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Friday, June 6, 2014

Boys in the Sand (Vinegar Syndrome DVD)

The Early Films of Wakefield Poole Featuring Boys in the Sand was not an easy watch for me. It's a movie that was pivotal in gay film in that it displays lovemaking as opposed to... well... fucking between two men. Here's the kicker, even though I am not gay, I was able to watch this movie and understand exactly what Wakefield Poole was getting at it. In his introduction to the movie he discusses not directing his actors in terms of sexual position or action, allowing instead for a free expression of feelings between two men. Boys in the Sand doesn't come off as simply another porn flick with gallons of semen shooting into the far reaches of the celluloid highway, but rather a delicate balance of what sex can be like between two men in the wilderness when the cameras are off, even though the cameras are very much on. Vinegar Syndrome has been attaching themselves to individual directors as of late and following brief periods in their body of work. Poole has been getting the royal treatment as of late, so if you you've enjoyed VS's previous Poole releases, this is right up your ally.

Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome and short film list:

Set in the Fire Island Pines and starring Casey Donovan in three sexual vignettes, BOYS IN THE SAND changed gay men’s lives, made Fire Island an international tourist destination and introduced straight audiences to gay sex in a positive and beautifully shot way.

Poole began experimenting with Super 8 and 16mm film the year prior to releasing BOYS IN THE SAND and this DVD presents four surviving short films:

“Andy” – Poole’s dizzying look at an Andy Warhol retrospective
“A Gift” – a Fire Island-shot precursor to Boys in the Sand
“Head Film” – an experimental and humorous rainy day romp
“Vittorio” – a stop-motion cutout animated film


First off, I'm not sure how many gay people really read my blog. I know that when I start ranting about hetero sex or naked women I get quite a response, so I'm curious to see if this particular film would resonate with ya'll. It's a really unique piece, spanning 72 minutes, 1.33:1 OAR. It features a commentary with Poole, introduction which is important to understanding the film (unless you're just using it as a spank film). There are video interviews with Linda Williams, a 1977 interview with Poole and Casey Donovan. A featurette, Revisiting Fire Island, where the movie was shot, rewinds to a time when that location became an epicenter for gay tourism showing the scope and influence of this 1971 influential picture. The disc also contains deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer. The disc is balanced with the early short films of Poole.

There's no dialogue. Just sex. Lots of sex including everything from rimming to blow jobs, anal, gyrating... all the stuff you might expect from an adult feature with all an all male cast. Each scene is scored by a piece of classical music (which reminds me of both The Bible and Bijou from Poole). Sex scenes go from one scene to another with no narrative or plot and yet you don't necessarily feel like this was meant to be a tissue box and personal lube sort of movie. Somehow, between the flesh on flesh, you seem to feel like you're peaking in on two lovers and not a gratuitous display of lust. It's partially due to the environment, part due to the music, but I suppose if you had to watch a bunch of guys screwing around, these would be the ones to watch displaying the 1970's equivalent of attractive including hair and pubic hair styles. Large hard cocks for everyone!

I'm not prude. I can dig it, and I think that if you enjoy gay pornography you'll eat this one up, however I think there's more here than a smathering of dicks on screen. There's passion and emotion that maybe only Wakefield Poole knows how to bring to the table. Another excellent preservation that looks pretty darn good with minimal correction, and a good transfer for a DVD. Remember you all get a pile of shorts from Poole as well. If you're a fan of Bijou, this will certainly pique your interest.

You can order Boys in the Sand now.

-Doc Terror

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