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~Friday~ It's time for the 18th annual North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, during which I can see movies where the boy actually gets the boy in the end.

Bob and I purchased a 10-pack of tickets, from which we'll see three movies together (Scenes from a Gay Marriage, Interior. Leather Bar., and The Campaign), and each see two (other, diffferent ones) on our own.

Tonight we saw the first two of the three we're seeing together.


Synopsis: Darren is a single gay guy who’s recently broken up with his long-term boyfriend doesn’t have a stable job, and he’s not quite sure what he wants to do with his future. Feeling lonely, he spends his time watching old movies and listening-in on his upstairs neighbors.

They’re a sexy gay couple who don’t realize that Darren can hear them having sex through his apartment’s air ducts.  Their casual conversations and loud sexual escapades soon prove far more exciting than anything on television and Darren gets a little obsessed. And, he eventually learns that one of the guys in the couple is cheating on the other one.

My thoughts and observations about this movie:

  • I'm not huge on romantic comedies, mostly because they invariably have Hollywood endings, which I despise. I started this blog entry off saying that the film festival is where I can see the boy actually get the boy in the end, which is true; but, that doesn't mean I like it. With all that said, this movie was okay. Not great. But not terrible, either.

  • Without a doubt, Thashana McQuiston made this movie for me. What an absolute hoot she was!

    Thashana McQuiston, playing Luce, in Scenes from a Gay Marriage

  • With that said, Jared Allman, who played Joe and is totally my type, added to the movie from a different perspective!

    Jared Allman shirtless

  • I thought the fact that Darren could hear the couple upstairs through an air vent, but they presumably couldn't hear him, was pretty preposterous. There were times when Darren and Luce were talking so loudly, that realistically, the couple would have been able to hear them as well.

  • I see there's a sequel in the works, More Scenes from a Gay Marriage. Won't be seeing that.

  • With that said, I would consider seeing at least one other film that Thashana McQuiston has been in, which include: Watch Out, Bookends, and To a Tee, although they are all by the same guy who did this film, which makes them less appealing to me. If I had to see one, it would probably be To a Tee, as that is the film that originally got him noticed as a filmmaker, albeit by an executive of MySpace.




Following that, we saw Interior. Leather Bar., which was preceded by a short film called In Their Room.

For a "short," I thought it was a little too long. I'm also (writing this a week later) still wrestling with the title. I really think it should be In Their Rooms or In His Room. (With the first option being the most grammatically accurate, considering the context.)


Synopsis: In Their Room is about gay men, bedrooms, sex and intimacy. The film veers into the bedrooms of eight different men where you see them doing everything from the most banal to the most erotic. Complimenting the revealing nature of their everyday activities are confessional interviews about fantasies, turn ons and vulnerabilities. You never leave their bedrooms, but this is unmistakably San Francisco of the present.

My thoughts and observations about this short film:

  • Yes, it is voyeuristic.

  • I love uncut men.


On to the main event, the featured movie, Interior. Leather Bar.


Synopsis: In order to avoid an X rating, 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was rumored to be cut and destroyed from the 1980 film, “Cruising.” Inspired by the mythology of this controversial film, filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews collaborate to imagine their own lost footage.

Amid the backdrop of a frenzied film set, actor Val Lauren reluctantly agrees to take the lead in the film. Val is repeatedly forced to negotiate his boundaries during scenes on and “off camera,” as unsimulated gay sex happens around him.

The film itself is constructed as a play with boundaries remaining queer in subject and form. As much a film about filmmaking as it is about an exploration of sexual and creative freedom, “Interior. Leather Bar.” defies easy categorization.

My thoughts and observations about this movie:

  • I loved this movie, the whole premise of it, and the whole production of it.

  • I'd never heard of James Franco before watching it, and I think he's fascinating.

  • I loved watching Val Lauren wrestling with so many issues associated with so many of the themes (see below) explored in this movie, as well as a couple of very intense scenes he had with James Franco, and the straight guy whose character was a drag queen in this film. Riveting to me.

  • Both of these quotes (from the trailer) resonate with me:

    • "A beautifully-made cinematic guide to penetrating the membranes of sexual fear that separate us." ~John Cameron Mitchell~

    • "Awesome! Complicated, strange and avant-garde." ~Gus Van Sant~

  • Of all of those words, the word complicated, is really what made this film so interesting to me, as so many complex themes were touched on in it:

    • The fear of homosexuality

    • How straight men talk about, and are "supposed" to feel about, homosexuality

    • The fear by straight men of being associated with gay men

    • The inclusion of gay (male) sex in films

    • Straight men playing gay roles in film

    • Straight men actually watching gay men have sex

    • Art versus pornography

  • And from a meta perspective, I loved that this was a film about making 40 minutes of a missing piece of another film, which just ended up being about the making of that 40 minutes, but that 40-minute film footage would not actually become a film itself, or inserted back into the original film it was presumably cut from.

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