The Surface delivers the story of Evan Jones (played by Harry Hains), a disenchanted college student living in Los Angeles with his boyfriend, Chris. Chris comes from a wealthy family, and enjoys the luxury of a fantastic house overlooking the city. Evan, however, is an orphan who spent much of his life being passed from foster home to foster home and never really experienced a stable upbringing.
En route to a party one afternoon, Evan stops by a garage sale and discovers an 8mm movie camera. The owner agrees to sell it to him and tells him to come back to learn how to edit the film. Even returns a few weeks later, but discovers the old man has passed away and his 43 year old son Peter is living in the house. Peter gives Evan the editing equipment and old home movies, which Evan takes home to watch and splice with his own film.
As Evan watches more of Peter’s childhood on 8mm film, he starts living vicariously, building his own family experience in a very non-traditional way. As Chris and Evan’s relationship is beginning to falter, Evan starts a relationship with Peter. The two men spend time together, with Evan seeking to feel like a family and Peter seeking the companionship he had in his long lost best friend, a friend who appears in many of the old 8mm home movies.
“Actor Harry Hains delights in this role, playing an emotional young man who is discovering the concept of “family” for the very first time.”
— Dave Croyle, Gay Essential
“Harry Hains embodies Evan and perfectly conveys this desire, this envy, this depression and this lost feeling.”
— The M Report
“There aren’t a lot of films like The Surface that come around, too refreshingly authentic to be worried about perfection, so when they do you find yourself wanting to hold on tight, cherish the memory, and share it with those whom you consider your family of choice.”
— Richard Propes, The Independent Critic
Did You Know?
Writer and director Michael J. Saul was careful to put a few personal touches during the production of his film, The Surface. Among these is the storyline involving an elderly man who captured every family vacation with an 8mm camera. Saul’s own grandfather had owned one of the earliest home movie cameras following World War II, and the director owns a vast collection of home movies from his mother’s childhood, as well as his own. Review our Gay Themed Films Here