With an erotic softness and quiet confidence, the young, fully-nude subjects in I Heart Boy exhibit a willingness to be celebrated by all for their beauty and openness. Posing in the intimacy of their own homes, often in studio apartments in Manhattan’s East Village and Lower East Side, lanky, hairless bodies are posed sensually against the minimalist backgrounds of naturally lit rooms with sparse furnishings.
Welcome to today’s gay ideal of the male nude, an aesthetic with nods to Larry Clark and the 80s underground music scene, and appreciated by the likes of designer Hedi Slimane, American Apparel, and the most popular indie bands from New York, L.A., London, Paris, and Berlin. Yatrofsky’s waif-like men—merely boys just a few years ago, bordering on androgynous, with an occasional tattoo and a bit of punk swagger to match their youthful naiveté—hardly resemble even the shadow of the beefcake of generations past. This is the undressed and carefree look of today’s urban trendsetter—whose style trickles out of the young, creative circles in cities, only to be copied elsewhere tomorrow.
With each photograph, these sexually charged images of male bodies invite the viewer to dwell upon the welcome tenderness of warm skin. Ultimately I Heart Boy is a series of nudity in the purest sense; of being simply bared as human before the world.
In order to avoid an X rating, 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was rumored to be cut and destroyed from the 1980 film, “Cruising.” Inspired by the mythology of this controversial film, filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews collaborate to imagine their own lost footage.
Amid the backdrop of a frenzied film set actor Val Lauren reluctantly agrees to take the lead in the film. Val is repeatedly forced to negotiate his boundaries during scenes on and “off camera,” as unsimulated gay sex happens around him. The film itself is constructed as a play with boundaries remaining queer in subject and form. As much a film about filmmaking as it is about an exploration of sexual and creative freedom, “Interior. Leather Bar.” defies easy categorization.
Dark and twisted, Seeing Heaven is a psycho-sexual thriller set in the world of pornography and escorting. Handsome but troubled Paul (Alexander Bracq) is desired by everyone but lost to himself. He is obsessed with finding his twin brother whom he has not seen since childhood. Paul’s vivid visions of him are unconsciously transferred during sex to his unsuspected sexual partners. His role in an adult film triggers his quest, a journey which takes him into the murky, dangerous sexual underworld of London – replete with drugs and associations with characters whose motives are hard to ascertain. Stylishly directed by newcomer Ian Powell, this is a sexy, atmospheric tale expertly weaving dreams, nightmares and reality.