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The 26th edition of FESTROIA: TROIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL will be held from June 4 to 13 in the beautiful coastal resort town of Setubal, Portugal. The Festival, the country's oldest and most prestigious, is known as the "Cannes of Portugal" and showcases international talents from around the world, with competition sections, special events and a program  of new works from emerging North American independent filmmakers from the U.S.A.


BOY CULTURE: A Gay Film About Looking For Love (Not Sex)


Sunday, June 3-------Now that gay coming-of-age films have become a (slight) cinematic cliche, what are the new areas that gay filmmakers want to explore as the community continues to evolve and become (somewhat) more mainstream. The answer in the excellent American indie film BOY CULTURE is love.....not as a substitute or an extension of sex, but as an adventure all its own. That is the provocative theme explored by director Q. Allan Brocka, who is attending the FESTROIA this week. His film is one of six American Independent titles competing for a prize in its own category.

Derek MagyarDerek MagyarBOY CULTURE is adapted from Matthew Rettenmund's novel "Boy Culture", a series of confessional stories told in the first person about an emotionally guarded hustler, known only as "X" to his 12 steady clients. Wary of emotional involvement, X (played by a supremely sexy Derek Magyar in his feature debut) shares a loft apartment with Joey (Jonathon Trent), a teenage tease who lusts after every pair of tight jeans he sees, and Andrew (Logo Television's NOAH'S ARK star Darryl Stephens) as a black man who is more interested in finding love than finding willing sex partners. One of the many themes explored in the film is why we always seem to pine for those who are just out of reach. In the case of X, he is emotionally unavailable and is actually content with his lifestyle of having sex for money rather than love or gratification. It keeps it simple for him, and simple is just the way he likes that.

Patrick BauchauPatrick BauchauAll that changes when a new client joins his stable......a courtly elder gentleman, played by Belgian actor Patrick Bauchau, familiar from Eric Rohmer's LA COLLECTIONNEUSE and Wim Wenders'  THE STATE OF THINGSBachau tantalizes the cynical hustler with his own tale of youthful passion, which blossomed into a 50 year relationship. That this may be a fantasy does not dilute the fact that it ignites a longing deep in X that he can no longer deny. Shot with great visual style in the director's home town of Seattle (changed from the original story's Chicago setting), the film brings a "state of the art" look at modern urban living as experienced by city dwellers of all sexual persuasions and genders (women are not invisible in this mostly male milieu, as they often are in other gay films).

Johnathan TrentJohnathan TrentThe film brings depth and density to its voice-over narration and the complex relationships between X and his clients and his longing roommates. In a self-reflective perspective that is missing from most other gay themed films, X is constantly examining and dissecting the particulars of the gay lifestyle to which he and his roommates belong. An attractive piece of hustler meat, X says little but thinks a whole lot. His take on the ways that gay men cruise, fuck, and ultimately disappoint each other defines his own self-alienation and protective shields. BOY CULTURE, almost uniquely among the current crop of gay films, explores the ways that issues of class, age, race and identity affect self-image of both youthful teenagers who must tame their hormones and elder statesmen who express regret for longings never clearly expressed. In its probing tenacity to get at the heart of matters of the heart, the film is attuned to both the best and the worst of what it means to be gay in the first decade of the new millenium.

Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Online Dailies Editor

Comments (1)


If that sounds like a lot on one film’s plate, you’re right. Equal parts sexy, soapy, smart and dopey, "Antarctica" extends its grasp slightly beyond its reach - but fires on so many cylinders that you at least appreciate the effort.
marirea penisului


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Sandy Mandelberger
(International Media Resources)

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