›› I Want Your Love
a film by Travis Mathews.
2012 | 70 mins | US.
principal players: Jesse Metzger / Jesse, Brontez Purnell / Brontez, Ben Jasper / Ben, Keith McDonald / Keith, Jorge Rodolfo / Jorge, Ferrin Solano / Ferrin, Wayne Bumb / Wayne, Peter De Groot / Peter and with Bob Mathews as the voice of Jesse's Dad.
Official Synopsis: "After a decade of living in San Francisco, Jesse is forced to move back to his Midwestern roots because he can no longer afford the city. On his final night, friends and ex-lovers gather for a going away party that promises to heighten Jesse's already bittersweet feelings about leaving."
In many ways this film needs no introduction, given the X-rated nature of its content goes before it. In short, this is one of those films that divides opinion, having crossed the line between cinema and pornography. Only the copious sex scenes to be found and whilst clearly of the no holds barred variety, are hardly pornographic; explicit - undoubtedly, yet far from homoerotic. Rather the sexual acts are as honest, as they are intimate, being in effect real people having sweaty, man-sex in all of its raw, natural form, as filmed with a gritty, realistic eye.
Pondering the X-rated meaning of life, in I Want Your Love.
All of which makes for an air of intimacy throughout this work, one that was developed from the short of the same name and looking back at my words of review of the time, I hoped that the upcoming feature would "give the love making pair, more plot." And indeed there's many a line laced between such acts of manly hanky-panky, with writer and director Travis Mathews of Interior. Leather Bar fame here delivering a sermon on the trials and tribulations of the relationship rollercoaster, with Jesse's best friend Wayne starting to feel his personal freedom curtailed, now that his boyfriend Ferrin has moved in with him, only for Jesse to be torn not only between his creative dreams and the reality of earning a living, but of his affection, perhaps still simmering, for his ex partner Ben and that of his close friend Keith; a man who gives advice and more.
True, such is the graphic nature of the man-on-man action, of which there's a lot, that the narrative aspect of the piece is often overlooked. And that's a shame, given there's many a perceptive comment delivered, albeit in a fragmented, random kind of fashion. Yet it's a beautifully natural style that's deeper than what you may at first assume, notable for having star of the show Jesse never reach a climax during either of his two sex scenes, his sexual encounters reflecting his life, namely that of an anti-climax. For here is a man about to leave the hedonistic delights of San Francisco behind, having been there, got the sex-shirt and who now in a mix of regret about leaving and anticipation of horizons new, is about to return to his roots. And he's excited about doing so, his contemplative thoughts in marked contrast to the superficial conversations of those around him, apart that is from his mentor-like friend Keith; a man who he poignantly prefers to be spend his final night with, rather than attend his own drink, drugs 'n' sex fuelled farewell party.
In short and in spite of all of the penile close-ups to be had, here we find Mathews' deliberately juxtaposing scenes of rampant man-sex, with Jesse's "this isn't what I want" introspective mindset. By doing so, this is a film that not only is questioning sex as a be-all and end-all, but pondering the meaning, if not the value of life itself. And for a film noted for its frank sexual content, that's quite a telling statement to make, even if such a message could have been made without a single Naked Sword on display. But where would the controversy be, in that?
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - sexually explicit.
Overall - file under ... subjective.