Wednesday, December 04, 2013

"Leather": three men rediscover friendship in a mountain cabin after "dad" passes away

The new film “Leather”, by Patrick McGuinn, is indeed not about the world of leather bars.  Instead, it’s a rural, road trip story of tested and restored relationships and lives.

Andrew (played by Andrew Glaznek) is a hard-driving 30-something NYC gay business man in fashion, with a Trump-like personality.  His boyfriend Kyle (Jeremy Neal) is dependent and immature, to the point that I wondered why they had a relationship, except to set up a story. Andrew learns that his estranged father has died and drives up to take over dad’s “cabin in the woods” (the Catskills). He finds an old boyhood friend Birch (Chris Graham) took care of dad (after being some kind of rural business partner) during his last days with apparently rapid onset of pancreatic cancer.  Birch is very much a Luddite, and has no use for technology or the Internet, and even entertains himself with old 78-rpm records in the cabin.  When he needs something, he makes it himself (including leather sandals).

The relationships among the men undergo some transformation during the film, with the help of a couple local townspeople (who put on a puppet show) and the pets – Birch’s dog, who chases Kyle’s rabbit (why did Kyle even bring it?)   Is Birch gay himself?  It’s a question he doesn’t think he needs to answer.

The ending of the film does wrap some issues up -- like how you link creativity, to sales, to technology, to character. 
The film opens with a tender scene where Birch is feeding the elderly man in the upstairs of the cabin. Later, the plot will address the issue of who gets the house, and of what kind of caregiving effort was needed (although it didn't go on a long time).  Andrew indeed didn't know what was going on for a long time.  That open happens with estranged gay adult children.  The film hints at times that Andrew feels relieved that his dad is gone/ 
I watched the film from a Vimeo screener from Breaking Glass Pictures, link here. The film is shot in Super 16, which was popular with Twin Cities filmmakers when I lived there ten years ago.  The details in some scenes are not quite what one would like.

The closing credits mention the organization "Artists Against Fracking", link
I could mention a 1997 film here, “Leather Jacket Love Story” by David DeCoteau, in black and white, which I saw at a Twin Cities film festival. A young man comes of age shortly after dealing with the public panic over HIV. 

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