Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Strictly Confidential: Confessions of Men Having Sex With Men



You may get lost while watching Strictly Confidential: It's largely a documentary, but there are also poetry readings and abstracted images of naked men. It certainly experiments with form. But, like Director Jowee Morel's previous docu-whatever, When a Gay Man Loves, Strictly Confidential attempts to paint too broad a canvas of homosexuality that it ends up with no focus and little depth. The title doesn't even apply.

The experiment flops because of the details. Those queer poems? Could've been read better. Those expert interviews? They often make hasty generalizations about gay men, passing them off as facts. Those naked men? Twisted and discolored, they don't look sensual, exactly, and it's hard to tell what they're doing. The private parts are slapped with black boxes, but that one's probably the work of the MTRCB yet again. There are supposedly 28 naked men here, including a bunch called "The Game Boys": Jhay-Ar Sta. Maria, Brew Bondoc, Chito Gaspar, Rodel Moreno, Richard Miles, Warren Medina and Avi Avila.

However, some ideas in Strictly Confidential clearly come from a positive place. There's an almost gradeschool level approach to its lessons, carefully explaining as if to people who don't know anything about gay men or gay sex -- are there people who are as clueless anymore? -- and advocating the use of the politically correct term "MSM" or "men having sex with men" and also safe sex. So even if Strictly Confidential is messy video-making, it could still save a life or two.

GRADE: C

Related Links:
More Pics and Info at Multiply
Jowee Morel Website

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