McDowell - Loads (Only) (1980)



Curt McDowell's LOADS (1980) is a 19-minute black-and-white gay porn movie that is so hot that it makes KANSAS CITY TRUCKING COMPANY feel like a three-hour Marguerite Duras film projected at half-speed. It is also a lot more than that, though this "more" amplifies the turn-on rather than legitimizes it.

Like most great works of eroticism, LOADS is intensely personal, autobiographical, even confessional. The diary form tends to achieve a mixture of everyday images and fantasy overtones that is highly potent. As in the first-person anecdotes of Straight to Hell, the authentic ring of, "This is really true. I was really there," brings a vibrancy to even the tallest tale. The diaristic form also has a documentary graininess to it that enhances the impact, the spontaneity of camera twitches, the fragility of flares. McDowell's format is the low-budget independent non-sync-sound short film, an alternative form, borrowing from both documentary and experimental vocabulary, that knits well with an alternative eroticism. Slickness takes away from desire, Hefner's airbrushes notwithstanding.

With San Francisco-based McDowell, a cock is a cock is a cock. His landscape is the concrete of the streets, the filtered light of his non-residential-zone studio. But his physicality doesn't belong to the Castro, except for the overtones of camp, it belongs more to the Mission. Unlike Hammer, McDowell is usually alone. The faggot fellowship is nowhere in sight, the clone ghetto somewhere over the horizon. His love-objects are the Other, the Straight Man.

In LOADS, it's six Straight Men who swagger through the frame. The film narrates the filmmaker's encounter with each of them, on the street or in parks, his offer to film them jerking off. They all consented (though of course the filmic record doesn't include those who refused nor any real or threatened violence incurred), and the six intermingled episodes/ vignettes of the film are built from the resultant posing and sex sessions in McDowell's studio.




File size: 163.7 MB




Download McDowell - Loads (Only) (1980)






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