Judge Brett Cullum wrote this review naked.
Bringing two naked worlds together.
Straight & Butch is an odd little documentary about a gay guy who made a calendar by posing naked with straight guys. Gay Philadelphia TV host Butch Cordora (In Bed With Butch) thought it would be interesting to shoot himself in the buff with heterosexual men as an experiment in how comfortable the two could be together in an intimate setting. What he did not expect was that shooting a photograph involves public locations, an entire camera crew on set, and often massive creative egos of photographers who do not always share your vision. Nothing is ever very easy, and mishaps abound. And so we get a pretty funny glimpse into what it is like to do a creative project, and how one guy finds out that sexy photos come out of decidedly unsexy conditions. This was Butch's way of being an activist, and also not so secretly to play out his own fantasy of getting naked with straight guys. It was a means to get "down and dirty" with the bullies so to speak. The lion laying with the lamb and creating an arty sensual image that replicated Beatles album covers and Rolling Stones images in new ways.
It is an interesting contrast to see a gay guy naked next to a straight one. In most cases it is striking to see how well groomed Butch is compared to his skirt chasing models, and how in his late forties he has a better body than all of them. He also seems to be more endowed than the heterosexuals. Of course maybe this is by Butch's design as well, because Lord knows he would want to be the pretty one. All of this should make the gay audiences giggle quite a bit, and could make the straight watchers squirm. Fair warning that there is a lot of casual full frontal male nudity in this film, but that shouldn't be too surprising given the nature of the project. There is even a naked woman or two in the mix, which disturbs poor Butch so much that he fires the photographer who tries to insert the female figure.
DVD Verdict was sent a screener from Breaking Glass Pictures, so I can't tell you too much about the final product. The film is shot documentary-style with what appears to be handheld digital cameras on the photo shoot sets. The transfer does a nice enough job with the footage and sound, leaving things clear enough. According to the Amazon description extras will include a look at a 13th photo shoot, humorous outtakes, and an interview with Butch about the project and the film.
It's a cute concept, and Straight and Butch is simply a funny film about a gay guy getting to pose naked with a dozen straight men for a lark. It is nothing that is going to change the world, and it's not even a profound statement. It is simply a meditation on how hard it is to do creative work that requires people to do something that makes them a little bit nervous…and an excuse to put a lot of fully naked men on display. So if that thrills you, this is the documentary to get.
Guilty of making the poor straight guys look bad.
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