Director Manuel Abramovich combines fiction and documentary with cinema verite style in this alluring portrait of a Boston-based queer bar.
Silicone, flavored lubricants and gimp suits galore. This festival celebrates the kink in all of us, while keeping it real.
From perpetually horny maid of honor to trans rent boys, these shorts celebrate the intoxication of libido and complex dynamics of loving and being loved.
Set in a South African traveling amusement park on New Year’s Eve, Athol Fugard’s Playland explores the possibility of blacks and whites finding understanding in a racially divided world. A volatile dialogue begins when a former soldier and a night watchman delve into their sordid pasts. This full-cast recording of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production features Lou Ferguson, Francis Guinan and Paul Sandberg.
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In addition to its amusement rides, Playland also offers an extensive picnic area, a snack bar, and two first aid stations. Guests are required to wear socks. Port Chester-Rye-Rye Brook Emergency Medical Service provides basic life support and ambulance transport services at the facility.
The second season of the popular female idol competition series Queendom premiered this week on Mnet. The girl groups of VIVIZ, Hyolyn, WJSN (Cosmic Girls), LOONA, and Kep1er have been competing since the first episode, garnering attention for their music performances and gaining popularity.
The official rankings are calculated from a combination of digital song sales, YouTube views, and audience votes from each live performance. The competitors also do a self-evaluation of their performance. If an act gets sixth place twice, they are eliminated from the contest.
Other erotic films include the sexy Japanese drama A DANGEROUS METHOD, with Emily Browning as a high-end prostitute for twisted clients, and the upcoming Norwegian film NYPHOMANIAC with director Lars von Trier showing off some explicit sexual scenes.
3. Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed
Amid the melodrama’s silly conventions, Douglas Sirk infused it with artistic flair to make a profound film about class and happiness. It stars Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson, one of my ultimate cinematic crushes, in a story about a New England widow’s love affair with her gardener.
Sirk’s Technicolor masterpiece explores societal expectations and the desire for self-fulfillment. His subtle camera movements, reframing the foreground and background of a shot, and using different hues to represent characters’ emotional states are dazzling.
More than 50 years later, All That Heaven Allows stands as Sirk’s greatest achievement. Its themes resonate, its performances are strong, and it demonstrates that even in the era of the stultifying Hollywood studio system, queer filmmakers could create powerful work. This week’s release of a gorgeous digital 2K restoration marks an important moment in its reappraisal.
4. Kokomo City
Kokomo City—named for the blues song “Sissy Man Blues”—is a rollicking and rousing portrait of four Black transgender sex workers. As their bodies glimmer in dimly lit scenes, Daniella Carter, Koko Da Doll, Liyah Mitchell and Dominique Silver share experiences with down-low men and judgmental ciswomen with defiant grace.
But these stories are not without their darkness, as they also touch on familial rejection and masculine sexual anxiety, sexism and the threat of violence. Smith refuses to undersell the seriousness of these issues, while sprinkling the doc with lyrical laughs, skewed cartoon soundtracks and a kinetic energy that churns around her magnetic subjects.
Two-time Grammy nominee Smith shoots and edits the film, and she has a feel for the beats that power erotic documentary storytelling. The tone flits between humorous levity, battled anger and celebratory charisma, and the result is a taboo-busting documentary that might be small in runtime but is epic in reach.
From a carefree feminine fantasy to the unsettling truth of a family in crisis, these stories explore the power of connection, both romantic and platonic. Horny bisexual Jess is the maid of honor for her best friend’s off-the-grid wedding, but a recent ex-girlfriend is expected to attend and complicate things. And in a nuanced drama, trans activist Fena is reunited with her father, younger sister, and a former lover.
Frameline47 presents these films in new restorations.
6. The Photographer
Inspired by the amateur porn festival HUMP! put on by Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger, Express editor Chris Furry set out to see what both amateur and professional local filmmakers could come up with. The result: a sexy collection of films — gay, lesbian, and fetish; straight, kinky, and downright dirty — that reflect the East Bay’s diverse and erotic community.
The Photographer, from Mary Dixie Carter, follows photographer Delta Dawn as she stalks the seemingly perfect lives of New York City’s elite, transforming their stiff hugs and tear-stained faces into visions of untold joy. A sly psychological thriller, the film is sure to make you wonder whether seeing really is believing. And if so, who’s behind the lens? (And whose eyes are those vivid cobalt blue?)