'Boy Culture' is open for business

It began as a best-selling novel by Matthew Rettenmund. Now, Boy Culture is taking over the world, and it’s going to make you pay.

Hailed by fans and critics alike, Boy Culture is the story of X, a gay escort with the lascivious eyes of Joaquin Phoenix. After ten years in the biz, X, played by the sizzling Derek Magyar, is cocky and isolated, having long ago given up on love and anything other than a superficial connection with those around him. Still, he is happy with his short list of very rich men and his two roommates, Joey and Andrew. 

Joey, an over-the-top swish machine that recently turned 18 and played to perfection by Jonathon Trent, is in love with the aloof X, but X may have feelings for Andrew, the sensuous Darryl Stephens of Noah’s Arc fame. But when an opening becomes available on his client list, X meets Patrick Bauchau in a brilliant role as Gregory Talbot, a wealthy older gentlemen with a surprising past.

Director Q. Allan Brocka isn’t asking for anyone to feel sorry for any of his protagonists, the trap of so many recent gay films. Instead, X’s internal dialogue mocks the audience for trying to understand his motivations, isolating the viewers as well as the supporting players. But when the newest addition to his client list insists on an emotional connection before sexual contact, X has to learn to connect with a client for the first time. As he begins to open up more and more, he’s forced to look at his life and see it for the mess it really is, but now he finds that there is no one left to turn to as his once self-assured demeanor crumbles.

Perhaps Boy Culture’s biggest success is in bringing thought provoking and sexy stories back to the big screen. Cable networks and shows like Queer as Folk and The L Word moved the most pioneering GLBT minds to the small screen, and with few exceptions, gay cinema has taken on a rather lackluster feel after the queer films of the mid to late nineties. 

Culture has all the markings of a major blockbuster and Oscar winner: an incomparable cast with major powerhouse performers from both relative newcomers such as Magyar and Trent and seasoned legends like Bauchau, incredible cinematography, a killer soundtrack and a fantastic director at the helm, not to mention the heaps of awards such as Best Film at the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and Best Screenplay at L.A.’s Outfest. Unfortunately we probably won’t see this one among the nominees at the Oscar ceremony, but the film is still playing in film festivals across the country and around the world.

Boy Culture, both the novel and the DVD, are available at OutLoud! Books and Gifts, 1703 Church Street, and the DVD is also available for rental. You can purchase the DVD at other fine retailers as well as at www.tlavideo.com.

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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