Boy Culture Q. Allan Brocka

Boy Culture Q. Allan Brocka

Independent queer filmmaking today is generally in a sorry state. Gone are the exciting days of the early ’90s when Todd Haynes, Tom Kalin and Gus Vant Sant (amongst others) were making transgressive and original works that burst open new doors of queer representation. Sure, now we get mainstream exposure every so often with Brokeback Mountain but in the indie world it’s all Mambo Italiano and Another Gay Movie, films attempting to be subversive counterparts to straight fare like My Big Fat Greek Wedding and American Pie but end up as clichéd garbage. Q. Allan Brocka’s Boy Culture is a bit too smart to fall into that category but unfortunately, doesn’t fulfil its goals enough to climb completely out of it either. Culture’s protagonist, X (Derek Magyar), is a hustler living in Seattle. His constant (and annoying) voiceover immediately announces the film’s self-conscious tone: "If you’re smart, you’ve guessed I’m a hustler. If you haven’t here are two clues: I’m gay and they’ve made a movie about me.” X shares an apartment with slutty (and annoying) young queen Joey (Jonathan Trent) and hot stud Andrew (Darryl Stephens). Their trials and tribulations are met with pop culture references and cardboard character development, and while what it all amounts to is somewhat entertaining and admirably executed, Boy Culture never goes where it intends. It wants to break boundaries and speak to its own genre but ends up feeling like an extra long episode of Queer as Folk written by a PhD student. The DVD doesn’t add much to the package. Lame "footage from the Tribeca premiere party” is not watchable and the deleted scenes were omitted for a reason. Brocka and co-writer/producer Philip Pierce’s commentary confirms their intentions but doesn’t speak to the film’s faults. Nonetheless, Culture has its winning moments, and if you’re looking for some well-shot (and often quite sexy) sex scenes, the DVD offers its best special feature in the already-present fast-forward option. (Mongrel Media)