Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The jerkoff video -- where guys pleasure themselves for our viewing pleasure -- is commonly believed to be the territory of porn. In this age of Corbin Fisher and Sean Cody dot coms, it may seem futile to us to watch a wanking that doesn't eventually produce a cumshot, even though images of men sexing themselves, whether literal or merely suggested, have been around in the arts for centuries and is still being made today around the world as erotica.
In Unkoverd Boyz, the sequel to Koverboyz Fantasies, we learn that the thin line between jerkoff hardcore pornography and jerkoff erotica is not a matter of artfulness, but simply of concealment. The video takes creative pains to hide the stiffies -- by blurring or soft focus and with objects obstructing the view, such as a leaf or a chair -- even though it also allows us generous little peeks at the erections and other dangling goods. That's how we know the makers weren't really making porn, just "frustrated porn". Someday, hopefully soon, I would like to see a version of this released without the blockage, because I'm sure it's hibernating in somebody's hard drive somewhere.
In terms of creativity, Unkoverd Boyz surpasses its predecessor. Writer/Director/Producer/Cinematographer Cris Pablo appears to be more sure of his shots, and for the first time, I finally get his use of interstitial text, a style he has been employing in his past features to drive a narrative, like silent film captions worded in a pidgin gay street language. At its best, Unkoverd Boyz plays like a sexual reimagining of the silent film form. A guy masturbates to a photo of a hottie, then the hottie comes to life and they masturbate together front-to-front like mirror images. A similar one occurs with one guy inspired by a magazine, back-to-back with his fantasy guy garbed in an Arabic-inspired anti-clothing, and they never see eye-to-eye. Segments such as these remind me of the works of Kenneth Anger and Pink Narcissus, because of the far-out homoerotic dream logic, only with less psychological heaviness. If there's any justice, Cris Pablo will also be revered, perhaps in a less judgmental future, as a gay filmmaker who bravely put his raw queer idiosyncrasies out there in his movies for all to see.
My favorite vignette is the craziest one: Topher Barreto, out of breath and covered in mud, approaches one gay man after another, begging for water. They deny him, except for the last one. In gratitude, he drags the man to the sea, where they frolic and the dirt washes off, revealing a beauty in the form of Topher Barreto, as if you couldn't recognize him with the mud. It's a twist on the old folk myth of the old and ugly beggar who rewards the person with the golden heart. In this case, the reward is the frog prince himself, offering his lips to ravage and bushy groin to devour. I thought it was utter genius.
Two or three segments are lame in comparison because they're the tired old setups of guys sitting on beds touching themselves, but the varying sexiness of the guys pays off, especially a fresh face named Echo, leaning against a wall with his rock-toned chocolate body glazed with ocean mist. The other guys in the cast include Andro Morgan, Paolo Moreno, Edwin Vargas, Mark, Aris, Xander, and Ian Portuguez.
Mixed Review by Pinoy Gay Guy Confidential
Review of Koverboyz Fantasies