Sunday, September 02, 2012

"Strapped": a hustler gets lost in a Lynch-like apartment maze, and finds his own soul mate (a writer, of course)

Joseph Graham’s film “Strapped” (2010) does indeed borrow from David Lynch (with maybe a pinch of Cronenberg).  A handsome young hustler (Ben Bonenfant) visits a mysterious Russian in an old San Francisco apartment building, "performs", and, as he is leaving, picks up a strange souvenir. 

Suddenly, the apartment interior has turned into a maze, or perhaps labyrinth, with no way out, and with blinking exits signs and hallway lights (as in Lyjnch).  And a series of Lynch-like characters draw hom in to a variety of situations that force him to grow “psychologically”.

The Russian is curious enough, and is the only character whose pad looks like that of someone well-off economically.  Disguised by his own buzzcut, we notice, for example, that he has shaved his own underarms.

There follows a coke den, then a married straight person who wants a “man” and resents it, and then an elder person who reminds one of Larry Kramer (and of the political battles past generations of gay men fought).  (The "straight" guy utters a great line: "We are both men!")  Finally, he meets a young writer (rather like the leads in “Bonsai” and “Rubt Sparks”) who wants to experience love and tenderness.  The writers still uses a manual typewriter.  (I don’t recall cell phones or computers in the film; much of it could be set a few decades ago.)

The film can be rented on YouTube for $3.99.  The official site  (TLA) is here

The DVD has a short “Screen Test” involving a staged confrontation between two of the other actors, curiously in black and white and 2.35:1.  It also offers an extended interview with Bonenfant, who says he is straight. It's getting "normal" for younger heterosexual actors to play gay characters in intimate scenes.  

There’s also a separate video of the lead song “Tomorrow’s So Yesterday” from “Windows to Sky” (site link)  .
Here are a couple of short films to look up on YouTube, that I previewed.
Raw Love” ("Amor Crudo"), which YouTube waved in front of me because of its tracking algorithms, looks like a short I had seen before after all, see Oct. 18, 2010. It's PG-13 territory despite subject matter, but not so easy to remember.
And there is “Accidentally Gay” (8 min, dir. Cameron Throw”) has two straight guys bunking together accidentally after party. 

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