I couldn’t wait to talk to Brazilian director Fábio Leal. His O Porteiro do Dia (Il portiere di giorno) has long been one of my favorite gay shorts. I wrote a little note about it here, complete with a ton of sexy screengrabs. His estimable and brave Reforma is also a must-see.
I wanted to know why he decided to shoot the sex the way he did, if there ever will be a sequel to Il portiere di giorno, and what he’s going to do next.
I found out all that and more, including some juicy insight into what filming a gay sex scene can do to a previously straight man.
To my surprise, I also found out that some folks thought Portiere was racist and that Brazil is just as plagued by woke bullshit as the States ? maybe moreso.
I was not surprised to find out that all the major US gay film festivals, such as OutFest and Frameline, had rejected Il portiere di giorno. Figures. I’ve observed over the years that the people who run and curate these festivals ? if we can call what they do curation ? are only qualified in the sense that they have money and marketing skills. Ain’t that America. There are no more idiosyncratic boosters like Henri Langlois, I’m afraid. Part of the problem, of course, is that these fests have a captive audience in a sense and anyone wanting something more just has to suck it up or start their own festivals.
If you want to be inspired or surprised by gay film and gay filmmakers, you’re much better off exploring the gay torrent forums than going to an official fest. There are curators there, ones who are mostly motivated by their passions for gay movies. The forums are where I found Leal’s work for the first time. Depending on where you live, because of rights issues, you might not be able to see his films any other way.
Finally, the interview had one other unexpected result: I finally saw My Best Friend’s Wedding, which Leal encouraged me to do and which ends Reforma on an allusive high note. And yeah, I mostly liked it.
I apologize for the first part of the interview being cut off. I thought I’d pressed record when I hadn’t. I also apologize that it’s just raw footage. I can’t edit video on my Chromebook without paying for half-baked, slow-assed apps designed for mobile. Finally, I am so sorry that, when I speak, I’m shown full-screen. I didn’t know that would happen! I’m sorry also for a few of the dumb things I said and mispronounced. Happily, Leal makes up for my lapses.
Let me know what you think in the comments. You’ll have to watch the interview on YouTube but you can watch Il portiere di giorno as part of a TLA compilation available on Vimeo. Not in Mexico, unfortunately.