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LOW-BUDGE

theguesthouse

Disclaimer: I haven’t had sex in three weeks.

Hello Queer Cinema Acolytes and Seasoned Friends. I’m writing you from a windowless basement in Peterborough, New Hampshire, decorated only by a wire sculpture of a cat and a plastic tub of disinfectant wipes. Yes. I am at the famed MacDowell Colony, writing the next great American play, hobnobbing with fancy folk and consuming at least three thousand calories a day. Exercise here consists of walking to meals and bumming rides to town, where I purchase cigarettes, microbrews and organic coffee syrup. But after savoring a fine port and a collection of politically-aspiring Portuguese video essays this evening at a raucous open studio, I was reminded of those who got me here and the dues I must pay. And no, I didn’t call my mother because I’m a good forty minutes away from actual phone reception. Downing the last of my Sandman mixed with a delectable rosé, I made the trek back to Colony Hall, six-pack in tow (not the abdominal muscles, little scamps) to take in an On-Demand and was quickly reassured, it has not been too long. These are the sacrifices I make. We are a community.

Tonight, I had the perverse pleasure of consuming Michael Baumgarten’s The Guest House, an LA-based lipstick lezzie concoction featuring loads of soft-core and some bad Aimee Mann rip-off vocals, courtesy of Ruth Reynolds playing the film’s luscious, just-eighteen protagonist Rachel. Kool-Aid dye job aside, Rachel is all the right stuff and she even makes a hideous tramp stamp forgivable when she strips out of her Hot Topic get-up and into the arms of Amy, her father’s recently-hired intern, played with pouty vulnerability by the comely Madeline Merritt. Amy’s just hit Los Angeles to pursue vague work with Rachel’s recently widowed pop, the sleazy Tom McCafferty, and she’s conveniently being housed in the title’s guest house where Rachel’s mom used to render abstracts and be “arty.” The duo paint the town red while Dad’s away on business, boning jail bait (by the looks of a long-distance phone call he makes to Rachel from the hallway of a Holiday Inn). They visit a carnival, ride bikes and while away the afternoon dancing to a generic alt-country soundtrack so you’re sure to feel really firmly located in the land of the predictable. Long story short, all that bike-riding gives Amy a serious knot in her traps and about two minutes into a generous massage at the hands of our faux-goth heroine, she’s on her back and tribbing‘s never looked so good.

Then some other things happen.

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I’m not gonna lie: I love action-adventure movies, and so does my boyfriend. We saw Surrogates together in an actual movie theater. Yes. We each paid $15 to watch Bruce Willis play a robot version of himself and blow shit up for two hours. What can I say, we’re dorks. But last night, the boundaries of our relationship and its tolerance of awful act-ad films were tested when I forced him to watch Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes with me at 1am. I literally have a bruise on my ribcage from every time he pinched me out of utter pain and in my iPhone notes, I actually wrote the words “some Meisner workshops would have gone a long way.”

Many questions linger in my mind after my first (and hopefully only) viewing. Is Lou Farigno gay? How did the film’s star, Vincent J. Roth, find time to also write the film, memorize his lines, eliminate all expression from his face AND design costumes? Was this film actually dubbed? Did they really pay someone to write that awful Tears for Fears-inspired superhero theme song that’s barely audible? Will I ever get those 85 minutes back (at least karmically)?

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Wednesday. 3:26 AM and the insomnia hasn’t lifted despite the Bonnie Raitt playlist I’ve got cued up to complement my plastic sippy cup of Jameson’s. So what better thing to do than tell you about a recent experience I had watching a gay and lesbian Instant Netflix with my bud Rel.  Her partner was out of town and mine has grown weary of my eternal adolescence so we were primed for a serious bro down, complete with some boxed butternut squash soup and herbal tea.  My dog couldn’t really get on the couch at Rel’s place since he’s been bleeding from his dick for the last couple of weeks – a hump session gone awry, immediate folks in my life are pushing hard for a castration, but goddammit if I don’t love that little fucker’s marble-sized balls – so we got down old-school style on the floor – minus the popcorn and sexual tension.  Rel was ready to follow this queer film aficionado to the ends of the earth and I pushed them there alright – by recommending the seemingly innocuous Butch Jamie for our viewing pleasure.  But pleasure quickly turned to pain as we subjected ourselves to some of the most confusing eight-four minutes I’ve spent in recent memory, discounting the last cab ride I took from Manhattan to Bushwick.

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Don’t say I never did anything for you.  It took me nearly three hours to watch an hour and change of the first season of the web series We Have to Stop Now.  I nearly exhausted my beer rations in the first sixty minutes, had a nervous breakdown over a Facebook message my ex sent me in the next, but by the last third had grown so accustomed to the prehistoric Internet connection offered to me courtesy of Extended Stay America, I couldn’t imagine watching an Instant Netflix selection any other way. That’s right readers.  I’m writing you from the cozy suburbs of Dublin, Ohio where I will be for the next month and Daddy got some time on his hands.  Bring on the lonely nights!

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When I saw this movie on the Netflix roster, I was intrigued. According to the description, it is a lesbian film from Japan. It is a film, and it is from Japan, but dang-nabbit, Frog Song ain’t no lesbian film! Apparently this is a film of the pinku genre, which is like Japanese art-house porn. It’s got an interesting story, I guess, and some good acting, but the whole premise and way it was shot weaves a kind of sorrow-ful lesbian-until-fucked-by-the-right-guy kind of tale.

The story is about a woman, Akemi, who leaves her cheating husband and kind of falls in love becomes friends with a prostitute, who specializes in sleeping with Johns who be-little and beat the shit out of her. Yeah. You guessed it. This movie is basically rape porn.

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