Gay Essential Documentaries To Watch, In Their Room: London/Berlin/San Francisco

The intimate and largely uncensored nature of In Their Room which is filmed in a documentary format, offers a unique visibility and more candid voice to the often unseen rituals, individual concerns, and the plaintive desires of a plethora of gay men in the modern era. The documentation of these sentiments proffers a style that is slice-of-life and largely undirected.

The interviews are conducted in an open tone wherein the subjects are made comfortable to divulge whatever information they feel pertinent. The men featured in the collection provide some of their deepest thoughts and fears to the camera; the audience witnesses, sometimes in nude close-ups, their sexual habits, whether with another or solo.

The subjects are handpicked from some of the globe’s most progressive cities, such as San Francisco, London, and Berlin. In Berlin, director Mathews focuses on hookups and breakups that happen over the course of just one day. The choice of subjects encapsulates the diversity of gay couples in the digital age. The camera is not treated as an unfamiliar observer, but just another installation in the house, a piece of furniture of sorts. Among the subjects in the trilogy are: Two strangers (Toby and Luc) who hook up after meeting online and, antithetically, a tender, sweet, familiar couple (Torsten and Micha) who have been together for quite some time. The voyeuristic yet heartwarmingly human documentary is an honest account of the gamut of the queer experience today, whether it begins on a website or in real life.

In Their Room


“The sex stops and starts, there’s an almost unspoken negotiation of who is going to do what to whom and it’s certainly not all about getting to a money shot.”
   Tim Isaac, Big Gay Picture Show

“Mathew’s intent is to put on screen, a ‘whole area of sexuality, specifically gay sexuality, that hasn’t been explored.”
   Cine Vue

I Want Your Love itself developed out of In Their Room, a project in which Mathews took his camera into the bedrooms of young queer men – to observe them in their most private spaces, working, resting, playing and having sex, and listen to them talk about desire, intimacy, attraction, alienation and aspiration.”

Did You Know?

Director Travis Matthews has said that making the In Their Room series has felt like a love letter to his 16 year old self.  Having grown up in Ohio, Matthews had very limited access to role models of gay men. Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
Alexander Ryll
- 2 months ago
Alexander Ryll
Alexander Ryll