Bent and Brother to Brother get DVD release
LGTB DVD Round-Up
Allan Radcliffe looks at the latest crop of LGBT-interest DVD releases
Director Rodney Evans’ intelligent, engaging Brother to Brother ●●●● (Peccadillo Pictures), a sleeper hit at the Sundance festival in 2004, explores the gay and lesbian subcultures of the Harlem Renaissance through the friendship between a young gay black artist and the famous poet Bruce Nugent. Anthony Mackie, best known for his appearance in The Hurt Locker, gives a moving performance as Perry, who learns to embrace what makes him different when told of the past struggles experienced by such inspirational figures as Nugent, Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.
Another film with a historical focus that’s long overdue a DVD release is Bent ●●●● (Park Circus Films). Adapted from Martin Sherman’s celebrated play the film depicts the burgeoning love of two men, Max and Horst (Clive Owen and Lothaire Bluteau), incarcerated in Dachau for homosexuality. While at times the adaptation feels a bit stagey, it has a bold, stylish look, having been filmed in a disused power station on the Clyde and a former cement factory in Hertfordshire. The relationship between the two men is movingly depicted, and the famous love scene, in which they bring each other to climax using their imagination and words, is powerful and erotic.
A more recent effort worth checking out is the art house road trip adventure Give Me Your Hand ●●● (Peccadillo Pictures), which focuses on a pair of handsome French twin brothers who set off across country to attend their mother’s funeral in Spain. While the incessant quarrelling between the two brothers eventually proves wearying, Pascal-Alex Vincent’s feature debut maintains our interest through the boys’ intermittent sexual adventures and a fantastic opening animated sequence.