First aired in May 2006, The Line of Beauty is a raw, whimsical adaptation of Allan Hollinghurst’s homonymous book. Set in 1980s Britain, the BBC mini-series is directed by Saul Dibb and depicts the fervid, intriguing affairs of Nick Guest, a gifted middle-class graduate. The film stars Dan Stevens as Nick and also features Alice Krige and Tim McInnerny.
Shared Rooms explores the meaning of home and family through three interrelated stories of gay men finding connections during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day – a married couple who take in a teenage relative who was kicked out of his home after his parents discovered he was gay; a pair of roommates forced to share a bed for the week, much to the delight (and horror) of the one harboring a secret crush on the other; and two men looking for a quick hookup who end up finding a much stronger connection.
Released in 2009 and directed by Javier Fuentes-León, Undertow is about a ghost story revolving around a Peruvian fisherman and his secret love affair. The film won a number of awards at film festivals, including Outstanding Artistic Achievement at the L.A. Outfest. Shot in Cabo Blanco and El Alto in Peru, the film features actors Cristian Mercado, Tatiana Astengo and Manolo Cardona.
The Raspberry Reich, an erotic satire by Canadian writer and director Bruce LaBruce, was filmed in Germany in 2004. It tells the story of a group of aspiring homosexual left-wing revolutionaries and their unsuccessful attempts to overthrow the heterosexual bourgeoisie, and stars Susanne Sachsse, Andreas Rupprecht, Daniel Bätscher, and Anton Dickson.
Directed by Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau, Theo and Hugo follows two men who meet during an orgy in a Paris sex club, it’s literally love at first sight. Starting at 4:27 am and ending at 5:59 am, the film follows the couple wander through a deserted Paris in real time, facing a major dilemma whilst getting to know each other. The film stars, Geoffrey Couët and François Nambot.
Released in 2004 and directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner, Summer Storm is a coming-of-age story centred around two boys in a rowing club. The film won awards at the Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and Munich Film Festival. Shot in Bavaria and Westphalia, the film features actors Robert Stadlober and Kostja Ullmann.
My first acquaintance with Argentinian filmmaker Marco Berger goes back to spring 2014 when his exquisitely understated gay romance Hawaii screened at the BFI Flare, London LGBT Film Festival. Fair warning: if you’ve seen that film and found the whole “will they/won’t they” tension a bit frustrating, you might have a hard time stomaching Taekwondo’s incredibly protracted relationship tease. Berger in fact reprises the same kind of core tension in this newest effort, albeit the story and the whole context that feed such tension are rather different.
River Made to Drown In is a 1997 film by director James Merendino and writer Paul Marius, set and shot in Hollywood, California. It tells the story of a young man who was once a hustler, of a john who brings up the past for him, and the search for another young man. It stars Michael Imperioli, Richard Chamberlain, Ute Lempter, and James Duval.
Jonathan Groff stars in this 2013 indie based on a short story of the same name by humorist David Sedaris. In the film, David, a privileged, Yale-educated young man who flees what many would consider to be a good life in New York for an off-the-grid “change of pace” (and a new name) in a small blue-collar factory town in Oregon.