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Thursday, August 4, 2016

'Confessions' DVD: Vignettes Exploring the Mind of the Gay Man

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The timing of the recent tla releasing DVD release of the awesome gay-themed anthology film "Confessions" perfectly coincides with the (soon-to-be-reviewed) releasing DVD of the 2015 film "The Last Straight Man," which seems to be be Brokeback Marriott," coming on the Unreal TV gaydar, Both films are from talented writer/director Mark Bessenger.

The highly entertaining concept of the aptly named "Confessions" is that a hilarious short introduction, such as a man explaining that his sex doll is just not that into him, precedes a roughly 10-minute monologue by a (typically) gay man about a significant incident or series of events regarding his sexuality. The first of these 10 vignettes has a very funny and dreamy young aspiring actor discussing casting couch experiences that include a producer of a gay film version of the Shakespeare play "Trolius and Cressida" date raping this rookie thespian. This story ends with sharing the fate of this broke straight boy.

Another early story is an "Avenue Q" style tale of a fabricated American and his sock puppet friend having dinner with the parents of the former. The entertainment in this one includes copious puppet-oriented humor and a coming out.

The award for most enterrtaining boy goes to the star of a short in which a coked-up twink literally on the verge of 16 excitedly calls his friend to discuss all that our star has done over the last two years to work toward getting his dream car that he plans to call "The Red Rocket" with full knowledge of the meaning of that term. The imminent sacrifice at the end (pun intended) equally arouses and disgusts; hence, it is a textbook definition of a guilty pleasure.

The offering with the strong metaphors has a literal mirror image of a 30-something married man having a mind of his own, Both man and refelction have full facial hair at the beginning but decide to literally (and perhaps figuratively) shed their beards after a heart-to-glass talk.

Bessenger chooses wisely in ending the film with a gorgeous 20-something professional dancer from 1982 who is hospitalized with AIDS. This man recounting his childhood enamored with every aspect of "Gilligan's Island" and moving on to go to New York where his rigorous training as a dancer facilitates his extensive promiscuous sexual activity until he discovers his illness is captivating. These aspects of his life combining in a fantasy that leads to a harsh reality seems equally relatable to men who lived through the early days of the AIDS crisis. This one gives rise to a wonderfully vintage performance that appears during the closing credits.

The truly special features consists of six bonus confessions that largely follow the pattern of showing how experiences during our adolescence shape us. A notable one has a titular wrestler spending his time changing in a locker room first telling the tale of an ongoing teenage rivalry with his older brother and then stating how he uses going commando under his wrestling singlet as a tactic against opponents. Like most other confessions, this jock ties everything together at the end. Further, the arousal factor in this one is comparable to that in the story of the ambitious scamp with dreams of car ownership.

The trifecta of this film that merits it a place in the home-video library of every man who at least falls within 50 percent of the gay end of the Kinsey scale of sexuality consists of the movie having a strong live-stage vibe, telling universal tales, and providing a perfect example of erotic and/or sensual rather than pornographic. A cute naked guy getting on his back and raising his legs while having a big smile on his face truly is important to the story.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Confessions" is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.

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