a film by Jason Impey and Wade Radford.
2014 | 68 mins | UK.
starring: Wade Radford as Kaden Daydream / Quinn and Jason Impey as the Filmmaker / off-camera.
Adapted Synopsis: "Once top of his game on the gay Twink porn circuit, Kaden Daydream's days of adulation are well behind him, having descended into a downward spiral of drink and drug addiction, suicidal ideation and mental health issues. Yet when a documentary filmmaker comes calling, could this be his last chance to shine in the spotlight?"
For those who like their cinema with a challenging, raw feel to it, then this could well be for you. Then again and if so, you're probably already aware of the name of UK based Jason Impey; a prolific self-shooting filmmaker famed for his almost zero-budget features. Indeed, if you're a fan of Impey's cinematic style, then you're probably also aware of the work of actor, author and poet Wade Radford, given the two have collaborated on numerous projects in the past; from Sex, Lies & Depravity to the gritty prison drama Boys Behind Bars. And what we have here is no different to the genre they are noted for, that of a minimal budget, location and cast piece, one that has Radford taking centre stage as a faded porn star, now living at the end of lonely street. Sure, we're seen this true-to-life scenario before, yet with Radford, here as ex Twink star Kaden Daydream, née Quinn, relating the experiences of his pornographic days to a documentary filmmaker heard, but never seen, the result makes for an intimate, fly-on-the-wall experience. And it's a cutting experience at that too, the beautifully natural improvised dialogue both brutally explicit and frank about working in an industry that and in the words of ex porn star Kevin Kramer: "chews people up and spits them out".
Retired. Expired. No Longer Desired, in Twink.
In short, this is a film that packs a lot of home truths into its limited time frame, in particular on the issue of exploitation. Only this work touches upon themes that go beyond sexploitation, questioning exploitation in the world of media itself, given how many television programmes are made not for the benefit of the subject; rather for the subject to benefit the ratings? That the subject here refuses to open up, at least at first, about the abuse he's suffered in an industry that sees others make safe money off your bareback, equates to a dark conclusion that whilst shocking, is not entirely unexpected. And whilst production values are basic at best; that of a sole actor, direct-to-camera, single day shoot, its shining star is a narrative that cuts to the core as to how the lure of fame, fortune and adoration results in a seemingly endless bevy of fresh faces arriving on the skin trade circuit, naively willing to expose themselves to an industry notorious for casting past their sex-by-date Twinks aside like a spent condom, that is, if they're using one. Indeed from the opening scene of a graffiti covered wall, Quinn's views on the sex trade are all but clear, for having rolled the dice, he now finds himself lying face down in the gutter of addiction, along with all of his hopes and dreams. And here, I'm reminded of the words of Virginia Woolf, for "he who robs us of our dreams, robs us of our life" / Orlando.
Yet there's another message running through this work; that of how deep-rooted psychological traumas affect so many in our society, a theme that's the foundation stone of Rob Moretti's Truth and a film that by reviewing coincidence features ex porn star Brent Corrigan, now turned actor Sean Paul Lockhart. No such luck for the star of the show here, given Quinn carries the mental scars of his years spent in front of a pornographic lens, his mind a blur, at times mirrored in the cinematography, between his Twink persona and his former childhood self. To his credit, Radford plays the role achingly real, that of a wonderful bittersweet talking head styled delivery, as Quinn remembers times past and contemplates his future, if indeed he has one? Yet one of the most striking parts of the film is the sole scene that escapes the confines of its urban squalor set; that of a short campfire sequence that whilst somewhat out of place, nonetheless has Quinn reflecting on his life as Twinky Long Legs, a reading that is as poetic, as it's alarming and which itself is taken from Radford's "scrapbook of poetry for the mad and reckless" that is Tough Blows of A Sleepless Universe. Provocative and in-your-face, for sure. But this is equally a perceptive piece that pulls no punches in its scathing verdict on exploitation, right up to the uncompassionate closing act. All of which makes the rating more than subjective, for in spite of its DIY production values, for an all but zero-budget feature, frankly it punches well above its weight. Indeed, it speaks volumes.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek.
Overall - file under ... subjective.