“Buck Baxter, Love Detective” by Geoffrey Knight— Welcome to Wilde City, 1924

buck baxter

Knight, Geoffrey. “Buck Baxter, Love Detective”, Wilde City Press, 2014.

Welcome to Wilde City, 1924

Amos Lassen

We go back to 1924 to Wilde City where there is “a crane on top of every skyscraper, a party in every club, a romance on every dance floor, a shooting every night, a broken heart on every street corner and a dirty secret behind every window with the curtain drawn”.  It is here that Buck Baxter calls home and where he works. In fact, he is the best detective the town has ever known. He has been able to achieve this reputation because he has rules for himself. These include, “never make friends, never make enemies, and never ever fall in love”. But as it is for all of us, rules can be and often are broken. Holden Hart was responsible for Baxter breaking his own rules. Hart is a playboy with lots to play with. He is also a guy with class and finesse and just happens to be the kind of guy that Buck is ready to break rules for.
This time Buck is dealing with a different kind of mystery—the mystery of love and feelings. Buck usually takes his time as he figures a case out but this time he moved right in for the “kill”. But let me tell you that is not your usual romance and in fact I am not sure that it is a romance at all.

The beginning of the book is filled with Baxter’s thoughts on hustlers and rent boys. But then there is a change of pace and the wildness that he once participated in takes a back seat to the new man that he would like for his very own. Sex, he felt, is not good if it is not about love. The sex we read about is not steamy hot sex and it continues to change throughout the text.

Knight introduces us to some fascinating characters and we watch as Buck changes right before our eyes. I found the novel to be written in the style of film noir and we want to know how our man, Buck fares. Hart remains something of a mystery throughout the plot and what develops between the two main characters is certainly atypical of gay romances. But this is written well and it a fun read so I thoroughly recommend it.

“Dolly Dingle, Lesbian Landlady” by Monica Nolan— Magdalena Arms, Residence for Women

dolly dingle

Nolan, Monica. “Dolly Dingle, Lesbian Landlady”, Kensington, 2014.

Magdalena Arms, Residence for Women

Amos Lassen

Dolly Dingle who has had a life of fun decides that the time has come to concentrate on her career and she decides to move out of the Magdalena Arms, where she has been living. But just as she is ready to do so, her landlady, Mrs. Dewitt, breaks her hp and Dolly is asked to stay on as temporary landlady and housemother. As if it is not enough to deal with maintenance, rent collection and home repairs, Dolly also has to take care of some of the transient residents of the house. There include Jackie, an aspiring actress always puts on an impressive performance, Kay, an old friend of Dolly’s who is a whiz on the clarinet and has hopes that Dolly and she will get together again, Arlene, a theater designer with a body that will not quit and some very dramatic secrets and Ramona who has once been a “bad girl” and is not getting people talking about her again.

When they all learn of a plan to shut the boarding house down, they come together to raise the necessary money to keep it going. They want to put on a Christmas variety show and thereby keep the house open. For Dolly, the Magdalena Arms is the only real home she has ever known and she certainly wants it to stay that way so that when she finds her “Miss Wonderful” they will have a place to live.

Okay, so this a fluff read but that does not mean it is not a fun book. Sometimes fluff is what we need and/or what we want. There is a lot of fun here and a lot of passion. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the experience.

“The Czar of Wilton Drive: A Novel of Self-Discovery, Betrayal and Deceit” by RP Andrews— “Everything Changes”

The Czar of Wilton DriveFD23

Andrews, R.P. “The Czar of Wilton Drive: A Novel of Self-Discovery, Betrayal and Deceit”, Kokoro Press, 2014.

“Everything Changes”

Amos Lassen

Some of you might recognize the sentence I used for the title of this review, “Everything Changes”. It comes from one of my favorite short stories, “Eveline” by James Joyce. I found it to fit this novel like a glove. Here we meet twenty-one year old Jonathan Antonucci; a young man newly out of the closet. He has no sooner come out when he became a very wealthy guy.  His uncle Charlie died unexpectedly and left him his estate that included several of the most successful bars in Wilton Manors, Ft. Lauderdale’s gay ghetto.  At such a young age, Jon became the owner of lucrative businesses. Of course Jon had to relocate and on when he got to Florida, he met some of his uncle’s “friends” and business associates. Before he even has a chance to realize what is happening to him, he finds himself as part of the drug and sex scene in Fort Lauderdale. He also uncovered his uncle’s memoirs and learns some surprising information about himself as well as hints as to what really happened to his uncle who supposedly died of a massive heart attack. He soon sees that he has to make a decision—should he avenge his uncle’s death or should he continue loving the man who caused it to happen.

This is the first book by author R.P. Andrews that I have read but let me tell you that I was pulled into the plot with the very first page. The character of Jon is so skillfully created that you instantly feel that you have known him all your life. The plot is neatly constructed with twists turns and the prose is excellent. This is one of those reads that just takes you along and dominates as you read and you do not have to think about anything but getting lost in the story.

“MY NAME IS A BY ANONYMOUS”— Coming to DVD September 23

my name is A

“My Name Is A By Anonymous”

Coming to DVD September 23

Amos Lassen

 “My Name is A by Anonymous” is based on the Shocking True Crime of Teenage Killer Alyssa Bustamante. It has taken some three years and many battles and controversy to get this film released to DVD but now we have it.  Additionally the DVD contains two alternate cuts of the film, short films, deleted scenes, trailers, music videos, and more.


 Alyssa Bustamant gained instant worldwide fame when she murdered her younger neighbor in 2009. The search for a missing girl exposes a dark world of lost and emotionally unstable teenagers who are responsible for the girl’s disappearance and eventual murder. The film is a disturbing, fascinating portrait of the alienation and despair found in teens that have been left to fend for their own purpose. Alyssa Bustamante was convicted and currently serving a life sentence for the ‘Thrill-killing’ of her neighbor Elizabeth Olten in 2009 and this is the basis for the film.


This film is loosely based on the 2009 killing of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten. Director Shane Ryan really creates an art house film that is going to be heavily talked about one way or another. We follow Alyssa who seems to have different personalities almost like alter egos one can say. The one that will startle some is the bulimic young woman who suffers sexual abuse by her dad. The film paints tragedy in such a way that this film is really dark from beginning to end. This movie was shot in many different ways including a mixture of found footage, black and white and first person storytelling with a story that is told thru chapters.  This is quite a difficult film to like. The characters just did not seem to come to life and I really did not care about any of them. The kids are a mess and seem to be rotten from within. One is bulimic, and has one messed up home life.  Another is an exhibitionist that has some serious daddy issue and another is an emo wanting to be dark and tortured, and proving it through cutting herself and swearing a lot. 

This section contains spoilers and I find it difficult to write about the film without giving some ideas away. When Alyssa finally kills Elizabeth, there is never any reasoning. She’s had a fucked up life.  As is made very obvious, the collection of girls is really different facets of Alyssa, and those different parts of this girl show the many ways that this character has had such a horrible life.  But even so, there is never any reason given, never any thought shown towards the eventual conclusion of the story.  Why does Alyssa kill Elizabeth? 

The technical aspects of the film are impressive even with the above and obviously sound overtook substance here. The film is visually beautiful and we see horrible things to see, shown in a beautiful way and this is a film that should be seen regardless of my criticism.

“WETLANDS”—- Opens in NYC and LA

- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

- Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

- Jenni Miller, A.V. Club

- J. Hurtado, Twitch

Starring Carla Juri, Christoph Letkowski and Meret Becker



View Theatrical Trailer
View “Pink-Band” Trailer
Official Selection:
Sundance Film Festival 
Locarno Film Festival
Fantasia Film Festival
Eighteen year-old Helen Memel (Carla Juri) likes to skateboard, masturbate with vegetables and thinks that body hygiene is greatly overrated. Struggling with her parents’ divorce, she spends her time experimenting and breaking one social taboo after the other with her best friend, Corinna (Marlen Kruse). When a shaving accident lands her in the hospital, she sees it as a way to reconcile her parents and forms an unlikely bond with her male nurse, Robin (Christoph Letkowski). WETLANDS is an unapologetically vulgar coming-of-age tale about divorce, first love and anal fissures.
109 Minutes • Comedy • Not Rated • In German with English Subtitles

18 W Houston St.
New York, NY 10012
(212) 995-2570
For Tickets and Showtimes


11272 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90067
(310) 473-8530
For Tickets and Showtimes

Also, playing starting 9/19 in LA at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 & Noho 7


Copyright © 2013 Strand Releasing, All rights reserved.

“DO I SOUND GAY” to premier at Toronto Film Fest

do i sound gay

Do I Sound Gay? Toronto Film Festival Premiere






 DO I SOUND GAY? is a hilarious, poignant docu-comedy about the stigma attached to the “gay voice” and director David’s own anxiety about “sounding gay.” An entertaining chorus of friends, family, strangers on the street and celebrities like David Sedaris (in his first film!), Dan Savage, Tim Gunn, George Takei and Margaret Cho coax David along in his quest for empowerment. In TIFF’s words, ”Thorpe makes for a winning and sympathetic guide who doesn’t shy away from confronting taboos and vulnerabilities that often go unexpressed.” The premiere will take place at noon on Sunday, Sept. 7  at the Ryerson Theatre, followed by an onstage conversation with director David and pundit/activist/sex-advice guru Dan Savage. Tickets are on sale now.

Phoenix Rising: A film about bullying, suffering and healing

Video image.


A short film which explores the topic of bullying through the wounded journey of one man from self destruction to healing.

Phoenix Rising is a short film that explores the impact of bullying in a unique way. Unlike most bullying stories, Phoenix Rising goes beyond showing just the immediate destructive physical and psychological effects of bullying on a child. It also examines the long-standing far-reaching damage bullying has on this child’s psyche as he becomes a young man. Even more importantly, the film ends on a positive note by depicting the young man on a path of healing. In the spirit of Dan Savage’s popular campaign,“It Gets Better”, the film will convey the essential feeling of hope: that healing and growth are possible in all of us.

The story is about a young man named Jude. We follow him from the age of 13 to adulthood. As a young adult gay man in New York, we see Jude acting out in self-destructive ways catalyzed by his lack of self-esteem stemming from from a tormented childhood. Only after hitting rock bottom does Jude realize he has to change his life if he is going to survive. When Jude meets Sebastian, a healer who guides him on a path of self-discovery and healing, Jude’s life changes for the better. Though change is always difficult, Jude manages to embrace his new-found self worth and begins to create a new life for himself.

The film will be shot in New York City and star Gerald McCullouch (of the hit TV series CSI and named one of OUT Magazine’s 100 in 2011) as Sebastian. Phoenix Rising is co written by Greg Rills and award winning director Richard LeMay (Whirlwind, 200 American), who will also direct. Richard’s latest film Naked As We Came is the winner of multiple awards and was released in theaters in the US in 2013 to critical acclaim. Here is what critics are saying about Naked As We Came:

“A lovely surprise of a film.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES 

“Richard LeMay’s film plays from the heart.” – THE DAILY NEWS

“A thoughtful, sensitive exploration of strained family dynamics.” – THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER ‘

Richard LeMay’s stunning new film about love, loss and the delicacy of family ties.” –THE HUFFINGTON POST 

Trevite Willis will produce the project. Having produced several successful films, her most recent production, Children Of God was the most awarded and critically acclaimed film of 2011 on the gay festival circuit, garnering 18 awards internationally and selling in 25 countries.

Cinematographer Vitaly Bokser will shoot the film. His credits are extensive, having a film installation at MILK Galleries in Manhattan in April 2013 as well as serving as Director Of Photography on Naked As We Came and the successful Pizza Manstarring Frankie Nunez.

With this extremely successful team in place, we plan to create a powerful and moving story that can teach, raise consciousness and entertain. We will offer an unflinching view of a very timely and culturally relevant topic grabbing recent headlines. While the story begins with a very dark tone, the true message of the film is one of hope and healing. As filmmakers, we want to inspire discussion and foster understanding of how our actions towards one another and ourselves have more powerful repercussions than we can even imagine. And only then will we understand that when we heal ourselves, we heal everyone around us and this is the highest good we can offer the world.

Though this is a story of one gay man’s healing journey, the story is universal………….

Risks and challengesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter


We have a successful professional team of experienced filmmakers with a proven track record of successful filmmaking. Given the breadth of experience of the team and the enthusiasm of all involved, we don’t anticipate any problem with making or distributing the film. The big challenge facing us will be raising the required funds to get the movie made.

Other critically acclaimed, award-winning films by Rich LeMay include:
Children of God
Naked As We Came



Have a question? If the info above doesn’t help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question

pledged of $40,000 goal
days to go
  • Select this reward
    Pledge $20 or more

    12 backers

    Because of your donation you have helped send the message of hope and healing to the universe. For all of us who have suffered at the hands of bullies……… Thank you!

    Estimated delivery: 
  • Select this reward
    Pledge $100 or more

    28 backers

    For every donation of $100 or more, the donor receives access through a secure portal to view the film, once it is completed.

    Estimated delivery: 
  • Select this reward
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers

    For every donation of $1000 or more, the donor will get an invitation to watch the film being shot on location in NYC for 1 day and get access to view the film on a secure portal, once it is completed

    Estimated delivery: 
  • Select this reward
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers

    Will receive a Associate Producer credit, a one day invitation to watch the film being shot on location in NYC and have access to view the film from a secure portal.

    Estimated delivery: 
  • Select this reward
    Pledge $10,000 or more

    0 backers

    Will receive a Producer Credit, a one day invitation to watch the film being shot on location in NYC and have access to view the film from a secure portal.

    Estimated delivery: 
Funding period

 -  (60 days)

“Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer” by Bettina Stangneth— Reassessing Adolf Eichmann


Stangneth, Bettina. “Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer”, translated by Ruth Martin, Knopf, 2014.

Reassessing Adolf Eichmann

Amos Lassen

It certainly seems that we are getting new looks at Adolf Eichmann lately. We had the recent biographical movie of Hannah Arendt and now we have this wonderfully researched book on Eichmann. Bettina Stangneth has done tremendous research  and brings us Eichmann’s activities that caused him to rise in the Nazi Party and we also get a look at the global network of National Socialists following the collapse of the Third Reich. This is a permanent challenge to Arendt’s ideas about the banality of evil.

With the collapse of Germany, Eichmann was smuggled out of Europe and he was able to lead a good life of exile in Argentina until Israel’s Mossad captured him. The man who was once known as the “Manager of the Holocaust,”  then had to defend himself in Jerusalem. He claimed that he was just “an overworked bureaucrat following orders—no more, he said, than “just a small cog in Adolf Hitler’s extermination machine.”  We want to know how this was possible and how the main architect of the Final Solution had managed not only to disappear but also to remain hidden. We went to know what he did while he was hiding in Argentina.

Author Bettina Stangneth is the first to comprehensively analyze more than 1,300 pages of Eichmann’s own recently discovered written notes. She also had seventy-three extensive audio reel recordings of a crowded Nazi salon held weekly during the 1950s in a popular district of Buenos Aires. What we picture here is chilling. Eichmann was not a reclusive, taciturn war criminal on the run, but rather a highly skilled social manipulator with an non-ending ability to reinvent himself. He was  an unrepentant murderer eager for acolytes with whom to discuss past glories while vigorously planning future goals with other like-minded fugitives.

This is a book that will gain tremendous attention. We see the links between innumerable past Nazis—from ace Luftwaffe pilots to SS henchmen some of whom were in exile and some were in Germany.  The book reconstructs in detail the postwar life of one of the Holocaust’s principal organizers as no other book has done and totally shatters Arendt’s thesis that Eichmann was too simple to have masterminded the Final Solution.

Stangneth has done her research well and her arguments are solid. She confronts Hannah Arendt and her theory of the banality of evil head on and presents new evidence and insight that allows us to reassess the debate on evil. Even Arendt would have been satisfied and probably would have realized that she would have to take a different seat. The importance of this study cannot be over-estimated. Here forgotten papers, lost interviews and evidence that had long been buried come to light. With it comes a new Eichmann, a man who was as evil as the day is long. Stangneth has exposed Eichmann completely and we learn something about accepting appearances as truth.

“DEREK JARMAN: LIFE AS ART”— Remembering Derek Jarman



Remembering Derek Jarman

Amos Lassen

Derek Jarman was one of the UK’s most talented, innovative and controversial independent filmmaker. He made several significant films such as Caravaggio and Wittgenstein. He was also a hugely talented painter, writer, and gardener, and following his HIV+ diagnosis became an ardent activist for gay rights. He only made the films he wanted to make, giving voice to his vision of the world as a gay man, a lover of high art and Super-8. We lost him in 1994. Derek Jarman: Life as Art explores the rich and colorful life and loves of Jarman. We see insightful interviews with some of his closest friends, family and colleagues including Tilda Swinton, Christopher Hobbs, James Mackay, Simon Fisher Turner, Nigel Terry, Tariq Ali, Peter Tatchell and Jill Balcon. By using beautiful slow-motion Super-8 shots of the contributors, we see the influence of Jarman’s stylistic look to the documentary. Clips and stills from his films and previously unseen footage of Jarman directing Wittgenstein allow us to feel the anarchy, color, imagery and poetry of the man and his work.

Here is what some critics have said about this film:

“…the first biopic of independent British filmmaker and writer, Derek Jarman … Originally trained in the arts and set design, Jarman experimented richly with the film medium, particularly super 8, and early on incorporated gay themes and homoeroticism into his films. Daring and controversial, Jarman’s work was well reviewed, and he was considered a genius by many.” 
-EMRO (Educational Media Reviews Online)

”British filmmaker Derek Jarman could certainly be cited as one of the most exciting and controversial independent filmmakers of the past two decades. Derek Jarman: Life as Art does a wonderful job of introducing us to this complex, brilliant artist. Viewers will find included in this engaging documentary, clips from Jarman’s most familiar films as well as informative interviews with many of his creative accomplices. Certain to provoke dialogue given Jarman’s consistent challenges to cinematic conventions, his portrayals of queer life historically and cinematically and the overt politicization of his subject matter. Will be of interest to classes in Queer studies, Cinema Studies and Cultural Studies.” 
-Cade Bursell, Filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Cinema, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

”In Derek Jarman: Life as Art, Tilda Swinton addresses Jarmanís move into Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, a move she understands as evoking what she calls his integrated schizophrenia – the ability to live in different ways. Swinton’s remarks are also an important description of Kimpton-Nyeís documentary, which never seeks to reduce Jarman’s life or art to a single, formative experience or way of living. In this sense, Derek Jarman: Life as Art is essential viewing for anyone interested in what a genuinely independent cinema looked like. Kimpton-Nye details not only the continual shifts in Jarman’s life, but also the shifts in his production, and the ways in which those shifts result from a continual sense of wonder and exploration that characterized Jarman as both an artist and a human being. 

Without ever saying so, this film makes clear that Jarman belongs alongside of more canonized figures of a genuinely independent cinema, alongside of Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, Stan Brakhage and Andy Warhol, and in opposition to that which has been sold to us in megaplexes around the world as ìindie. Jarman’s lyrical, political cinema comes forward in Kimpton-Nye’s film as the product of an artist incapable of settling into a hardened world-view, and was thus impossible to market in the mainstream of independent cinema where platitudes reign and ideas are important only insofar as they can be made into t-shirts, or emblazoned on the sides of coffee cups.”
-Brian Price, Assistant Professor of Film Studies, Department of English, Oklahoma State University

”Derek Jarman: Life as Art serves as an important reminder of the ways in which Jarman’s films have always transcended any easy categorization. Regardless of whether he was reworking the classic Renaissance plays of Marlowe and Shakespeare into homoerotic visions of desire and fear, or conjuring England’s apocalypse through a punk miasma, Jarman was a fiercely independent and unique filmmaker. Derek Jarman: Life as Art uses interviews with Jarman’s closest collaborators to provide a compelling biography that situates his multifaceted works into a singular artistic vision, and is essential viewing for anyone interested in experimental cinema, gay and lesbian cinema, and British film history.”
-Chris Robé, Assistant Professor of Film and Multimedia Studies, Florida Atlantic University

”…this documentary gives hope to any aspiring filmmaker or artist. An uplifting celebration of Jarman’s life and work – even after Jarman’s body succumbed to HIV, Kimpton-Nye’s documentary illustrates how Jarman’s indomitable spirit seems to transcend death itself in his work. The complexity of Jarman’s life and his artistic practice makes his work relevant across a wide disciplinary spectrum, from Art History and Film, to Gay and Lesbian Studies. Kimpton-Nye’s documentary is a ‘must-have’ for any liberal arts institute; a great resource for educators.” 
-Aaron Kerner, Assistant Professor of Cinema, San Francisco State University

”…an informative and moving account of the life and work of one of the giants of the queer avant-garde. The film brilliantly succeeds in walking a fine line between featuring a large amount of information on its subject and creating a feeling of intimacy. The numerous interviews with Jarman’s friends and colleagues that usefully punctuate the film’s concise biography resonate intellectually as well as emotionally. Their frank and nuanced tone is celebratory without being hagiographical. Its one-hour format makes the film an ideal supplement for any syllabus featuring Jarman, no matter whether taught in avant-garde film curricula, queer studies, art history, or British and Commonwealth culture courses.”
-Roy Grundmann, Associate Professor of Film Studies, Boston University, Author of Andy Warhol’s Blow Job; Contributing Editor, Cineaste magazine.

”Director Andy-Kimtpon-Nyeís biopic on Derek Jarman is a layered and thoughtful examination of the complexity of the artist’s life and work. As a writer, theater designer, gardener, painter, gay and AIDS rights activist, and what some call the most important British filmmaker of the latter part of the twentieth century, Jarman left us with a unique vision that was always innovative and controversial. That controversy, however, sometimes took away from the true artistry and originality of his work. This film pays homage to Jarman by gathering fellow collaborators such as actors Tilda Swinton, Karl Johnson, and Nigel Terry, producer James Mackay, composer Simon Fisher Turner, and writer/filmmaker, Tariq Ali, along with his biographer, Tony Peake, and Jarman’s own sister, Gaye Temple, to give us a behind-the-scenes look at the provocative way Jarman used his own life as the backdrop for nearly every project he undertook, whether he was making a film about the Renaissance painter Caravaggio, the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, or his own loss of vision from AIDS-related illness in Blue. The film is respectful of his out gay life and politics and avoids the clichéd and reductive treatment he often received in the British media. Because his life and work touch on so many subjects, the film is an excellent resource not only for anyone studying or teaching Jarman, but it should be a part of any library collection that contains his films and scripts, memoirs, gardening books, and catalogues of his paintings.”
-Dr. Scott Rayter, Lecturer, Dept. of English / Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto

“OUT IN THE UNDERGROUND”— A Cult Compilation


“Out in the Underground”

A Cult Compilation

Amos Lassen

“This cult-themed compilation is sure to please dramatic yearnings, experimental leanings, cruisers, pining youngsters, video art connoisseurs, lesbian hit women and dysfunctional movie lovers alike. This collection includes the films”:

 Tricia’s Wedding 

The first family invites you to Tricia’s Wedding starring The Cockettes.


A gay teenager detached from his surroundings, Guy (Jason Woo) runs away from home to escape the idle stillness of his life.

 I’m Starving

An erotic love tale between a ghost and a woman who cohabit a small apartment in New York’s Chinatown.


A behind the scenes look at what goes on in an all male strip club.

Face First

A collection of “face and dick” shots forwarded to him over the internet to produce a poignant commentary on gay male sexuality, intimacy, and the impact of the internet on both of these.

 Blue Diary

Tells the melancholy story of a young dyke pining over a one night stand with a straight girl.


A mockumentary of young men in search of positive role-models.

 Forever Bottom

A humorous and clever look at the stigma attached to being on the receiving end in gay male relationships.