nationalism on the soul, while also exploring a tender brotherhood among misfits, this charming and thought-provoking musical comedy revels in the discovery of finding your voice and learning to fly.

 

The Wild Boys
The debut feature from director Bertrand Mandico, The Wild Boys tells the tale of five adolescent boys (all played by women) who are mysteriously drawn to lives crime and transgression. After the ground collectively commits a brutal crime – aided by “Trevor,” a strange deity of chaos they can’t seem to control – the boys are punished to board a boat with a lecherous sea captain hell-bent on taming their ferocious appetites. They soon arrive on a lush island where dangers and pleasures abound… and the boys start to transform in both mind and body. Shot in gorgeous 16mm and brimming with homoeroticism, genderfluidity and humor, The Wild Boys will take you on journey you won’t soon forget. It’s a colorful, unique and strangely funny underground queer masterpiece.

 

Fairytale
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 (Lucia Mascino) 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 and Douglas Sirk melodramas to the thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock, 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.

Our Top 10 Gay Movies of 2019

Happy New Year, Fellas! 2019 was another incredible year for movies… and movies centered around gay men in particular. Not only was there a wealth of titles to choose from, but many of them rose above the gay movie niche and made a huge splash on the international film fest circuit. Some even broke through into the mainstream (looking at you, Rocketman, burning out your fuse up there alone). Check out our Top 10 Gay Movies of 2019 below and make sure to pick up your copies on DVD and Blu-ray at TLAgay.com!

Editor’s Note: We limited our considerations to titles that we have available currently on our site (including pre-orders). So, while films like Portrait of a Lady on Fire and This is Not Berlin may be phenomenal, they don’t qualify for this particular list as they haven’t been announced yet for DVD, Blu-ray or VOD.

45 Days Away from You
After a recent breakup with “a man who shall not be named,” young bachelor Rafael finds his romantic life spinning out of control. With a change of scenery in order, he sets out on journey of self-discovery – an adventure that will take him from Brazil to England, Portugal and Argentina. Along the way, he seeks the counsel of his nearest and dearest friends. There’s Julia, an amorous single actress trying to land her breakthrough role; Fabio, Rafael’s straight-boy buddy, who is trying to maintain a long-distance relationship; and Mayara, a dear friend who gave up a promising career in favor of marriage. Over the course of his 45-day trip, Rafael grows closer to the people in his life who really matter and learns that all it takes to mend a broken heart is time… and the support of a few good friends.

Rocketman
As flashy and colorful as it’s subject, this rollicking musical biopic chronicles the early life and career of Reginald Dwight, better known to the world as Elton John (played by total cutie-pie Taron Egerton in a performance which, if we’re being honest, blows Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury out of the water). Visually stunning performances of some of Elton’s best-loved songs are used to tell the story of a rise to rock and roll greatness that includes addiction, depression and complex personal and professional relationships. And unlike some recent musician biopics, Rocketman doesn’t try to downplay Elton John’s sexuality. Big portions of the film focus on his tumultuous affair with talent manager John Reid (played by “Game of Thrones” star Richard Madden) and his deep, abiding affection for lyricist, partner and best friend Bernie Taupin (played by Jamie Bell).

Sauvage/Wild
Sauvage/Wild, filmmaker Camille Vidal-Naquet‘s riveting and vibrant erotic journey of a 22-year-old male prostitute named Leo, features a stunning performance from Felix Maritaud (BPM, Boys, Knife+Heart). Leo trades in love as much as lust and wanders through his life without rules or restrictions. Through a series of encounters that offer a glimpse into the complicated and visceral world of male sex work, Leo finds himself searching for affection anywhere he can get it – whether it’s the unrequited love for his hustler friend Ahd (Eric Bernard) or in the arms of an older, vulnerable client. Will Leo choose his freedom and the dangers that come with it, or the comforts of a stable relationship? After all, in this unpredictable world, who knows where he’ll end up?

Climax
From notoriously upsetting director Gaspar Noe (Irreversible, Enter the Void, Love) comes a hypnotic, hallucinatory, and ultimately hair-raising depiction of a party that descends into delirium over the course of one wintry night. In Climax, a troupe of young dancers gathers in a remote and empty school building to rehearse. Following an unforgettable opening performance lit by virtuoso cinematographer Benoît Debie and shot by Noé himself, the troupe begins an all-night celebration that turns nightmarish as the dancers discover they’ve been pounding cups of sangria laced with potent LSD. Tracking their journey from jubilation to chaos and full-fledged anarchy, Noé observes crushes, rivalries, and violence amid a collective psychedelic meltdown. Starring Sofia Boutella and a cast of professional dancers, Climax is Noé’s most brazen, unforgettable and visionary statement yet.

Kanarie
Drafted during Apartheid by the South African Army, Johan Niemand’s love for Boy George and Depeche Mode lands him a spot in the SADF Choir called the ‘Canaries.’ Against a landscape where law and religion oppress individuality, Johan and the Canaries have to survive military training and go on a nationwide tour, entertaining people whilst fortifying belief in the military effort and promoting the cause of both Church and State. Then an unexpected romance on the battlefield forces Johan to reckon with his long-repressed sexual identity. Examining the effects of nationalism on the soul, while also exploring the tender brotherhood among misfits, this musical comedy revels in the discovery of finding your voice and learning to fly.

Sorry Angel
Paris, 1993. Jacques (Stranger by the Lake star Pierre Deladonchamps) is a semi-renowned writer and single father in his thirties. While on a work trip to Brittany, he meets Arthur (Vincent Lacoste), an aspiring filmmaker in his early twenties, who is experiencing a sexual awakening and eager to get out of his parochial life. Arthur becomes instantly smitten with the older man. From writer-director Christophe Honore comes a mature and deeply emotional reflection on love, loss, youth and aging. In its inter-generational snapshot of cruising, courtship and casual sex, Sorry Angel balances hope for the future with agony over the past in an unforgettable drama about finding the courage to love in the moment, no matter how turbulent.

The Blonde One
In the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Gabriel has just moved in with his colleague, Juan. Shy and reserved, Gabriel is reluctant to follow Juan’s wandering hands and meaningful looks. With a revolving door of beauties streaming out of Juan’s bedroom, his machismo seems firmly in place. However, the attraction between the two men is undeniable. What starts out as a sexual relationship based on convenience of location soon develops into the engrossing evolution of a tender and intimate relationship, which is as sweet as it is heartbreaking. But, as reality begins to set in on their homemaking fantasy, something needs to give… or does it? Written and directed by Marco Berger (Plan B, Absent, Taekwondo, Hawaii, Sexual Tension: Volatile), The Blonde One is one of the year’s sexiest and most romantic gay movies.

Knife+Heart
Easily one of the year’s most acclaimed gay films, 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.

End of the Century
In his excellent debut feature, writer-director Lucio Castro offers both a sun-soaked European travelogue and an epic, decades-spanning romance. When Ocho (Juan Barberini), a 30-something Argentine poet on vacation in Barcelona, spots Javi (Ramón Pujol), a Spaniard from Berlin, from the balcony of his Airbnb, the attraction is subtle but persistent. After a missed connection on the beach, a third chance encounter escalates to a seemingly random hookup. But are these two merely beautiful strangers in a foreign city or are they part of each other’s histories—and maybe even their destinies? Castro deliberately unfolds mystery after mystery, leading the audience on a journey of discovery as the two leading men discover themselves and each other. With sumptuous cinematography and tangible chemistry between the actors, End of the Century is a love story that echoes across time.  Winner of Best Film at the Buenos Aires Film Festival and Best First Film at the Frameline: San Francisco LGBTQ Film Festival.

Pain and Glory
In maverick filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, Antonio Banderas plays Salvador Mallo, a film director in physical decline who reflects on his past as his present comes crashing down around him. Some of these reflections are in the flesh, others remembered: his childhood in the ‘60s, when he emigrated with his parents to a village in Valencia in search of prosperity; his first adult love in the Madrid of the ‘80s; the pain of the breakup of that love while it was still alive and intense; writing as the only therapy to forget the unforgettable; the early discovery of cinema; and the void, the infinite void created by the incapacity to keep on making films. Pain and Glory talks about creation, about the difficulty of separating it from one’s own life and about the passions that give it meaning and hope. In recovering his past, Salvador finds the urgent need to recount it, and in that need he also finds his salvation.

25 Gay Movies to Stream Over the Holidays!

There’s nothing wrong with taking some much-needed time during your long holiday vacation to relax on the couch. If you’re looking for some light (or heavy) gay-themed entertainment, TLAgay has you covered. Here are twenty gay movies to stream over the Holidays!

Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots
Brazilian transplant Leo (writer-director Thales Corrêa) embarks on a trip to San Fransisco when he finds out his regular American fling Totah is also visiting the city. Upon arrival Leo joins his friend Donnie (Izzy Palazzini) on a quest through the clubs of the Castro district, hoping to a casual encounter to show Totah they could be compatible beyond the bedroom. Meanwhile Donnie’s straight friend Hunter (Oscar Mansky), a hopeless romantic, tags along in an attempt to teach Leo how to turn a casual sex relationship into a more meaningful one. While bar hopping, following clues, and adventures into seedier venues, they face unforeseen obstacles that challenge the way they approach relationships in the modern day, and may even end up putting their own friendship at risk.

Beautiful Something
Edgy, absorbing and raw, Beautiful Something follows four diverse men as they navigate life during one sublime night. This narrative takes a fresh and unsentimental look at the links between young and old, black and white, sex and love, desire and art. As all four comb the Philadelphia streets looking for connection, they often settle for something quick and dirty. However, tonight is much different. Inspired by real-life experiences, Beautiful Something explores the deeper meaning of how giving one’s self to love, and its necessary vulnerabilities, helps us turn the corner from seeing the world as a child to seeing the world as an adult.

The Blonde One
In the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Gabriel (Gaston Re) has just moved in with his colleague, Juan (Alfonso Baron). Shy and reserved, Gabriel is reluctant to follow Juan’s wandering hands and meaningful looks. With a revolving door of beauties streaming out of Juan’s bedroom, his machismo seems firmly in place. However, the attraction between the two men is undeniable. What starts out as a sexual relationship based on convenience of location soon develops into the engrossing evolution of a tender and intimate relationship, which is as sweet as it is heartbreaking. But, as reality begins to set in on their homemaking fantasy, something needs to give… or does it? Written and directed by Marco Berger (the same filmmaker behind Plan B, Hawaii, Sexual Tension: Volatile, Absent, Taekwondo and more), The Blonde One is one of the year’s hottest gay movies.

Boys
Following one man through two timelines, Boys, the newest feature from director Christophe Charrier, is a gripping and compassionate study of first love and the lingering sting of loss. We first meet Jonas (BPM: Beats Per Minute star Felix Maritaud) in the present, where he’s having a rough go of it. He’s prone to starting fights at the local gay bar, and his boyfriend has had enough of his infidelity and alcohol-soaked antics. His volatile behavior may stem from a traumatic incident in his past. The film flashes back to 1997, where Jonas (played as a high school kid by Nicolas Bauwens) meets Nathan (Tommy Lee Baik), the rebellious new student who will become his crush. The boys venture into the night on their first date unaware that it’s about to change their lives forever. Don’t miss this searing mystery.

Cas
From filmmakers Joris van den Berg, Matt Guerin and Reid Waterer comes a sexy and thoroughly entertaining collection of three short films that examine the different effects the addition of a third party has on a modern gay relationship. In Cas, Pepijn and George’s steady, seven-year relationship is shaken after they allow a hot young student named Cas to sleep on their couch while he finds a place of his own. Gradually, both men fall head over heels for the attractive younger man’s laconic charm, forcing them to reconsider their many long-term plans. Is Cas’s presence endangering their relationship or is he a blessing in disguise? In Tri-Curious, last minute anxiety threatens to ruin a young gay couple’s first threesome together. The final short in the collection, Bed Buddies, is a comedy about three gay friends who wake up after sleeping together and try to make sense of the unclear line between friendship and love.

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Now Available On-Demand: Kanarie

Drafted during Apartheid by the South African Army, Johan Niemand’s love for Boy George and Depeche Mode lands him a spot in the SADF Choir called the ‘Canaries.’ Against a landscape where law and religion oppress individuality, Johan and the Canaries have to survive military training and go on a nationwide tour, entertaining people whilst fortifying belief in the military effort and promoting the cause of both Church and State. Then an unexpected romance on the battlefield Johan to reckon with his long-repressed sexual identity.

Examining the effects of nationalism on the soul, while also exploring the tender brotherhood among misfits, this profoundly moving new musical comedy from Christiaan Olwagen revels in the discovery of finding your voice and learning to fly.

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Kanarie is the gay coming-of-age war-musical-romance you didn’t know you needed

Set in South Africa in 1985, against a backdrop of apartheid, religion, and war, Kanarie follows a teen boy, Johan Niemand (played by Schalk Bezuidenhout), who has always been bullied in his small town for his flair for British new wave music and love of Boy George.

After he gets called on by the military and auditions for the Canaries (the South African Defence Force Church Choir and Concert Group), he believes the choir will be his ticket out of fighting the war, but he begins to see the role he plays in the oppression and injustice around him.

On tour, Johan he develops feelings for a fellow Canary and he starts to question everything he knows about himself, leading to a confrontation with his commanding officers.

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