Monthly Archives: August 2013

“2048”— A Future Without Israel

2048”

A Future Without Israel

Amos Lassen

Israeli director, Yaron Kaftori, has made a film about the future when there is no Israel, a mock documentary of what the world will be like it there is no State of Israel. The film compares contemporary Israeli society with the state of affairs leading up to the Six- Day War, when the nation’s very existence was put to the test. While his parents’ fear reflected a common feeling at the time, the 47-year-old Kaftori said he always felt confident about Israel’s wellbeing.

Kaftori says that many feel that Israel is headed in the wrong direction and therefore threatening the end of the state and it will come from within and not from an externally devised method. Israel is a divided country—there are many different groups of people and the director maintains that no one really cares about each other. This film is how he shows that. He has used his lens to show what will happen with the fictional downfall of the country.

The film is set in 2048 in a world where there once was an Israel but no longer. Shot in documentary style we first see a young man who finds a tape that his grandfather made as a documentary in 2008 and when he was aware of the crisis within Israel. The final factor is not identified as the grandfather sets out to interview five refuges from Israel and each of them has a very different story of what happened and why Israel is no more. There is a rabbi who is writing a new chapter of the Bible and explains that Theodore Herzl was on a mission from God. A librarian says that Israel fell because of the system of education. A third refugee says that the end was violent but does not say whether that was due to a civil war or an invasion from outside. Kaftori says that each of the accounts represents extremes that could be possible but further states that none of these views are his own but they are all possible.

Everyone has his own history, and history has a tendency to be written by different sources,” he said. “More than anything, the film is an attempt to look at how our time, the Zionist periods of this country, will be preserved in the eyes of history in the time to come.”

 

There is no solution offered in the film and Kaftori says there is no political message here. The film leaves a lot of room for discussion and debate. It does not endorse calls to put military pressure on Iran nor does it call for a stronger educational system. Kaftori says that we are all part of the problem and that includes Jews in the Diaspora. The bigger problem is that no one wants to know where Israel is going and escapism is a major problem. The views presented here are probably extreme for Israelis because they do not question themselves. However when screened in Jerusalem the film was warmly received. The reaction was the same from the Left wing and from the Right wing and from the religious and the non-religious. “Everyone could identify with one part of it,” Kaftori said. “It’s something very powerful, I believe, which catches the fears and the hopes that are in every one of us.”

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“ALL STARS”— For Tweens

all stars

All Stars”

For Tweens

Amos Lassen

Two tweens stage a dance show as a way to save their youth center that is threatened with closure. There is not anything new here; we have seen it all before. But since the movie seems to be for the younger members of society, it will be new to them because they have not seen much. The plot is quite simply the story of Jaden and Ethan who take it upon themselves to raise money to save their center. Jaden (Akai) loves to dance and he recruits Ethan (Theo Stevenson) to help because he is so good looking and will able to get young girls to take part. There is a problem when the only people they can get to take part are misfits who know nothing about “streetdance” and is, as we can guess, what really saves the show. Weakness becomes strength.

The silliness of the movie actually becomes fun for the viewer and there is a lot of talent here but because the film was made in 3D and the DVD is not, something is lost. It all seems to me that the film is made exclusively for tweens and that shows all the way through.

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“NOWHERE”— A Day in the Life

nowhere

Nowhere”

A Day in the Life

Amos Lassen

Nowhere” is the third part of the trilogy by Gregg Araki about high school kids in Los Angeles and the lives they lead.

We see these young people through the eyes of Dark (James Duval) who has issues with his girlfriend, Mel, (Rachel True) who is bisexual and is more interested in a hedonistic lifestyle than in Dark. She loves Dark but she refuses to be tied down by him. Dark has a friend named Montgomery (Nathan Bexton) who seems to want more than friendship. He pines for Dark while insisting he is not gay. During a game of kick-the-can, Montgomery is kidnapped by a silly Froggy the Gremlin-like creature from outer space who periodically pops into the movie to vaporize stray teen-agers. Returning from the alien’s clutches near the end of the film, Montgomery gets to spring the last of the movie’s several gory surprises.

nowhere1

There are subplots about horny teenagers, a young woman who has been raped by a teen idol (Jason Simmons), a boy who tries to get his girlfriend to go to a party, a group of friends on a bad acid trip, and aliens who want to take over the earth. It is all quite strange.

Araki also uses three well known actors—Beverly D’Angelo, Charlotte Rae and John Ritter and a busload of new actors who later became better known—Christina Applegate, Heather Graham, Ryan Phillippe, Guillermo Diaz, Scott Caan, Denise Richard, Rose McGowan and Shannen Doherty.

We first meet Dark as he is taking a shower and thinking about people that he knows. When his mother interrupts his day dream dalliance, he spends the rest of the day being angry. He sort of drifts through the day by killing time by cruising the streets or hanging out at “The Hole”, a pop-nihilist restaurant. He meets his friends Egg, Ducky and Dingbat there where they all just “chill”.

Los Angeles is also a character in the film that is the backdrop for this black comedy and satire about “love, longing and wearing really, really cute clothes” with Los Angeles representing the depths of nothingness.

This is a strange movie that’s difficult to quantify or fully understand.Some will definitely find it just too weird and wonder what is going on, while I am sure that others will find themselves drawn into its odd world that’s next door to reality. It seems to be an attempt to document the meandering, slightly meaningless solipsism of the grunge generation, and while very much a product of the mid-to-late-90s.

Although Araki was at the head of the New Queer Cinema in the 90s thanks to the first two films in the trilogy, “The Living End” and “Totally F***ed Up”, “Nowhere” comes across as almost post-gay, with characters whose sexuality feels totally fluid and where sexual identity is neither fixed nor too much of an issue. In some ways it reflects what was going on in Araki’s own life. “Before ‘Nowhere’ he’d always identified as gay, but shortly afterwards started dating Kathleen Robertson (who appears in the movie), and has identified as bisexual since then. Some saw Araki dating a woman as a betrayal by a man who’d been at the forefront of creating a new gay identity on film, but as some of the characters in this film suggest, life isn’t always as simple as labels sometimes imply”. Queer identity is certainly present in the film but not as the propelling force and there is something about Araki’s films in that they feel both full of meaning and pointless at the same time. I believe that it was his intention to show the listless confusion of youth here. It is a step away from reality yet it captures the hedonism, the random confusion and the search for meaning in life of several teens.

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“Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene”, by Gerald H. Gaskin— The House Ball Culture

legendary

Gaskin, Gerald H. “Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene”, Duke University Press, 2013.

The House Ball Culture

Amos Lassen

One of the highly anticipated books for our LGBT community is Gerald Gaskin’s “Legendary”, an album of 95 photographs that reflect the culture of house balls, the underground event where mostly African American and Latino gay and transgender men and women come together to see and to be seen. (Remember the Jennie Livingston movie, “Paris is Burning”). These balls are high-spirited late night pageants where members of various houses—i.e. The House of Blahnik, The House of Xtravaganza—compete for trophies in such categories as costume, attitude, dance moves and “realness”. This is a world of self-fashioning artistry where those who feel marginalized flaunt and celebrate themselves.

We go backstage and feel the energy as the celebrants take to the runway and we feel the electricity of the crowd. The book takes us to the balls through a series of photographs taken at various affairs from New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Gaskin has been going to these balls for years as a camera-laden outsider and now he takes us with him so that we can see it all. There is an introduction by Deborah Willis and an essay by Frank Roberts, “The Hidden Histories of House Ball Culture.”

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New Books from Bruno Gmunder–October 2013

 

New in October

 

 

 

 Joan Crisol

hombres

 

 

Hot!

He is one of the great newcomers of recent years—his photobook Rebels featuring the boys of Bel Ami was an incredible success. Joan Crisol understands like no other pulling the trigger on erotic photography of young men. Hombres showcases his work for one of the most successful fashion brands – ES – as coffee table book.

 

ftp://b2b:2012@92.79.136.6/2013/978-3-86787-633-9

 

Joan Crisol

HOMBRES

160 pages, full color

Hardcover with dustjacket, 9 ¼ x 11 ½” (23, 5 x 29 ,0 cm)

€ 39,95 / US$ 69.99 / £ 39.99

ISBN 978-3-86787-633-9

 

 Danny Fitzgerald & Les Demi Dieu

Brooklyn Boys

 

 

The undiscovered world of Danny Fitzgerald!

The photographs of Danny Fitzgerald are an undiscovered treasure, making him one of the great photographers of the 20th century. Brooklyn Boys presents some of his work for the very first time since its creation in the ’50s and ’60s, showcasing the unbelievable intensity of his photography.

 

ftp://b2b:2012@92.79.136.6/2013/978-3-86787-632-2

 

Danny Fitzgerald & Les Demi Dieux

BROOKLYN BOYS

160 pages, full color

Hardcover with dustjacket, 10 ½ x 11 ¼“ (27,0 x 28,5 cm)

€ 69,95 / US$ 129.99 / £ 69.99

ISBN 978-3-86787-632-2

 

  Franze & Andärle

Black wade

 

 

The wild side of Love!

Dreaded pirate Black Wade has a cruel mind and an explosive sexuality. His mercilessness is legendary, but it wavers when he encounters the young and warmhearted English officer Jack Wilkins. These two absolutely different men are prisoners to their fate. Overwhelmed by their passion, they unite in a fight for freedom and love.

 

ftp://b2b:2012@92.79.136.6/2013/978-3-86787-639-1

 

Franze & Andärle

BLACK WADE

80 pages, full color

Text English

Softcover with flaps, 6 ¼ x 8 ¾” (20, 5 x 28 ,5 cm)

€ 14,95 / US$ 29.99 / £ 14.99

ISBN 978-3-86787-639-1

 

  Christopher Coe (with an Interdiction by David Leavitt)

i look divine

 

 

Brilliant, Funny and Seductive!

Nicholas is beautiful, wealthy and hopelessly vain. With his older brother in tow, he jets from one glamorous scene to another: Rome , Madrid , Mexico . Wherever he goes, he seeks the admiration of other men, until one day—his beauty faded—he winds up dead, the victim of unknown circumstances. His brother is left to pick up and pieces and figure out how Nicholas came to his untimely end.

 

ftp://b2b:2012@92.79.136.6/2013/978-3-86787-630-8

 

Christopher Coe (with an Interdiction by David Leavitt)

I LOOK DIVINE

128 pages, full colour

Text English

Softcover with flaps, 5 ¼ x 7 ½” (13,0 x 19,0 cm)

€ 14,95 / US$ 16.99 / £ 10.99

ISBN 978-3-86787-630-8

 

  Sven Rebel

joyful gay sex – the ultimate pleasure guide

 

 

Sex Made Better … and Better!

Every generation discovers gay sex in its own way: new sex symbols, styles and fetishes appear and take the place of old ones; familiar sex practices become less popular, while people love each other in exciting new ways. From the tried and true to the exotic and adventurous, this book offers expert tips and unexpected tricks to make gay sex an even more joyful experience.

 

ftp://b2b:2012@92.79.136.6/2013/978-3-86787-601-8

 

Sven Rebel

JOYFUL GAY SEX – THE ULTIMATE PLEASURE GUIDE

192 pages

Softcover, 5 ½ x 8 ¼” (14,0 x 21,0 cm)

€ 21,95 / US$ 24.99 / £ 16.99

ISBN 978-3-86787-601-8

 

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“The Ranch Foreman” by Rob Colton— A New Job

the ranch foreman

Colton, Rob. “The Ranch Foreman”, Dreamspinner Press, 2013.

A New Job

Amos Lassen

Matty Ward is having a rough time. He is unemployed and has no place to live. Luckily his cousin finds a job for him at the Gates cattle ranch but Matty knows nothing about herding cattle or taking care of horses. Nevertheless, he works hard and does what he can to impress Baxter Hollingsworth, the foreman. (Not mention that Matty is also attracted to him and Baxter is also attracted to him). Baxter is closeted and would like to get to know Matty but it took a visit from a gay veterinarian (who was also interested in Matty) to make him act.

Baxter is so deeply closeted and acts callously toward Matty who does not hide who he is or his sexuality. Matty is a nice young man and Baxter wants to protect him and even though he really wants the young man, he is afraid to act. Matty also wants a relationship that is based on more than just sex but he is smitten by Baxter’s body. Because he is so afraid of outing himself, Baxter comes across as unsympathetic character. Matty, on the other hand, is so obsessed with Baxter that he is willing to do anything.

On a trip to town to pick up supplies, they stopped at a rest area where they had sex but Baxter acts like it never happened. This hurt Matty and he is angry that Baxter is avoiding him. When the vet asks Matty out, he goes as this is wanted pushed Baxter into action.

We actually only get to know what is going on Matty’s mind because he is the narrator. I really wanted to know what Baxter was thinking. The sex scenes are very hot—Matty thinks the sex with Baxter is the best he has ever had. However for a man in his 40s to be so deep in the closet is frustrating for Matty and for the reader. It is this and the way that Matty feels that brings tension to the read. Baxter obviously wants Matty and vice versa yet both men have to work to make it happen.

I was not familiar with Rob Colton before I read this. He seems to be a new writer and I think that with time he will be able to polish his skills. Here he seems to be testing the waters. Yet he managed to raise my ire with these two characters both of whom I wanted to shake and let them know what they were missing by not being together.

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“No Angel” by Daniel A. Kaine— Devil Syndrome

no angel

Kaine, Daniel A. “No Angel”, Dreamspinner Press, 2013.

Devil Syndrome

Amos Lassen

While reading “The Son of Rosemary” by Ira Levin, the sequel to “Rosemary’s Baby” which I had no idea even existed until a friend told me about it, a copy of “No Angel” came. I am not sure if that is a sign or not but both books, while not being classics, are fun reads. Josh Harper was born with a birth defect known as Devil Syndrome and he cannot hide the two small lumps on his head. He also has the ability to create force fields by just thinking about them. All alone and on the streets at eighteen years old, Josh is attacked but he was lucky that Sam Mitchell was nearby to save him. Like Josh, he was born with a strange power but his included a pair of white wings. (I know what you are thinking but hold on for a bit).

Sam has been on the streets for a year and is doing fine. He is living in an abandoned house where he is taking care of three youngsters who also have Devil Syndrome. When Josh comes along something clicks and the two find solace and comfort in each other until the new family is beset by tragedy. It is then that the true test of love comes as Josh labors to get Sam to see that he needs to protect all that he has worked so hard to build.

At first, I thought I was going to have a silly story of devil vs. angel, good vs. bad, darkness vs. light but I was wrong. What we get is a story of learning how to cope with differences and how to protect ourselves from pain, both physical and mental. It’s a sweet tale of friendship, love and caring for others.

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“Love Into Light: The Gospel, The Homosexual and The Church” by Peter Hubbard– Insulting and Unfair

Love_Into_Light.1

Hubbard, Peter. “Love Into Light: The Gospel, The Homosexual and The Church”, Ambassador International, 2013 reprint.

Looking at Controversy and Causing Even More

Amos Lassen

Homosexuality has become of the most controversial moral issues of our lives. It has certainly captured the media with big names coming out, politicians changing positions and the Supreme Court handing down rulings about same-sex marriage. The church however does not talk about it and Christians feel confused and divided between love and truth. Many have struggled and still struggle with same-sex attraction and feel alienated by and from the church. This book is meant to move the church to a better understanding and is written by a pastor who loves people and is sensitive to today’s world. Peter Hubbard looks into homosexuality as the cultural war rages. He maintains that the idea of homosexuals as abnormal is false and sets forth three goals in his introduction:

– that ministry leaders would compassionately talk about and engage the same sex attraction issue in a biblical way
– that lonely, silent same sex attraction

strugglers within our churches would feel loved
– and that the church, all believers, would shift from reacting to media and political stories, to proactively engage our homosexual neighbors with the same love and the same truth that Jesus is offering to us”.

 

The fact that the church has kept silent is more deafening than if it had condemned homosexuality. This book is a beginning and can help churches know how to minister to gay people. Here we can look at issues through the gospels and it means to help those who are struggling. It is the author’s hope to bring gay people into the church by showing that Jesus is a healer. Hubbard maintains that it is unfair and traumatic to tell homosexuals that their struggles are unlike any other sin. What he is looking for is reconciliation (not ACCEPTANCE) and he wants to move the conversation from uncertainty to biblical categories that are certain.

Here is the rub—


“Change is possible, not just for homosexuals and SSA’s, but for us all (Colossians 2:23).
For change to occur, we must give attention to who God says we are, by nature and by grace. Therefore, Hubbard strongly urges “we do not know our names–who we really are–until God tells us”. p 87.

“As Christians who are also sinners, we can love all, but we cannot be “fine” with people who are “fine” with their sins, regardless of what those sins may be.
To build the community of the Church, we recognize that we share a common bond. By nature we are all fallen. By grace, we may be saved. We must all be willing to have the Gospel and the Word of God permeate every aspect of our lives.
Gospel advancement is not to be pursued through hurling insults or lobbing clichés.
We can accept people without approving lifestyles.
“Any Christian who can mock a homosexual or speak unkindly to a drag queen is suffering from amnesia.” P. 161.

I am biting my tongue here— and “Hubbard helps Christians remember who we were, what Christ did, and that we are here to help others. We can truly be salt and light if we are willing to love all–homosexuals and SSA’s–hear their story, speak the Gospel into their lives, and live for Christ in his kingdom”.

Another reviewer writes: “Most Christians agree that we should “hate the sin but love the sinner” when it comes to our belief about homosexuals. But when it comes to our actions, we end up hating the sin but leaving the loving part to someone else. We are not sure what the loving part should look like and are afraid to try”. Can you tell where this is going?

Hubbard in chapter one sets down his foundation by looking at the silence on the issue from Christians. “We think that: 1) homosexuals are abnormal and not welcome around “churchy” people; 2) homosexuality is uniquely insidious and unnatural; 3) homosexuals have an identity that prevents them from fitting in anywhere in church; and 4) homosexuals cannot have hope of ever really changing. He further maintains that these are misunderstanding about gay people (I use the term gay people even though Hubbard does not—he insists on the word “homosexual”). He further says that these four points represent a poor understanding of gospel (not to mention human nature). He prefers things to be like this:1) we are all image bearers of God marred by sin, so all sin is abnormal; 2) all sin is twisted, and although the Bible describes homosexuality as “contrary to nature,” that is because it is “a physical illustration of our spiritual condition” as idolaters; 3) by receiving the righteousness of Christ by grace, we can all receive a new identity with Him, no longer defined by our sin; and 4) our “new identity `in Christ’ is not simply individual, but communal.” It does not preclude temptation, whether homoerotic desire, or any other kind. So “homosexuals and heterosexuals hope in grace together.”

Hubbard goes on to show the practical implications of these “truths” (notice we are still regarded as sinners). He looks at scripture and tries to make the confusing issues clear and those issues are, he says “gender identity, the complex causes of same sex attraction, and what change means”.

“Hubbard advocates that churches play the primary role in loving homosexuals in ways that join God’s work of transformation. But he does more. He shows what that can look like. His description of how his church’s Network of Care fills that role is immensely helpful”.

Hubbard says, “I have spoken to scores of men and women who have spent years worshipping in church while battling alone with SSA (Same Sex Attraction). They were terrified to tell anyone, and convinced that if other Christians knew their secret, they would be tagged and discarded. Imagine the trauma of believing that your struggle is unlike any other sin. The preacher makes applications in his sermons to lying, stealing, or marital selfishness. And periodically a man may testify to struggling with heterosexual lust. Or a woman may ask for prayer regarding anxiety. But these sins seem normal, understandable. And there is hope and help for change. But homosexuality seems different. When it is mentioned in church, it’s usually associated with abomination, activism, or antagonism. Often the pronouns change from “we” to “them.” Some sins allow you to be a “we,” but other sins require you to be a “them.” The “yuck” factor crosses the line of acceptability.”

“… the church, all believers, would shift from reacting to media and political stories, to proactively engaging our homosexual neighbors with the same love and the same truth that Jesus is offering to us.”

“Paul did not command Titus to preach against “those homosexuals.” He commanded Titus to “teach what accords with sound doctrine.” … According to the letter to Titus, gospel advancement is not to be pursued through hurling insults or lobbing clichés over picket lines. These methods attempt to catapult sound bites over deep trenches rather than living and speaking the story of Jesus before friends and neighbors. Some of us may feel uncomfortable with the New Testament’s method of evangelism.”

Another reviewer states, “Peter Hubbard is guided by the love, wisdom, and power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in addressing this very personal aspect of our human experience, our sexuality.
He successfully puts a face on what wants to remain as political hot, very hot, button. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves his neighbor and is interested in being his brother’s keeper, or to anyone wanting to hear how the love of Jesus Christ responds to people in need”. I do not feel that I need a keeper to watch me deal with my “sin” and after reading this I am so glad that I am Jewish. There is a lot of doubletalk here and gays are still looked at as aberrations to society that need to be healed. What about the pastors that pass off this crap?

 

Regardless of your sexual preference, this book will help you see homosexuals as people in need of the grace of Christ just like everyone else. Balanced, grace-filled and Christ-honoring. I would read this author again in a heartbeat”. I have the amount of homophobic bull**** in this book to be exceedingly alarming and far from the truth. I think that Hubbard had better find the definition of sin because he uses it all so wrongly here and that is embarrassing for a man who considers himself to be a leader and intelligent. What he says is that as long as we struggle the church will welcome us and help us deal. Who needs it? What I thought started off to be sincere has become the worst it possibly could become.

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“Lust in Time” edited by Rob Rosen— Lust and Love Through Time

lust in time

Rosen, Rob, editor. “Lust in Time”, MLR Press, 2013.

Lust and Love Through Time

Amos Lassen

Rob Rosen brings us a collection of short stories about love and lust over the course of history. It covers from Ancient Israel in 1000 BCE through 1969 and there are sixteen stories that capture the periods of time in which they are set. The stories do not carry titles but they are named for the year in which they take place and each story is about m/m love. Here are brief synopses of the stories in no particular order.

1000 BC” by CC Williams looks at the story of David and Goliath min which David kills the giant Goliath to show his love for Jonathan and save his life.

496 BC” by Kayla Jameth is the story of Galen, a freed-slave who has lived with his Prince, Alexios for more than half of his years and they have been lovers for a short time. Galen is jealous of the attention that Lykos, Alexios’ mentor pays to him but he also knows that he cannot give Alexios what he can get from Lykos.

27 AD” by Tilly Hunter is the story of Lucius, a Roman centurion who along with his soldiers has been defeated in battle by barbarians. He is tired of war and submits to Finian, preferring not to die. He becomes submissive and he tells Finian all he needs to know to defeat the Romans. This is a somewhat kinky look at ancient times. Lucius becomes subservient to Finian, his arch enemy. However, he gives in with a sort of smile and enjoys the sex as Finian sexually uses and abuses him.

130 AD” by Julian Siminski tells of eleven year old Antonious who has been chosen to be a page in the court of the emperor, Hadrian Augustus. He becomes Hadrian’s lover but as he matures into adulthood, he understands that citizen will not accept his relationship with the emperor and it could cause serious problems and he makes the ultimate and necessary sacrifice for Hadrian.

794 AD” by Stevie Woods takes us to England where Aland and Garrick, best friends are called before Lord Leander in order to defend their country against invading Norsemen. They defeat the enemy and take a little time to enjoy each other.

1066 AD” takes us to Norway as Jeff Mann introduces us to Thorir and Eirick, Viking warriors who are forbidden to love each other and put themselves at great risk which could involve death. As they were splitting the spoils of battle Eirick is shot and dies in Thorir’s arms. Thorir then goes to the king after burying his lover. He wants to die an honorable death so that he can join Eirick in Valhalla.

1576 AD” by Kenzie Matthews is set in Renaissance Italy during the time the Black Plague ravaged the country and Jews were both reviled and feared. Cesare, a nobleman, becomes angry with Tuviya and accuses him of stealing money from his family. Tuviya, while Jewish, comes from the aristocratic Montefiore family who has been serving the Barbarigo family for years as accountants and attorneys. It seemed that Italians wanted to blame the plague on the Jews and Cesare Barbarigo uses the opportunity to blackmail Tuviya Montefiore when money was missing from his family’s accounts. This was how he could get the young Jew to submit to having sex with him.

1822 AD” by James Thorpby is the story of Charles McCloud, King George’s physician. He has been working very, very hard to keep the king healthy even though he is tremendously overweight. The job has all kinds of perks but the one he likes the most means that the king will have to go away so that Charles can enjoy the young, good-looking servant Mosby.

1865 AD” and the American Civil War is the subject of K. Vale’s story. Ben lost his hand fighting for the Union. He and Ammon, his best friend and lover, have been secret about their lives together as they are afraid of discovery and the war. The story is bittersweet set against the backdrop of war. The two men struggle to fight and stay alive as the Civil War envelops the country.

1881 AD” by Michael Roberts is a look at time travel. Eric invented a time machine and uses it to go back and forth in time to meet people from the past, seduce them and send them back. Things change, however, when he meets Billy the Kid.

1889 AD” by Salome Wild is about a young Russian Jew who flees from the czar’s army and comes to America. Here he meets a young man who feels that the United States should fulfill its promises and our émigré is fascinated by this man. The two men are soon lovers and the legacy of the Jewish family is lost forever.

1890 AD” by Steve Rudd is about Shem, a young man who takes a job cooking for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and there meets Wayne Smithson, the guy who takes care of the horses. He soon realizes that the west is still wild.

1909 AD” by Barry Brennessel is about Jesse Ostermann who after dropping his parents off at the train station to go to the inauguration of President Taft comes home to find his friend Newton Brabinger waiting for him outside of his home. The two have not seen each other in two years but they make up for that very quickly and being stranded by a snowstorm made it that much easier.

1916 AD” by Richard May takes place in France during World War I. Jack Simmons and his men have been fighting and Jack is over it all. He is tired of war and tired of death. He goes to England on furlough and meets Gerald Higgins and the two men get together and ignore the regulation keeping them apart because one is an officer. But it was all just momentary and the war sees to that.

It seems like a long time but we finally get to modern times.

1957 AD” by Landon Dixon is about a private eye who is hired by a television executive to find out if a game show on a competing network is rigged. The detective sleeps with whomever he has to get what he needs but he gets much more including a trip to Hollywood and a job as a game show host.

And finally…

1969” by editor Rob Rosen is set at the Woodstock Music Festival where Steven and his friends have come. He meets Glenn and they begin my enjoying the music and some good grass but then move on to more intimate things. Somehow they lost each other in the crowd but some forty years later when Steven comes back to the tree where they marked their names, he finds Glenn’s phone number and they come together again.

There is something for everyone here and this is a fine collection about love and lust over the ages.
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“TUMBLEDOWN”— Another Look

tumbledown

TUMBLEDOWN”

Another look

Amos Lassen

Todd Verow is one of the giants of gay cinema. He began making films in the mid 1990s and has been prolific ever since. His films include “Vacationland”, “Between Something & Nothing”, “Bottom” and “Bad Boy Street” to name just a few. “Tumbledown” is based on his own experiences and he stars in it as Jay.

tumbledown1-300x202

We meet three characters—Rick, Mike and Jay. Rick and Mike meet and get along fine especially because Rick has the pills that Mike wants for Jay, his boyfriend. The three men go on a weekend summer trip to Jay’s summer house but afterwards Mike seems to have disappeared. Jay invites him out to his house once again but once he got there, he passed out and when he woke up the next morning he was in Jay’s bed.

A short time afterwards Mike gets a camera and in it is a video of Jay having sex with Mike as he lay there lifeless and drugged on the floor.

tumbledown2-300x200

The story is seen through three different perspectives—one from each of the characters. Each relates what he said happened. What each says leaves it to us to decide which version, if any, is the truth.

This is an interesting idea—using each character to tell what happened that night. We realize that there is no objective truth. The problem is that this idea works better as an idea than as something real. Something just seems to be lacking here.

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There are problems and they seem to stem from the screenplay which could have been much sharper. I felt that there was something interesting that was going to happen but I also understood that that depends on how I see the film. Verow always is ready to take risks and go where few others dare to go. Because of that alone it is worth watching but there are other reasons as well which I am sure you will catch.

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