Friday, December 7, 2012

FOURPLAY: Intimacy vs eroticism...

There is a reason why FOURPLAY's tagline is "four short tales of sexual intimacy" and not "sexual eroticism." I have been counseled at times to change the tag line to imply that the film is erotic or even pornographic, but I think the distinction between eroticism and intimacy is key to understanding what the film is up to. 

For me, sexuality and sexual expression is a form of communication.  Intimacy is the height and paragon of a kind of sexual communication that is democratic as it allows a form a empathy to permeate the union.  Eroticism is more of a one way street, where the viewer or participant "gets off" in a transactional relationship to sexual expression that is akin to buying a cheeseburger.  Eroticism in film is an extension of the voyeurism that is at work on the most base level when watching a film.  But films that are cathartic, that have the ability to pierce our consciousness and resonate beyond the transaction of watching them during their running time, work by getting us inside the head of either the characters in the film or the filmmaker's consciousness and potentially lead to a new understanding of the world around us.  This was the goal with each of the four shorts that comprise FOURPLAY, and whether we failed or succeeded you can be the judge.

Below is an interesting article by Gail Dines, author of Pornography: How Pronography Has Hijacked our Sexuality, from the Leftist muckracking publication Counterpunch about the proliferation of pornographic imagery and the potential impact this proliferation is having on communication and society.  We'd welcome your thoughts!

- Kyle Henry, Director FOURPLAY

Saturday, September 15, 2012

FOURPLAY: Fall '12 Fest Round Up...

A round-up of when/where you can see FOURPLAY this fall:

Oct 4th - Atlanta, GA -  Thur @ 9:40PM at the Landmarks' Midtown Art Cinema as part of Out on FilmTix info here.

Oct 5th - Austin, TX - Fri @ 8:45PM at the Paramount Theater as part of aGLIFFTix info here.

Oct 13th - New Orleans, LA - Sat @ 9:30PM at the New Orleans Film FestMore info here.

and FOURPLAY: TAMPA will screen twice in Copenhangen, Denmark at MIX Copenhagen

Oct 20th @ 7PM + 27th @ 9:30PM on the "Kiss Kiss, Gang Bang" program.  More info here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

4PLAY: SKOKIE - Jessica Hedrick Interview PT 02

Another installment of my interview with the screenwriter of FOURPLAY: SKOKIE, Jessica Hedrick.  Read part one here.  And exciting news about where you can see FOURPLAY this fall at festivals around the world shortly! - Kyle

I think SKOKIE deals with a central theme in FOURPLAY, which is the unalloyed, cringe-inducing vulnerability at the center of our desire to be loved and recognized.
The film zeroes in on this vulnerability with a kind of quiet insistence, and unapologetically cheers for the characters on their odd journeys.

I loved the critic who pointed out how FOURPLAY echoes the undiluted humanism and storytelling of films from the 1970s.  I love the innocence of this movie.  It is plainspoken and direct about its priorities, dedicated to our all too human hearts in a way that I have not seen since my own 70s childhood.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

FOURPLAY: Outfest 2012 news round-up...

Thanks LA and Outfest for treating FOURPLAY with such amazing kindness!  Here's links to good reviews and interviews:

Hammer To Nail - Outfest Round-Up
Hammer To Nail - Interview with director Kyle Henry and actor Paul Soileau
LA I'm Yours - Interview with Kyle

And a link to the best pan ever!  It contains the pull-quote we've always dreamed of ... "Fourplay should be banned!"  Wow!

Next stop, our Mexico premiere at the Guanajuato Int'l Film Festival's crazy Midnight Madness section late this Saturday (7/21) night after midnight (1AM).  So technically is early Sunday morning.  Check out festival link here for tix info or to pass onto friends in Guanajuato or San Miguel Allende.


Friday, July 13, 2012

FOURPLAY: This Sunday (7/15) @ Outfest!

A great review in Hammer to Nail's Outfest preview post, stating "No one is making films like Kyle Henry’s Fourplay these days. Its sunny, hyperreal tone and very American characters thrust into unabashedly sexual situations are reminiscent of the youth-oriented comedies of the post-hippie, pre-AIDS late-‘70s and early ‘80s—think Eating Raoul and Kentucky Fried Movie, or the TV show Soap."  Wow, Soap, we love that show!  

Plus an extensive interview with director Kyle Henry on the blog Los Angeles, I'm Yours carry us into FOURPLAY's Outfest premiere this Sunday, July 15th at 9:30PM at the Directors Guild of America theater in Los AngelesGet your tixs and more info here and come join the cast and crew from 7:30 - 8PM for a pre-screening reception in the atrium of the DGA.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

FOURPLAY: Kyle and Carlos on LA's IMRU...

Listen to director Kyle Henry and screenwriter Carlos Treviño from FOURPLAY chat about the film on IMRU, the longest running LGBT radio show in America on LA's Pacifica outlet KPFK, via link here.    Skip to around 11 minutes to hear our interview and remember to get those tixs to FOURPLAY's Los Angeles premiere at Outfest on Sunday, July 15th at 9:30PM.  Direct link to tixs here

Monday, July 9, 2012

FOURPLAY: Frameline Q&A + LA Outfest tixs!

The wonderful Jim Fourrat of Reel Deal Movies sent this YouTube link to our post-screening Q&A at Frameline, featuring the amazing Chloe, the inspiration for the cross-dressing sex-work story in FOURPLAY, who is played by Paul Soileau, all participating answering your burning questions: 

Also, tell your LA friends about the Outfest scrning this Sun, July 15th @ 9:30PM at the DGA West, including pre-screening reception with cast and crew starting at 7:30PM.  Get your tixs here at this link:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4PLAY: Nice reviews post FRAMELINE...

Progressive Pulse says "... the final segment entitled San Francisco is absolutely wonderful...The excellent Paul Soileau as the film’s prostitute shows great compassion and humility..." Read more here.

Gay Sonoma says "Fourplay in the hands of a less talented creative team would most likely have devolved into exploitation. Fortunately, with talented Kyle Henry directing, the film's stories are brought to life with an astounding amount of both titillation and tenderness... we are indeed challenged by the scenarios and surprised by how the characters work through their situations. All four segments set us up in a rare, but somehow perfectly realistic circumstances, and end with twists we may have not expected, but leave us feeling completely fulfilled."  Read more here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

4PLAY: SKOKIE - Jessica Hedrick Interview PT01

Leading up to FOURPLAY's screening at Outfest, here's an interview with the screenwriter of FOURPLAY: SKOKIE, the witty and sweet Jessica Hedrick. In SKOKIE, Gail, a closeted lesbian church choir member, pines for the wife of her Methodist pastor. When Gail offers to dog sit their nightmare of a dog, Myra, she works hard to win the pooch over, and ultimately accomplishes much more than that.  It's a bestial comedy of sexual manners!  Hence the photo above of Jessica on a camel.  - Kyle

What and/or who inspired you to write SKOKIE?

Coming on board the FOURPLAY project, I knew that Kyle was interested in exploring how "deviant" behavior manifests in everyday lives. The focus wasn't on the psychotic or criminal element, the fodder of real crime shows, that invite the viewer to take refuge in their own "normality." And as someone who came of age in the early 1990s, I was uninterested in glorifying or promoting the idea of a radical "otherness" for its own sake.

I have always been fascinated by the taboo of bestiality, especially as it emerges as s theme in art, paintings and poems from around the world. The "animal spirits" that live inside of us are projected onto the creatures who live in the wild. Here in New York, where there is very little "wildnerness" to speak of, animals take up an increasingly fraught role in our lives as cherished pets. We find in them sources of innocence, of unconditional love, and of utter comfort in their inhabiting of their bodies. I wanted to write a story that took off from these projections. Having been raised singing in a wonderful amateur church choir, I was drawn to that setting as a place to ground the "normal" characters as they embark on their journey. I wanted the audience to feel safe with these characters, and to be able to laugh rather than freak out as the events unfold.

Monday, July 2, 2012

FOURPLAY: LA's Outfest - Sun, July 15th @ 9:30PM!

FOURPLAY will have its Los Angeles' premiere on Sunday, July 15th @ 9:30PM at the Directors Guild of America theater.  For tickets, click here, which also includes access to a pre-screening cocktail party at the DGA starting at 8:30PM.  

Check out Outfest's Facebook event page link here for more info.  Please pass onto LA friends whom you think might dig our crazy film.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

FOURPLAY: "Cock and Balls" radio interview...

Listen to Chloe and director Kyle Henry on the San Francisco radio show "Cock and Balls" answering the most intelligent and intimate questions about FOURPLAY from hosts LP, Chi Chi and Evan at the link below.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

FOURPLAY @ LA's Outfest on July 19th!!!

After screening at San Francisco's Frameline film fest on Sun, June 17th @ 9:30PM at the Roxie Theater (get tixs here), FOURPLAY will play in Los Angeles at Outfest on Sun, July 15th @ 9:30 PM at the DGA Theater (get tixs here).  As Emily Dickinson would say, we are keeping the Sabbath in our own way! - Kyle

Saturday, May 26, 2012

FOURPLAY: Official Trailer!!!

It's here, the official festival trailer for FOURPLAY!  World premieres at San Francisco's Frameline36 on Sunday, June 17th @ 9:30pm at the Roxie.   See this link for tickets.

Feel free to download, embed and pass it on anyway you see fit. 

- Kyle

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

FOURPLAY at Frameline36 + Final Poster!

Above is Yen Tan's amazing final poster for FOURPLAY.  Thank you Mr. Stipe for the wonderful quote!!!

FOURPLAY, the complete anthology, will premiere at San Franciso's Frameline36 film festival on Sunday, June 17th @ 9:30PM at the Roxie Theater.  Use this link to purchase advance tickets starting June 1st.  Q and A to follow with sex-work project consultant Chloe, actor Paul Soileau and director Kyle Henry.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

4PLAY: Christeene's album release ...

OK, it's hard to not be blown away by this trailer for Christeene's (aka Paul Soileau from FOURPLAY: SAN FRANCISCO's) album launch next Fri, May 26th, 2012 in Austin, TX at club Elysium (705 Red River) @ 10PM.  Reminds me a lot of the films of Craig Baldwin or Kerry Laitala.  -Kyle


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

4PLAY: Poster work-in-progress ...

A few work-in-progress drafts of FOURPLAY's poster design.  None of these were the ultimate winners, but all are testaments to designer Yen Tan's amazing creative talent!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

4PLAY: Procreation and sex...

A fascinating discussion today on the NPR' affiliate WBEZ' show Eight-Forty-Eight regarding the ethical debate surrounding having children, always a potential outcome for having sexual intercourse as a heterosexual couple.  Christine Overall, a philosophy professor at Queen’s University, Ontario, is a guest on the show to discuss her new book, Why Have Children? The Ethical Debate, in which she argues that people should be thinking much less about themselves and much more about society at large when deciding to have kids.

The choice to have a child is often not so much a choice but an urge, an emotional response, a religious belief, an outcome of behavior, more than a conscious action.  This desire to have a child, and whether or not it is an appropriate choice given resources, income, ethics, et al, is at the center of FOURPLAY: AUSTIN, in which a couple debates whether or not to have a child and comes a startling "decision."  

You can't have a film about sexual intimacy without having babies be some part of the mix, and given the range of sexual expression on display in FOURPLAY, we've included for our heterosexual segment a highly charged story that hopefully will raise similar questions as this radio show: "When is it NOT a good idea to conceive?  Will we ever know when is the right/wrong time to have a child?  And isn't the choice to have a child ALWAYS fraught with risks and danger?"

Sunday, April 22, 2012

4PLAY: Dreams about sex...

The act of watching a film and the act of dreaming have often been compared.  That is why understanding the "language of dreams" can be most helpful in unlocking and exploring meaning beyond surface in cinema.  We believe cinema is an active dream state, and as such, we hope you'll check out this fun and insightful article by August J. Cwik, Psy.D., associated with the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and contributor this article in Huffington Post's series on interpreting dreams.  

From the article: "Cwik cautions that dreams are an individual process and have to do with the conscious attitude of the dreamer. 'In Freudian theory,' he says, 'dreams allow the disguised fulfillment of a repressed wish, often sexual, which must not be gratified directly.' On the other hand, Cwik explains, 'Jung saw dreams as natural products that seek to communicate with us, not disguise. If the meaning seems strange and incomprehensible, it is because they speak the old, forgotten language of metaphor and symbol.'"  We see ourselves more operating in the land of Jungian symbolic expression, but as always, as artists, most of our symbolism is unintentional and therefore an expression of our unconscious, whether that be from the film's individual screenwriters, the director's inflection or the group as a whole's expression. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

4PLAY: Chloe on art ...

4PLAY blog readers might know about Chloe, the muse behind FOURPLAY: SAN FRANCISCO, the first short in our anthology shot four years ago.  Chloe is a professional cross-dressing sex-worker, and she is also an amazingly insightful, articulate and generous critic and commentator.  She recently contributed to the art journal THE DESTROYER and you can read more of her thoughts regarding sex-work here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

4PLAY: Tag line ideas?

Seen a FOURPLAY short?  Then you might be the genius to help us come up with a tag line for the feature!  

Our current tagline is "Four Tales Of Sexual Intimacy," and it's fine, but a bit of a mouthful.  Have a better suggestion?  Then please submit via our Facebook page as a post or comment and if we use your idea we'll send you a DVD festival screener of the feature as your reward.  Thanks for helping us brainstorm!  

- Kyle

Sunday, April 15, 2012

4PLAY: Feature premiere soon + Chloe on the radio!

Much news coming soon including the launch of the FOURPLAY feature film fest tour starting this summer 2012!  

We'll be touring to many cities throughout the world and we can't wait to meet our audience and begin a conversation about sexual intimacy that we've always dreamed the film can generate from its inception four years ago!  

To tide you over, here's a link to a recent great radio interview with Chloe, screenwriter Carlos Treviño's inspiration for the cross-dressing sex-worker Aliya in FOURPLAY: SAN FRANCISCO.   Interview proper starts around 6 minutes.  Intelligent, articulate, passionate words of wisdom as always from Chloe!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

4PLAY: TAMPA - Sundancing Pt 4 ...

A few more reviews from FOURPLAY: TAMPA's screenings at Sundance this year:

Austin Monthly - "... I laughed at how over-the-top Henry takes matters"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

4PLAY: IndieWire's Project of the Week!

Thank you everyone who voted for FOURPLAY as IndieWire's Project of the Week, we won! Here's a link to the official results, and another link to what we've won and what we might win if we also become Project of the Month.

Our Kickstarter ends in little under two weeks on Feb 20th!  Please check out this link for limited rewards that remain (Sundance swag Morrocan Oil care package, cocktail shaker, et al!) but also remember that a $10 donation gets you a streaming link to watch FOURPLAY: TAMPA and $25 gets you a festival screener DVD of the compilation feature!  

Thanks again for your support!  -  Kyle

Friday, February 3, 2012

4PLAY: Vote for us as IndieWire's project of the week!

We need your help to win IndieWire's Project of the Week poll!  Please go to the link below, vote, then pass the link on via whatever means you feel comfortable:

We're up against a film that is powered by a blog w/ +50K members, so we need all the help we can get!  Post ends 11AM EST on Monday (2/6).



PS - And of course, we'd appreciate any spare change you might have to donate to our current Kickstarter campaign too! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

4PLAY: IndieWire's Project of the Day!

FOURPLAY is IndieWire's project of the day!  Check out the link here and remember to vote for FOURPLAY this Friday, Feb 1st, so we can become the project of the week and perhaps the month!  Valuable consultation services will be offered to us if we win!  :) - Kyle

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

4PLAY: Feast of Fun Interview!!!

Prepare yourself for a free-range crazy interview regarding FOURPLAY on the #1 LGBT pod-cast Feast of Fun.  See link below and sign up here using the one-month free trial code GLITTER to listen for free.   

Thanks Marc and Faustos for the good times and fierce chat!  Use code GLITTER to sign up for a one-month free trail run of Feast of Fun to listen to the interview for free.

- Kyle

Saturday, January 28, 2012

4PLAY: Advance copies via Kickstarter ...

Closing in on our $5K FOURPLAY finishing fund Kickstarter goal, which we've extend till Wed, Feb 1st.  

$10 gets ya a streaming link to FOURPLAY: TAMPA
$25 gets ya a DVD of all 4 FOURPLAY shorts and
$45 gets ya all the above plus director Kyle Henry's Sundance/Cannes' screened first feature ROOM.

Curious to see what all the fuss is about?  Then donate today to help get FOURPLAY out to a wider audience!

Friday, January 27, 2012

4PLAY: TAMPA - Sundancing PT 3 ...

More news and great reviews: 

Another great review of FOURPLAY: TAMPA, this time on Smells Like Screen Spirit.  

A bit of a tempest-in-a-teapot re Cynthia Nixon's announcement that she "chooses" to be gay.  I was asked to comment on CNN's HLN at the fest, so here's my 2 cents.  

And finally, a viewer who can't see the forest through the fake penis trees.  A link to our first outraged review on IMDB. If you have counter thoughts, or want to rate the film on IMDB, I humbly ask that you make your views known.

And you too can see FOURPLAY: TAMPA, for only a $10 donation to our feature Kickstarter campaign, check it out here.

We'll have perhaps one more Sundance post after the fest if more news emerges... 

Kyle Henry
Director, Fourplay

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

4PLAY: TAMPA - Sundancing PT 2 ...

The 4PLAY: TAMPA crew is heading out of Utah today after what can only be described as a glorious adventure here at Sundance this year.  See links below for some choice press from the festival.  Although we didn't win a jury prize, one of the jurists told me that if they could give a prize to the film with the most cum and jizz on display, we would've won.  Proud, proud, proud!  

Although flattered, I have to say that below all that fluid is a film that really is about so much more than shock and awe.  Comedy is a subtle, subversive art that disarmingly can mask intentions, in TAMPA's case we present shame and body-image issues in the guise of an over-the-top-comedy to make people, especially gay men, confront their own secret shame and have a bit of a laugh at the absurdity of judging worth through the size of one's Johnson.  Will have more press and thoughts in a final wrap-up after the fest ends. - Kyle

Review in Ted Hope's site HAMMER TO NAIL

Huffington Post's Latino Voice's overview

Sunday, January 22, 2012

4PLAY: TAMPA - Sundancing PT 1 ...

 A quick shout from Sundance where we've now had two screenings of FOURPLAY: TAMPA.  Here's a link to a great review in Ted Hope's HAMMER TO NAIL web-site by Michael Tully and below is an interview with screenwriter Carlos Trevino and I on the uber-gay site Queerty.   

Also, a quick story (see photo above) about the near white-out conditions drive up and down the Sundance Institute mountain yesterday for the director's brunch.  One of the buses skidded off the road and hit two cars and another had to have all the filmmakers get in the back of the bus to add more weight to the rear tires so the bus could make it up the hill.  Had strange visions of newspaper headlines announcing "20 Sundance Filmmakers Killed in Tragic Bus Accident!" as we coming down the mountain and I watched the ravine below me which had pretty steep drop into it from the road.  Again, as with every day, glad most of all just to be alive!  -  Kyle


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

FOURPLAY: Sex saved my life ...

Sex saved my life. And I'm sure if a lot more of us were honest with ourselves we'd admit the same thing.

As a young, angst ridden and alienated young man in my late teens, I was desperate to connect with something, anything. I threw myself into political activism, theater, academics, anything that could absorb me so completely that I could blot out the yawning chasm of need that was the source of so much "activity."

I also happened to be gay and very much in the closet to not only everyone else but most especially to myself. Looking back at some of the photographs from that period, I can't imagine that anyone with half an ounce of gaydar wasn't VERY AWARE of my gayness. I remember one kind theater director once telling me in a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's IOLANTHE (does that scream gay, or what!) that if there was anything I ever wanted to talk about with him, his door was always open.

"What could I possibly have to talk to you about?" I protested.

"Um, your sexual identity," he replied.

Yikes! Hammer to the nail! I think I left almost immediately and protested to EVERYONE I knew that the director of the play I was in was trying to "recruit" me and I just wished all those "faggots" would leave me alone!

Too bad I couldn't leave myself alone cause I was with me 24 hours a day! Anyway, long story short, after trying to date a few women then making a VERY drunken and awkward pass at an out queer housemate one night (and denying that it ever took place the next day), I acknowledged the need and went hunting for someone to act on it with.

Luckily, I found my first love, a lieutenant in the Army at the time via a newspaper personal ad. Remember those? Almost immediately, after the first time we were together, I finally was released from the crushing anxiety that had haunted me from late adolescence onward. And it wasn't the act of sex itself that saved me, but the intimacy that it unleashed, the tenderness and feelings of finally belonging and being accepted, really accepted for who I was, naked and stripped of my ego.

Luckily, that partner was up for the responsibility and love that such connection can awaken. We talked, we shared, we dated, and eventually, like so many first loves, we moved on when it became clear that love alone did not make for the foundation of a lasting relationship.

Again, luckily, I've found a longer, lasting relationship with my partner Carlos Trevino, the incredibly talented writer of FOURPLAY: TAMPA, which plays a Sundance this week. Earlier sexual encounters/relationships can help one sort out what one is looking for in a relationship as a whole, and can put sex in its proper place as part of a balanced relationship. It's called experience, and if we deny someone from having these adult experiences, or develop systems that punish them for these experiences (e.g. denying the availability of contraception so sex leads to the spread of disease or the burden of conception), then we actually elevate the importance of sex in our society to a dangerous form of control.

Also, if we only tell each other stories where sex isn't given its proper due in the world at large which we represent, or is used purely as pornographic titillation, or a cudgel to inflict even more pain and fear upon our audiences (e.g the entire oeuvre of filmmaker Lars Von Trier), then we also become part of a system of control that manipulates the powerful force of sexual connection for ill gotten gain.

No, not all sexual encounters and acts are positive. I'm not naive or unaware of the horrible power dynamics involved when sex is used for intimidation, oppression and assault. Consent on the part of all ADULT (as defined by law) parties without any coercion must be given. Besides mystical/religious fervor or drug experiences, sexual union is one of the most powerful experiences one can have to connect one to one's being and existence to others on this planet. As such, it should be seriously studied and considered. And it should be one of the major subjects of our arts and entertainment. Hence my desire to make the FOURPLAY series of shorts.

Do you have any especially moving or life-saving experience that involved sexual connection? If so, I'd love to hear about it. Please consider commenting/responding to this post and I'll print if appropriate. Anonymous postings are fine.

Finally, a reminder that our Kickstarter for the FOURPLAY feature launched. For as little as $10 you can see FOURPLAY: TAMPA, the short playing at Sundance, via a Vimeo link that we'll pass onto donors after the festival.

Kyle Henry
Director - FOURPLAY

Monday, January 16, 2012

4PLAY: TAMPA - Sundance poster...

Our Sundance poster for FOURPLAY: TAMPA designed by the ever talented Carlos Treviño, screenwriter and also actor in the film. - Kyle

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

FOURPLAY - Pre-Sundance Kickstarter!!!

Get a sneak peak at FOURPLAY, the feature anthology, by checking out our final Kickstarter video below. And, check out the great perks, like seeing FOURPLAY: TAMPA, which plays at Sundance 2012, in the privacy of your own home via a password protected link or a DVD copy of the feature anthology.

Thanks again everyone for your loving support over the last four years as FOURPLAY has come together and traveled the world! - Kyle

Sunday, January 1, 2012

4PLAY: TAMPA - New Christeene video...

Christeene Vale (aka Paul Soileau) made her "art" film debut this year in FOURPLAY: TAMPA. And, she's storming the internet again with the video to her tune "African Mayonnaise." Check it out and be awed by this smack down of all things narcissistic, pop music, vulture-culture. Happy New Year!

CHRISTEENE "African Mayonnaise" from PJ Raval on Vimeo.