THE SEX FILES: Reviews of NewFest Films

kinkSo I hipped you to some sexy film festivals last week. What prompted that article was my research into NYC’s own NewFest happening 9/6-11.  I mentioned some of the films and directors of that festival in passing and then I was lucky enough to get to preview some of what you can catch at NewFest.

I urge you to catch these films! What a great bunch. In fact, one of them I think might be one of the best movies I saw all year actually (see below)

Here’s a quick overview of four of them.

Love Me Not is a romantic comedy directed by the super talented Gilitte Leung (she’s a writer/director/editor/sound engineer/composer). It’s an understated great looking slice of art imitates life imitates art imitates…with the stunning Afa Lee, subtle Kenneth Cheng, Rebbecca Yip and Siu Wu @ wild Child. I loved this film from its first half of laconic moments of ‘hot spots, wide open spaces and some new spins on what could have been cliché ideas to how the entire movie opens up and we learn we were watching a movie within a movie about the real life trials and tribulations of the films director and her gay male friend who she loves. Love Me Not is tender in all the right places and really challenges our perceptions of what love can be and how two people can achieve it. A great Asian submission here with stupendous locations and really interesting actors.

The James Franco produced Kink was a movie I was very interested in seeing as I have been to the Armory where Kink.com has their offices. Director Christina Voros snuck her camera in to get the lowdown on all that happens in this massive enterprise that supplies filmed content to its member sites like Hogtied, Device Bondage, Men In Pain and many more.

I liked meeting Kinks’ founder Peter Acworth and the models and directors who work on the content from Tomcat, Chris Norris, Jessie Lee and a bunch of others. But if I have any criticism through all the ropes, cropping, mock rape scenes, it would be that there was maybe a bit too much of the actual content shown and not enough with Peter or the nuts and bolts (pardon the pun) of the business…though I can understand why not so much of this very successful business was revealed. I appreciate everyone’s take on BDSM, how they all gave very sound and sane explanations to what this world is all about and why folks want to see these mini movies. But I found myself more riveted by marketing meeting shown than I was by a woman hung upside down with a Sybian working on her. Still Kink is a solid documentary.

Last Summer is an indy about young gay males. It’s a solid film too, maybe a little laconic for its own good (trying to be more poignant more than it is at times) still, it is well acted and some of the cinematography of the wooded places, shots through showered steamed windows, even some long loving shots of an old car are well executed.

Yen Tan’s Pit Stop was well recognized at Sundance and I can see why. This is one of these NewFest films I think might be one of the best movies I have seen all year. In a small Texas town we are introduced to the intersecting lives of various people…some gay men, some not. The cast here is exquisite, each and every one of the players. Tan gets out of the way and just let’s a very simple story with solidly built layers just open like flower petals around us.

As I say, the cast here is so stupendous I want to mention them all: John Merriman, Alfredo Maduro, Corby Sullivan, Bailey Bass, Heather Kafka, Richard C. Jones, Jonny Mars, Yesenia Garcia, Amy Seimetz and leads Bill Heck as the truly complex, can’t-take-your-eyes off of him “Gabe” and the equally compelling Marcus DeAnda as a teetering-on-a-full-precipice of sadness “Ernesto.”

Pit Stop also reveals one of the hottest sex scenes (gay or straight) at its ending that I have seen in any film in a very long time. If you hit no other film at NewFest, no other film this latter part of the year, see this movie!

Actually see these all. Get tickets here: http://www.filmlinc.com/films/series/2013-newfest.

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