• Pink Narcissus

    Pink Narcissus

    ★★★★½

    Boy, this is an awful lot to process as it offers up pure and total sensory overload at all moments, as if one began to live out all of their fantasies at once, being none the wiser that the act itself was its own fantasy all along, making it impossible to know where it began and just as difficult to know how to end it. It's an incredible feat that for a film that does feature a hardcore moment or…

  • 575 Castro St.

    575 Castro St.

    ★★★½

    Not surprisingly, a bit of a bummer with it being a recording of Harvey Milk that he requested to be played in the event of his assassination that's juxtaposed with images of a set that recreates his camera shop for the Gus Van Sant biopic on his life and death, but ultimately rather beautiful in the way it seems to bring him back to life in a way to deliver what is ultimately a message of hope for future generations…

  • The Assignation

    The Assignation

    ★★★½

    Very creepy! Definitely a very, very, very loose adaptation of the Poe tale, so much so that it may beggar belief to say that it's even inspired by it beyond the gondolas and the Venice setting, but one that nails the atmosphere of pure dread with little more than a masked figure sitting patiently for their destination to arrive, with only a rose as their possession, wilting away with each bridge they pass through. Where they are going is perhaps…

  • Blue Diary

    Blue Diary

    ★★★

    An intriguing mix of travelogue and monologue, as we hear the lamentations of a lesbian and her one night stand with a straight woman paired to static shots of San Francisco early on in the morning. Initially, it doesn't seem all that compelling, but there is definitely a keen eye at work here as the early morning strategy pays off with the relative lack of traffic, automotive or otherwise, that pairs quite well with the growing melancholy of our narrator's…

  • Wren Boys

    Wren Boys

    ★★★½

    A rather fine short that plays a hell of a game with your expectations on how things will proceed. I do wonder if there exists a version of this story that plays at feature length, as I can totally see the story that gets told here being somewhat truncated from a scene or two in that version to fit the confines of a short film, but at any rate, this does well with it offers once the hook is introduced and has you on through to the end.

  • The Shower

    The Shower

    ★★★

    Breaking up is hard to do, even when both parties agree to it. Catching a couple at the very end, with one woman moving out for what's likely a new career opportunity while the other woman chooses to stay behind, both share the bathroom as a car waiting to take one away is imminent. What could have turned into one last shouting match instead captures a bit more emotional honesty as both have very mixed feelings steeped in the regret…

  • The Labyrinth 1.0

    The Labyrinth 1.0

    ★★★

    This is possibly hardcore gay porn, as interpreted by a machine that's only just learning about why humans do the things that they do out of pleasure alone. Maybe. Look, some folks cradle with a urinal and it is a lot more creepy than it sounds like, honest.

  • Daddy and the Muscle Academy

    Daddy and the Muscle Academy

    ★★★★

    Having known little about Tom of Finland prior to this beyond the name, one can imagine my surprise as this primer on his career and his life (recorded and released just before his death) winds up being a far deeper dive than its runtime would suggest. An icon of gay erotic artwork, the typical documentary format seemed pointless to attempt for a man whose career was as irreverent as anything could possibly be, allowing the filmmakers here the opportunity to…

  • No Regret

    No Regret

    ★★★★½

    Simultaneously crushing and uplifting, the snapshot that Marlon Riggs takes of five men as they relate their AIDS journey, something deeply intimate to Riggs himself by that point, is infused with a tremendous amount of humanity and respect for each of them as they all tell their tales that arrive at the same conclusion of them refusing to be defined specifically by their disease. That one of the participants would not live to see the completed film adds a tragic…

  • Cruising

    Cruising

    ★½

    The influence of giallo on Hollywood mainstream thrillers took a fair bit to show up, but when it did, it hit hard. Whether it's through Brian DePalma's deliciously trashy and glossy takes or under-the-radar spins like White of the Eye, which even had a title not unlike the films that influenced it, several heavily stylized thrillers that seemed to revel in their absurdity from the opening frame made it hard not to notice that folks with a whole lot of…

  • A Drop of Sun Under the Earth

    A Drop of Sun Under the Earth

    ★★½

    Certainly not hard to see the influence that Marlon Riggs had on this with its use of poetry and the big temporal jumps that it makes throughout! I will say that this definitely swung much harder in another direction as far as aesthetics were concerned, going with a cooler and far more rigid control of the blocking and lighting, which does help to give it a rather handsome sheen while also running the risk of being so beautiful that it…

  • Walk for Me

    Walk for Me

    ★★

    A well-intended short about a transgender teen that has to deal with not being the belle of the ball, literally as it turns out here, as well as the tension of keeping her secret from her mom who doesn't seem the wiser at first. Perhaps due to the way its sequenced, it can feel like too much incident for a ten minute short to cover successfully, and the results wind up feeling a bit messy as it barrels through each…