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Monday, August 18, 2014

'Man at Bath' DVD: Gallic Porn Star Makes The French Casual Connection

Product Details
The adult-themed French drama "Man at Bath," a.k.a. "Homme au Bain," is one of the latest releases from Canteen Outlaws. This partnership is very apt, considering that Outlaws is the international film division of leading gay film distributor TLA Releasing. One nice aspect of "Bath" is that the emphasis is on drama, rather than "releasing."

"Bath" is notable as the first (relatively) mainstream film for French gay porn star Francois Sagat; early scenes clearly establish that every muscle that big and burly Sagat possesses makes him a good fit for the aptly named male prostitute Emanuel.

Sagat, whose acting talents do not measure up to the level of other attributes that he possesses, clearly will not be the next Bond or ever star in any other action-adventure film franchise; however, he may establish a career playing bit parts.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the quasi-erotic trailer for "Bath" provides a good sense of the dramatic, sensual, and humorous aspects of this film.


The incident that propels the action is Emanuel not taking no for an answer from live-in boyfriend Omar prompting the latter to inform the former that he wants him out of Omar's apartment by the time that Omar returns from a trip to New York.

The next hour largely consists of a despondent Emmanuel engaging in a series of (largely) meaningless sexual encounters for fun and/or profit. For his part, Omar makes a more meaningful connection with a New York film student in a relationship that is vaguely reminiscent of the indie classic film "Sex, Lives, and Videotape."

The limited nudity, less frequented simulated sex, and even more rare actual sex (as well as the complete absence of cheesy music and "hey Buddy" style dialog) clearly show that "Man" is simply an erotic art film. At the same time, there really is not much depth.

The primary theme of "Bath" is the struggle that Emmanuel experiences regarding how others regard him. It seems both that he (and Sagat) want to be genuinely loved and respected but seems incapable of achieving that. His lack of inhibitions regarding shedding his clothes and quickly getting down to business do not help matters much.

One of the more entertaining (and significant) scenes has an exasperated Emanuel administering an unduly harsh spanking to the submissive young man who has become infatuated with our hero. The messages here are that boys can play rough and that Emmanuel understands the importance of providing much need disillusionment.

All of this adds up to a decently produced film that provides a look at the human side of rent boys and keeps the erotic element to a level that will satisfy folks who enjoy that "bonus" in films of that type but will not satisfy the "raincoat crowd" with a history of frequenting adult theaters in Times Square.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Bath" is welcome to email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.