Wednesday, January 20, 2016
'Tattoo' DVD: Gay and Gay-Friendly Brazilians Wax Philosophical on '70s Repression
International art-film division of LGBT video company tla video tla releasing once again makes an artistically erotic film available to U.S. audiences in releasing the 2013 Brazilian film "Tattoo" on DVD. The roughly 25-words-or-less synopsis of this lively '70s-era movie is that a troupe of flamboyant performers preparing an outrageous satire-laden show that is subject to heavy censorship at the same time that a young soldier boy who is the baby daddy of the sister of the gay star comes calling. Said teen out of uniform falling in love with the regular bed partner of said star complicates things all around.
The accolades for "Brazil" include 20 major wins and an additional 11 nominations at film festivals.
Said star Paulette is more androgynous than drag and has more combined energy than a litter of month-old puppies, His relationship with the literally resident drug dealer strains a more healthy relationship with troupe administrator Clecio. Said soldier boy/closet case Fininiho bonding with Clecio, whose experiences largely mirror that of the younger man, further complicate things. It is nice that the sex scenes between Clecio and his protege are more sensual than erotic.
Fininiho also complicates the efforts of Paulette and Clecio to get their explicit cabaret show ready in a manner that does not run afoul of the applicable censorship. Both his enrollment in the Army and his presence at prior literal gay bashing creates mistrust among the boys (and the girls) in the band.
Like the other notable titles in the releasing catalog, the title of "Tattoo" has multiple symbolic meanings. The least subtle of which is the literal manner in which Fininiho is branded.
The combination of the above elements results in an equally fun and dramatic film that depicts the lives of free spirits who fully realize the potential price for not allowing society in general and the government specifically to repress them. This is a good reminder of the not-so-distant past in which boys who like other boys had to not tell and in which staging an absolutely fabulous revue could be equally devastating.
As an aside, the recently reviewed releasing DVD "Boys in Brazil" is an equally entertaining (but more sedate) depiction of the sad impact of repression of the gay lifestyle in the titular nation.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Tattoo" is encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.