January 27th, 2012

andrew potter

Coming Soon: The Broken Tower directed by James Franco

The Broken Tower (2011)
Actors: Michael Shannon, James Franco, Dave Franco
Directors: James Franco
Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Widescreen
Language: English
DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012
Amazon: The Broken Tower (2011)


Written, directed and edited by James Franco, this intimate experimental portrait of the legendary early 20th century gay poet Hart Crane takes a poetic approach to its subject and features a tour de force performance by Franco as the young, doomed writer (Crane committed suicide at the age of 32, jumping from a ship into the Gulf of Mexico in 1932).

Franco’s mellifluous full-length readings of several Crane poems are accompanied by distinctively shot black & white wanderings of the streets (and bridges) of Brooklyn and Paris. Along the way Franco’s Crane experiences the joys of gay sex (and love), the despairs of having to earn a living (working in the Cleveland factory of his father and then at an advertising agency), and then the descent into alcoholism and depression which led to his death.

Like the poetry of Crane himself — who is best known for his ambitious and challenging epic poem, The Bridge — Franco’s film is not conventional. This is not your average gay drama. This experimental minimalist portrait combines the aesthetics of such modern gay masters of cinema as Gus Van Sant (think Gerry — and his experiments in lengthy shot durations) and Tom Kalin (think Swoon) to create a passionate depiction of a gay writer who influenced such gay literary heroes as Allen Ginsberg and Tennessee Williams.

[Adapted from Paul L. Mariani’s biography on Hart Crane also titled "The Broken Tower"]

andrew potter

Coming Soon: And Then Came Lola directed by Ellen Seidler & Megan Siler

And Then Came Lola (2010)
Actors: Ashleigh Sumner, Jill Bennett, Cathy Debuono, Jessica Graham
Directors: Megan Siler, Ellen Seidler
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen
Language: English
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010
Amazon: And Then Came Lola (2010)

In this time-bending, sexy, lesbian romp with an irreverent nod to the popular art-house classic Run, Lola, Run a talented, but distracted photographer, Lola, (Ashleigh Sumner) on the verge of success in both love and work, could lose it all if she doesn t make it to a crucial meeting on time. But, as usual, Lola is late. With her job and girlfriend Casey (Jill Bennett) on the line, she has three chances to make it right. In a desperate race through the streets and backrooms of San Francisco, time grows short will Lola make it?

With a pop sensibility that mixes live action, animation and still photography AND THEN CAME LOLA explores love s age old question in a fresh new way; If we try, try again, will we finally get it right?

andrew potter

Coming Soon: Jitters directed by Baldvin Z

Actors: Atli Óskar Fjalarsson, Hreindís Ylva Garðarsdóttir Holm, Haraldur Ari Stefánsson, Elías Helgi Kofoed-Hansen, Birna Rún Eiríksdóttir
Directors: Baldvin Z
DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012
Amazon: Jitters

This energetic coming-of-age drama follows a closeted boy and his group of trouble-prone friends, providing a positive, fun look at young people today.

An unexpected first kiss causes Gabriel to feel the electrifying “jitters” of love and lust with the free-spirited Marcus; a perfect way to end a summer studying abroad. Realizing he is gay, Gabriel returns home and is immediately scrutinized by his family and friends who notice he’s different. But as the school year launches with Gabriel distracted with parties and his friends’ own dramas, Marcus returns, reigniting the hot, thrilling emotions of one’s first crush. Jitters fires head-first into the topsy-turvey world of first love with an attractive cast and pulsating soundtrack, making it a smartly refreshing journey into the queer, teen experience.

If you like MTV’s “Skins,” “Degrassi High,” ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of an American Teenager” and ABC’s “My So-Called Life” but GAY you’ll love “Jitters“!

andrew potter

Coming Soon: Hannah Free (2010) directed by Wendy Jo Carlton

Hannah Free (2010)
Actors: Sharon Gless, Maureen Gallagher, Ann Hagemann, Kelli Strickland, Taylor Miller
Directors: Wendy Jo Carlton
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010
Amazon: Hannah Free (2010)

Starring multi-award winner Sharon Gless (Burn Notice, Queer as Folk, Cagney & Lacey) in a tremendous performance, Hannah Free tells the moving story of the lifelong love affair between two very different women. Weaving between past and present, the story reveals how they maintained their love affair despite a marriage, a world war, infidelity, and family denial. Additional actors include Maureen Gallagher, Ann Hagemann, Kelli Strickland, Taylor Miller (All My Children) and Jacqui Jackson.

andrew potter

Coming Soon: The Seminarian (2010) directed by Joshua Lim

The Seminarian (2010)
Actors: Mark Cirillo, Linda J. Carter, Philip Willcox
Directors: Joshua Lim
DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012
Amazon: The Seminarian

Ryan is a closeted gay student in his final semester of seminary studies. Despite his school's hostile stance towards homosexuality, Ryan has two gay classmates - Gerald and Anthony in whom he secretly confides. He is also close to his religiously devout mother who, as things stand, is unaware of his sexual orientation.

Ryan needs to complete a solid theological thesis in order to continue doctoral work at the university of his dreams. As he works on his thesis 'The Divine Gift of Love,' he begins a relationship with Bradley - a man he has met on the Internet who seems perpetually unable to commit himself. At the same time, Ryan learns that Gerald and Anthony have romantic struggles of their own. During this volatile time, with the pain of unrequited love and the inability to share his fears with his mother deepening, Ryan struggles with finishing his thesis and holding on to his faith.

andrew potter

Noble Metals by L.A. Witt

First of all, I was surprise to find out this was an historical romance, I don’t know but I was of the wrong impression it was more sci-fi/fantasy. In a way, there is a steampunk flavour on it, it’s not that the author pushed much on fantasy details, but I think she took some “liberties” to make the story more a romance than a historical novel. For example, John Fauth is a University professor and a scientist, and his machine to find noble metals seems a little too much futuristic to be true, but I’m not so familiar with the various scientific discoveries and their time to be able to tell how much far from reality the author went. Another of such liberties is maybe the forced profession of Robert Belton, a male prostitute in a brothel in Seattle; while it’s true molly houses and similar places were already existing at the time, a saloon/slash brother in a frontier town like Seattle in 1898 I think was not a common place to find a male prostitute. Again the author made it believable, specifying Robert is a “necessary” evil thing, according to the owner of the brothel; but I wonder who would have been the courage at the time to enter such a place and openly ask for a man instead of a woman (since women were available); from Robert’s words, even if they were not the majority, and the women gained more money than him, he still had customers.

In any case, from my point of view, these were more positive than negative aspects, they made the story more “light” and easy to enjoy. That is probably the main thread of this story, it was quite romantic, sometime even sweet, despite the event that those men had sex without even knowing each other names, and it was more focused on them than on the adventure part of the plot. In the end, John’s target completely changed, and by the way, since the beginning, he was not the aloof professor someone could imagine, but more a man in love, basking in the warm given by the proximity with the object of that love.

Robert is a man who had to do what it had to be done, not for some teary story about little brothers or ailing parents, but simply since he lost all his money gambling and now he has to find a way to pay his ticket to Klondike and an hypothetical treasure (the gold). He doesn’t like what he is doing, but not for the sex per se, but more since he would like to be able to have it with someone he likes more than with strangers. When he meets John, it is a dream comes true, also since John seems to not be reticent to admit his preferences in bed companions, and he is quite good when he is into that be with someone else.

Amazon Kindle: Noble Metals
Publisher: Carnal Passions (January 2, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle