Wiktor Grodecki – Telo bez duse AKA Body Without Soul (1996)

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An unflinching portrait of life on the post-Communist streets of Prague where young men find it all too easy to pick up extra money as porno models and hustlers. Their clients consist largely of German, Swiss, and Dutch tourists in search of cheap sex – and for additional income they make pornos on the side. Along the way they are ripped off, abused, and degraded until they simply wear out. Continue reading

Jules Herrmann – Liebmann (2016)

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The teacher Antek Liebmann moves to the French countryside to leave his former life in Germany behind. He soon gets a job and finds himself in a new relationship. But the strange energy of a near-by artists residency and an unexpected visitor from Germany make him realise he cannot escape his memories. He has to find his own way to confront the ghosts of his past. Continue reading

Russ Meyer – Beyond the Valley of the Dolls [+Extras] (1970)

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This film is a sequel in name only to Valley of the Dolls (1967). An all-girl rock band goes to Hollywood to make it big. There they find success, but luckily for us, they sink into a cesspool of decadence. This film has a sleeping woman performing on a gun which is in her mouth. It has women posing as men. It has lesbian sex scenes. It is also written by Roger Ebert, who had become friends with Russ Meyer after writing favorable reviews of several of his films.

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It’s deadpan-droll throughout (with at least as many highly quotable lines as Rocky Horror), cod-moralistic, carefully balanced between satire and melodrama, gratuitously focused on women with outsize breasts, and shot and edited with astonishing mastery. Much of Meyer’s film language, as Ebert points out, is redolent of ‘pure’ silent cinema: to-the-point storytelling and earnestly expressive performances, plus montage sequences worthy of Slavko Vorkapich.

— Tony Ryans, Sight & Sound Continue reading

Marco Berger & Marcelo Mónaco – Tensión sexual, Volumen 1: Volátil AKA Sexual Tension: Volatile (2012)

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Have you ever met someone who made your body heat up, get a little nervous and sweaty, and made your crotch stir a bit? Sexual Tension: Volatile will reignite those lustful feelings as it weaves six scintillating experiences of men in various stages of nudity and many forms of erotic male bonding. A pulsating, sexually-charged thrill ride, the film begins as a young man feels the adrenaline rush of his sexy tattooist’s needle in “Ari” while in “The Cousin,” a geeky, cute boy finds a hot Summer afternoon triggering his taboo desire for his Speedo-clad cousin. Two straight buddies literally show each other how to make love to a woman in “The Other One,” while a man with ‘Broken Arms’ receives a sensual sponge bath from a male nurse. “Love” is questionable when a broken shower brings a married man and a hairy, innkeeper together when they least expect it and in “Workout” two muscular men, ‘sexting’ pictures to some hot chicks, begin to shed their clothes and inhibitions. Continue reading

Paddy Breathnach – Viva (2015)

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Jesus an eighteen year old Cuban is lost and struggling to realize his true identity. Unsure of himself or his future direction, he works at a local Havana drag club where he entertains dreams of becoming a performer whilst earning his money through hustling. At home he finds solace listening to the records his mother and grandmother left him, (all torch songs and romance by the great names of Latin music), or else hanging around watching the boxers train next-door. Into his life, however, comes a force to challenge his direction and freedom, his long lost father, a celebrated boxer, released from a 15 year prison term having killed someone in a street brawl when Jesus was a child.

As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, Viva becomes a love story as the men struggle to understand one another and become a family again. Continue reading

Eloy de la Iglesia – Una Gota de sangre para morir amando AKA Murder In A Blue World (1973)

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Often described as “the Spanish A Clockwork Orange”, this controversial shocker is set in a violent near-future world. Honest citizens live in terror as gangs of leather clad, whip-wielding sadists roam the nighttime streets. Meanwhile, in a top-secret laboratory, strange mind control experiments are being conducted. Against this background a beautiful nurse tries to ease the pain of those condemned to die. But who really is this angel of mercy and what is the purpose of her mission? Continue reading

Dennis Cooper & Zac Farley – Like Cattle Towards Glow (2015)

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The film’s violence is the genuinely spiritual kind. A loud expression of the alienation that hums constantly in the elevator music to modern life. (John Farley, Full Stop)

The novels, writings and performance works created by prolific, transgressive and author Dennis Cooper describe a world in which desire, aggression, loneliness and power swirl, in which characters teeter on the brink of immolation and where love and violence fuse. In its first partnership with San Francisco’s new Alamo Draft House, Cinematheque is thrilled to welcome Cooper and co-director Zac Farley for the local premiere (and pre-DVD release screening) of Like Cattle Towards Glow (2015), a similarly visionary examination of these overwhelming obsessions. Continue reading