Monday, August 29, 2016

TAKE ONE and MOVING! (Vinegar Syndrome DVD) - Wakefield Poole Goes Documentary

I can safely say that I get more shit for reviewing and recommending Wakefield Poole movies more than any other movies I check out. Why? I don't think the entire readership of Doc Terror knows what to do with artistic gay adult features. Sometimes, I don't know what to make of Poole's movies, but I know that there's something special in the way he presents the male figure, homosexual relationships and stories that are truly unique. With Take One we have a documentary feature that focuses on various aspects of romantic and sexual relationships between men as told by the folks themselves. It falls in line with the majority of Poole's other features taking an avant garde approach to filmmaking while including hardcore sexual acts, minimal narrative or explanation and simply allows the feature to affect the viewer.

To start off, this picture has a great disclaimer that is true not just for Take One:
“For your enjoyment, do not try to under this film: there is nothing to understand. It is only real people doing reel things and making them real together”.

It starts off with some naked dancing, then a dialogue discussing various questions regarding a man's conception of a relationship with another man. There's plenty of strange works of art on the walls (the day-glo Chairman Mao stands out). The dialogue turns toward sexual fantasy which leads into a visual representation of that sexual fantasy. This is the format throughout the movie for each interviewee.

The first sexual fantasy shows a guy masturbating while talking about cars with cars sound and pics in the background. Cars honking in the background followed by the guy licking and rubbing and fucking a car. This… has to be seen. I mean quite literally he is fucking and making love to a car. I think in our every day, humorous discussions guys say things about sticking their dick in a tail pipe or various other personifications of an automobile with sexual overtones. This flick actually creates the visual.

Next we have a leather bear fest. An erotic dancing/sexual encounter with traditional leather jackets and hats and chaps a la Freddie Mercury turns into a loving and aggressive fuck show. This is a fairly straightforward fuck sessions compared to the previous car story. The stills and video in the background round out the action in focus.

This is followed by some dude talking about his encounters and discussing the astrological placement of planets overhead which gives way into a  semi violent/aggressive male on male encounter with noise music in the background. For as unsettling as some of the sexual content is in terms of physical violence, the scene subsides into a loving couple in bed. It has all the hallmarks of a fictitious roughie.

Perhaps the most wacked out, gonzo sequence is the cinema sequence involving multiple glory holes in a sort of of collage of anonymous fuck. The glory hole a-go-go balances out with a corresponding projection booth ram-a-thon.

This truly is a semi documentary with powerful sexual images that open up the discussion of fantasy, love and most likely a reality that was buried below the surface of waking life for Wakefield and the San Francisco gay scene. While it's artistic there's plenty of sexual material to get off to though it is highly stylized at times and may be more thought-provoking than the spank and tissue crowd would prefer. The same can be said of nearly all Poole's movie which leads me to suggest that if you are a fan of Poole's other work that has recently hit through Vinegar Syndrome this will also be right up your ally. The picture quality on this feature as well as the rest of the disc is solid with some damage to the original source material that is evident but still very watchable.

Disc one also includes Roger, Freedom Day Parade 1974 which are two short films.  Roger is just an amber man masturbating covered in sweat or oil for a period of time. It's pretty hot all things considered, but hairy... and sweaty... if you dig that sort of thing (I'm pretty sure we all do).  Freedom Day 1974 is a gay parade in San Fran. See men holding flags and masturbating the pole. Men in drag. Bad music. Naked men jumping in a fountain with free is nude signs. It's a whole lotta fun.

You also get Wakefield Poole in San Francisco, a documentary about the great WP in San Fran after making most of his life in NY.

Moving is on the second disc. It's a series of dramatic male/male sexual encounters with beautiful music. Outside on a sunny day. Then a shower scene. Then a wet bedroom encounter. Then an encounter in a strange empty building. Most of the encounters are fairly straight forward save for the dude punching another dude in the back of the head, spanking, throat fucking, fisting, all while wearing a cock ring, As with Take One, the whole violent sexual encounter yields a very loving finale. It's a really terrific feature length, high quality transfer extra.   The whole thing feels like one great big 1940’s film climax with great big powerful music as the setup for the bang fest.

From Vinegar Synrome:

After leaving New York for San Francisco, acclaimed filmmaker and artist Wakefield Poole (Bijou, Boys In The Sand) set out to create a unique cinematic vision of male sexuality, combining documentary, performance art, and cinema verite filmmaking techniques, which resulted in one of the most distinctive works of all-male cinema of the 1970s: TAKE ONE.

In It, Poole explores the fantasies of a group of men, having them articulate their desires to the camera, then allowing them to live them out in elegant, abstract, and experimental scenes unlike any others in his diverse filmography. Using only friends and acquaintances as subjects, Poole creates a film that is as introspective to sexual desire as it is erotic.

Vinegar Syndrome presents TAKE ONE, restored in 2k from the best known surviving elements and presented in its Director’s Cut. Also included is Poole’s notorious 1974 loop feature, MOVING!, which has been newly restored from its original 16mm negative and is coming to DVD fully uncut.

Directed by: Wakefield Poole
1977 / Color / 1.33:1 OAR
Actors: Burt Edouards, Casey Donovan, Curt Gerard, Jeff Addison, Philip Borden, Tony Franco
Features Include:

• Region free 2-disc DVD set
• Scanned and restored in 2k
• Director introductions and commentaries for both films
• Three deleted scenes from TAKE ONE
• Wakefield Poole in SF: A short documentary exploring Poole’s life in San Francisco, and the people, places, and parties of late 70s gay SF.
• More on Moving: A short documentary chronicling the production history of MOVING!
• Bonus short films: ROGER (1974), FREEDOM DAY PARADE (1974)
• MOVING! theatrical trailer

Order yours from Vinegar Syndrome:

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