A surreal found-footage trip through gay hardcord history.
Cinekink festival’s Saturday afternoon program features an atmospheric found-footage mashup, a feature-length experience giving us an insight into the best gay hardcore from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Ask Any Buddy gives us a historical insight into pre-video creativity and the genesis of gay American porn. It’s surreal, sensual, sexy in a non-linear, dreamlike way. As the film says at the beginning, this is not a normal story:
In a staggering collage from over 100 hardcore films, young men frolic, chat, party, masturbate, smoke, laugh, cry, touch themselves, touch each other, cruise the streets, dance naked, and live their lives to the their sexual fullest.
This is a pre-AIDS home-filmed freedom–experimental, funny and self-reflexive. The films stitches similar scenes together, drifting from theme to theme. Blindfolds, groups, blow jobs in warehouses, sun-kissed naturism, glory holes, bathhouses, fisting, peepshows, erotic cabarets, strip shows, hedonistic house parties and porno movie theaters.
It’s not just sex however; we see happy, handsome men walk around town, couples on holiday, and friends hanging out. There’s a lot of tight jeans, tons of public cruising, a little bit of drag, and too many amazing moustaches to count.
The music reflects the ubiquitous urban settings – New York jazz, disco, snippets of comedy shows, and saxophones. The underground nature of gay urban life is explored – stolen glances on trains, hidden hand signals, frank conversations about safety, secrecy, and desire. Men watch out for each other, advise one another, and declare love in bathroom stalls.
The Pride march scenes are particularly powerful – showing us the real experience of Pride in a time when the danger for out LGBT+ people was so much worse than it is today.
Overall, it’s a highly impressive, hugely entertaining whirlwind of a trip, giving us a taste of an amazing period in gay hardcore.
Ask Any Buddy is showing on the 5th.