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  • Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Gay Porn Stars

    Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Gay Porn Stars

    ★★½

    This seven-part TV documentary series mainly consists of edited "talking head" interviews with 16 gay porn actors, interspersed for no particularly good reason with ghastly archive stuff warning about the dangers of homosexuality. Director John Roecker wanted to "give them a voice" so there are no commentaries or additional interviews with experts and opinion formers. This is fair enough, but the subjects rarely say that much that's perceptive, although Roecker occasionally proves himself a provocative interviewer, and any serious intention…

  • Ride the Pink Horse

    Ride the Pink Horse

    ★★★½

    An emotionally damaged ex-serviceman travels to a border town in New Mexico to avenge a friend murdered by a gang boss in this unusual, inventive and compelling noir-shaded crime film where nothing quite happens in the way you might expect it to. The film takes its time revealing the characters' stories, and its eccentricities and unexpected turns somehow make it more convincing than the stereotypes of a typical noir, without stinting on the melodramatic intensity and existentialist gloom. It benefits…

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  • 25th Hour

    25th Hour

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    What kicks this up a notch from being a good film to a great film for me is the scene where Monty pressurises his best friend Frank into beating him up so he'll be less attractive to sexual predators in prison, while their close friend Jake looks on. What could have been an opportunity to indulge in sensationalist violence under cover of a superficial 'examination' of machismo and masculinity becomes a wrenching and emotional scene, extremely hard to watch not…

  • Lichtspiel: Opus I

    Lichtspiel: Opus I

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    1001 films that will reward your time boxd.it/1FRRk (9th edition 2021).

    At the birth of cinema, all films were experimental films, yet for a medium emerging in an era of rapid technological change and modernist thinking, the content of mainstream film-making rapidly succumbed to melodramatic Victorian moralising. While there were early examples of artists using the medium deliberately to challenge conventional ideas of representation and reality (Émile Cohl is an example: see Fantasmagorie (1908)), it wasn’t until the ‘rules’ of…