The Films of Marco Berger

“I let others talk about doing controversial projects that they think will end up at Cannes. Whereas I think my work is always talking about love. Love between men. And I’m going to keep doing it until I die.”Marco Berger

 

Since his first feature film, Plan B, debuted on the international film festival circuit back in 2009, Argentina-based writer-director Marco Berger has been one of our favorite filmmakers. Mixing homoerotic desire, suspense and dramatic tension, he’s created an impressive collection of slow-burn gay indie gems that reward patient and attentive viewers. With the recent release of his film Young Hunter – available now on DVD and VOD at TLAgay – we wanted to take a look back through his resume and spotlight some of our top picks. Though not all of his work is currently available, we linked the titles below so that you can check them out on our website, place your order and take a deep dive into his alluring cinematic world.

 

Click here to check out the full selection of available films.

 

Absent
Knowingly, even aggressively sexual, 16-year-old Martin (Javier De Pietro) locks his seductive sights on Sebastian (Carlos Echevarria), his recently engaged, 30-something swimming instructor. Faking an injury, Martin eventually tricks his teacher into letting him spend the night at his apartment. As Sebastian begins to realize the possible sexual interest on the part of his student, he is conflicted. He is dismissive, but his curiosity is piqued by the boy’s overt advances. An extraordinary event soon forces the increasingly troubled Sebastian to question his own feelings for young Martin. Absent is not a simple boy-meets-boy drama. It’s a taut drama of repressed passion, guilt and regret. The film won the coveted Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the Berlin Film Festival when it debuted in 2011.

The Blonde One
In the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Gabriel (Gaston Re) has just moved in with his colleague, Juan (Alfonso Barón). 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? Poignant, beautifully-crafted and incredibly sexy, The Blonde One is one of the hottest gay movies of the past few years.

 

Hawaii
Sexual tension practically spills off the screen in this sweaty, titillating romance originally released in 2013. Berger’s Hawaii follows Martin and Eugenio (Manuel Vignau and Mateo Chiarino), two former childhood friends who reunite during a hot summer in the Argentinean countryside. As they work together to restore Eugenio’s summer home, a game of power and desire ensues – compelling the two buddies to grapple with their sexual attraction and reconsider their relationship. With gorgeous cinematography, a lush setting and compelling lead performances, Hawaii is an intimate and unique slow-moving character study that pushes past social boundaries. Lead actors Vignau and Chiarino make the underlying sexual tension palpable from start to finish.

 

Sexual Tension: Volatile
Berger’s pulsating collection of short films weaves together six scintillating experiences of men in various forms of erotic bonding. A young man feels the adrenaline rush of his sexy tattoo artist’s needle in Ari while in The Cousin, a cute boy has a taboo attraction for a family member. Two “straight” buddies literally show each other how to make love to a woman in The Other One, while a man with Broken Arms receives a sensual sponge bath from a male nurse. Love is questionable when a broken shower brings a married man and an innkeeper together and in Workout two muscular men begin to explore each other’s chiseled bodies. Voyeuristic pleasures await you as the camera penetrates and caresses the men’s bodies while exploring the mysterious and electrifying nature of male intimacy.

 

Sexual Tension: Violetas
Berger and co-writer/director Marcelo Mónaco followed up Sexual Tension: Volatile with another collection of shorts, this time for the ladies. Exploring the art of seduction between two women – through six very different, incredibly sexy stories – Sexual Tension: Violetas is an assured underground lesbian classic. Two guests of a hostel become roommates (and more), a keen shop assistant helps a woman uncertain about what dress to buy, great passion starts to develop between girls during a picnic, a few women get a little carried away whilst discussing films at a restaurant, and two high-class escorts discover that they are attracted to each other when they are in bed with a client. Never less than exciting and passionate, this effortlessly cool collection offers up  six unforgettable stories of lesbian attraction.

 

Taekwondo
In a gorgeous country house in Buenos Aires, Fernando (Lucas Papa) gathers his buddies for a boys-only vacation. Free from work, responsibilities and their girlfriends, this close-knit gang of bros kick back by the pool, sunning their impeccably toned bodies and sharing drug-fueled stories of sexual conquests. Fernando has also invited a newcomer named Germán (Gabriel Epstein), a friend from his taekwondo class, who neglects to tell the group that he’s gay. As the lazy summer days disappear, the connection between Fernando and Germán grows and slowly the boundaries of their relationship begin to blur. A veritable masterclass in will-they-won’t-they suspense, this gloriously protracted, beautifully nuanced tease is both wantonly titillating and disarmingly sweet – luxuriating in the eroticism and lingering over the semi-clad bodies with unapologetic gay abandon.

 

Young Hunter
Berger’s most recently released film is a tense and thought-provoking thriller. 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.

 

Once again, click here to explore the exciting work of Marco Berger.

 

 

Now Available On-Demand: Young Hunter

Young Hunter, an insanely tense new thriller from acclaimed writer-director Marco Berger (The Blonde One, Sexual Tension: Volatile, AbsentPlan BTaekwondoHawaii) follows Ezequiel (Juan Pablo Cestaro), a fifteen year old boy on the cusp of his sexual awakening who falls for the wrong guy.

 

While his parents are away, Ezequiel meets a handsome, slightly older, seemingly-troubled bad-boy named Mono (Lautaro Rodriguez) 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 disappears, no longer responding to any texts. Ezequiel is surprised and confused until Chino (Juan Barberini), Mono’s cousin, sends him a hidden camera video of Ezekiel and Mono having sex, blackmailing him into making his own sex tape with a minor to be sold on the dark web, in order to keep his secret hidden.

 

Stuck with an impossible choice, Ezequiel decides to try seducing Juan Ignacio (Patricio Rodriguez), an even younger teen whom he knows from school and suspects might have a crush on him. Ezequiel turns from prey to hunter – against his own will – and considers whether to put Juan Ignacio in the same incredibly dangerous situation.

 

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

 

 

Photo Gallery: Young Hunter

Young Hunter, an insanely tense new thriller from acclaimed writer-director Marco Berger (The Blonde One, Sexual Tension: Volatile, AbsentPlan BTaekwondoHawaii) follows Ezequiel (Juan Pablo Cestaro), a fifteen year old boy on the cusp of his sexual awakening who falls for the wrong guy.

 

While his parents are away, Ezequiel meets a handsome, slightly older, seemingly-troubled bad-boy named Mono (Lautaro Rodriguez) 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 disappears, no longer responding to any texts. Ezequiel is surprised and confused until Chino (Juan Barberini), Mono’s cousin, sends him a hidden camera video of Ezekiel and Mono having sex, blackmailing him into making his own sex tape with a minor to be sold on the dark web, in order to keep his secret hidden.

 

Stuck with an impossible choice, Ezequiel decides to try seducing Juan Ignacio (Patricio Rodriguez), an even younger teen whom he knows from school and suspects might have a crush on him. Ezequiel turns from prey to hunter – against his own will – and considers whether to put Juan Ignacio in the same incredibly dangerous situation.

 

Check out this extensive image gallery featuring stills from Young Hunter below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film will be available on DVD and VOD on October 27th.

 

Trailer Alert: Young Hunter

Young Hunter, an insanely tense new thriller from acclaimed writer-director Marco Berger (The Blonde One, Sexual Tension: Volatile, AbsentPlan BTaekwondoHawaii) follows Ezequiel (Juan Pablo Cestaro), a fifteen year old boy on the cusp of his sexual awakening who falls for the wrong guy.

 

While his parents are away, Ezequiel meets a handsome, slightly older, seemingly-troubled bad-boy named Mono (Lautaro Rodriguez) 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 disappears, no longer responding to any texts. Ezequiel is surprised and confused until Chino (Juan Barberini), Mono’s cousin, sends him a hidden camera video of Ezekiel and Mono having sex, blackmailing him into making his own sex tape with a minor to be sold on the dark web, in order to keep his secret hidden.

 

Stuck with an impossible choice, Ezequiel decides to try seducing Juan Ignacio (Patricio Rodriguez), an even younger teen whom he knows from school and suspects might have a crush on him. Ezequiel turns from prey to hunter – against his own will – and considers whether to put Juan Ignacio in the same incredibly dangerous situation.

 

Watch the trailer for Young Hunter below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film will be available on DVD and VOD on October 27th.

 

 

 

Fall in Love with 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 accomplished queer filmmaker Marco Berger (the same guy behind Plan B, Hawaii, Sexual Tension: Volatile, Absent, Taekwondo and more), The Blonde One is easily one of the year’s sexiest gay movies. Watch the trailer below and click here to rent or download the movie. It’s available now at TLAgay!

Read More
Five Dances © Wolfe Releasing

Spring Cleaning: Check Out Our Gay Movie Clearance Stash – Part 1

With so many high-profile gay movies taking up room on our warehouse shelves (see Tom of FinlandBeach RatsBPM (Beats Per Minute)God’s Own Country and, of course, Call Me by Your Name) – and as tomorrow is the first day of spring – we thought it prudent to do a little spring cleaning and clear some space. We just tossed a whole bunch of great gay movies onto our Clearance List! Below we’re highlighting ten special picks (with ten more to come tomorrow), but don’t stop there! Click here for a full list of eligible items!

 

August

2011, United States

Starring Murray Bartlett (a few years before he graced our TV screens on “Looking”), August tells the story of two former lovers, Troy and Jonathan, who reunite after a long ago painful breakup. After spending several years in Spain, Troy returns to Los Angeles and decides to phone Jonathan and meet for coffee. A seemingly innocent rendezvous turns into an attempt to revive passions past. Only this time it’s not that simple as Jonathan has a new beau, Raul, and is trying to make the right decision a second time around.

Clearance Price: $14.99

Read More

This Weekend’s VOD Favorites

With the launch of the brand-new TLAgay.com, 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.

 

Available Light (c) Bangor Films

Available Light (c) Bangor Films

Available Light

2015, United States, France and Germany

Available Light is a sexy, funny and even sometimes disturbing experimental feature film by prolific writer/director/actor/artist Todd Verow – the same guy behind Frisk, Anonymous, Vacationland and Bad Boy Street. The film follows numerous unconnected people in different cities as they try to escape their loneliness through love, lust or some combination of both. The film was shot in real locations using only available light (hence the title). The viewer is both a voyeur, watching the characters in intimate situations that are not meant to be seen, and an active participant, imagining what the characters are going through and making connections between them that may or may not be real. And, as anyone who is familiar with Verow‘s previous work could probably guess, there is plenty of hot male flesh on display.

Read More

Halloween Highlights: 50 Queer Horror Flicks We Think Are Worth a Look – Part 1

If you’re the same kind of scare-seeking movie geek that I am, you’ll know that October is a time to light a few candles, turn down the lights, open up the windows to let in that fresh autumn breeze… before really setting the mood with some seasonally-appropriate scary movies! This month, I’m sure we’ll revisit some tried and true classics (think The Exorcist, The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby, the original Halloween). I have plans to finally bust open the Criterion Collection edition of Don’t Look Now I bought forever ago. Being authorities on all things gay-cinema, though, we at TLAgay.com wanted to put in a good word for some queer movies that don’t make the usual ranked horror lists. We came up with a selection of 50 different gay titles that are either direct horror movies or horror adjacent (suspense, mysteries, thrillers). Below, you’ll find the first ten movies – in alphabetical order – with new lists appearing each Monday in October. Keep checking back each week for the latest additions!

 

We tried to limit these to films that are currently available on our site – either on DVD or Blu-ray, or available via our On-Demand service. If a movie is missing from this list, chances are good it’s just out of print or otherwise currently unavailable/hard to access. This isn’t, as you’ll see, a definitive list of the greatest gay horror – that’s not what we were going for. This is just a sampling of some offerings that usually fly under the radar. Some are good, some are great, some are delightfully campy and ridiculous, some might be downright terrible, but they’re all available to help get your into the Halloween spirit!

Read More