The Naked Civil Servant is camp and unabashedly so- but it has far more going on beneath the surface, and helped usher in more nuanced portrayals of LGBT people and culture in the years to come. It may be dated, but time hasn’t made it feel embarrassing in retrospect. It is still one of the most pivotal works in the LGBT pop culture canon that helped further mainstream awareness and acceptance.
With Handsome Devil, writer/director John Butler, reprises the poignant reflection on the meaning of masculinity he had explored in his fun 2013 debut The Stag (aka The Bachelor Party) but this time he takes the diatribe back to high school – a rugby-obsessed, all-boys boarding school to be precise – and by his own admission infuses the story with inevitable autobiographical references.
The Lair is a campy fun soap opera that ran for three seasons mainly centered around a coven of gay vampires operating a sex club to lure their prey. Each season is full of subplots with a Dorian Gray-like portrait, an abusive boyfriend, a werewolf, a mad scientist, a killer plant, a Gorgon, a killer head, a magic ring and a disgruntled Vampiress. Oh yeah… and there’s a lot of hot guys and sex!
There’s nothing quite as enticing as this year’s BFI Festival selection – Center Of My World, along with its fascinating cinematography, remains one of my personal favorites due to its candid and refreshing approach to gay relationships, as well as its memorable and enveloping performances. Despite using a teenagey framework, which could have easily diverted the film into a bland kitsch romance, Erwa sets the bar high and proves that any type of setting can be molded into a masterpiece with the right tools and sensibility.
Shot entirely in black and white, Verow’s film carries an interesting film noir feel to it. V is the unfortunate victim of circumstance, locked in an ever-present battle with the villainous Shawnith. A string of sexually motivated young men float in and out of V’s life until Christian arrives – the unexpected femme fatale, or male fatale as it were.
Released in 2016, Bwoy delves into deep-seated issues concerning intimacy, race, identity and trust in what seems to be a relevant cautionary tale about the tangled distortions involved in today’s online dating world. Directed by John G. Young the film stars Anthony Rapp, De’Adre Aziza and Jimmy Brooks.
Upon the Centennial celebration of Finland, award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski presents a moving biopic of one of the country’s most beloved sons. Tom of Finland is a roughly 115 minute biographical dramatization that aims to reveal the creative genius behind the famous homoerotic illustrations. Shot across 3 different countries, the film presents nearly 50 years of Laaksonen’s life, from his time in the war until his death in 1991.
Ekaj is a gritty 2015 film about a young runaway who escapes a disadvantageous situation at home — for a disadvantageous situation on the streets of New York. Ekaj is a skinny, strikingly pretty young man with soft features who doesn’t necessarily dress as a female but is often mistaken for one and therefore presents himself more femininely than not.