SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2012
By Don Simpson | January 27, 2012
Director: Kyle Henry
Writer: Carlos Trevino
Starring: Jose Villarreal, Carlos Trevino, Paul Soileau, Sammy DeSilva, Christeene, Michael Crockett, Michael Dalmon, Dan Eggleston, Alexander Hilary, Josh Meyer, Michael, Stanley Roy, Bob Smith, Jericho Thorp
Kyle Henry’s Fourplay: Tampa — which enjoyed its world premiere at Cannes 2011 (in the Directors’ Fortnight section) and its North American premiere at Sundance 2012 — is the second of four subjectively related shorts that will eventually be released as a feature film. (Here is my review of the first segment, Fourplay: San Francisco.) Executive produced by Jim McKay and Michael Stipe and produced by Jason Wehling, the resulting feature promises to be “four transgressions, four transmissions, four true tales of sexual intimacy.” Henry is a filmmaker who is obviously not afraid to push the limits of cinema, but I suspect that Fourplay: Tampa may be too subversive and shocking for mainstream audiences. That is not necessarily a bad thing in my mind; in fact, I think Henry deserves a hell of a lot of credit for having the cojones to release Fourplay: Tampa. I have also found a new level of admiration for Cannes and Sundance because it was very risky for two of the most respected film festivals in the world to feature a film like Fourplay: Tampa in their programming.
So now I have all of you wondering what is so damn subversive and shocking about Fourplay: Tampa, right?
Well, Louis (Jose Villarreal) is a late-twenties man who haplessly attempts to have sexual relations in a Tampa mall’s public restroom. When reality fails to quench his sexual desires, Louis’ wildly homoerotic imagination takes over and the restroom mutates into a surreal orgy of fictional characters and historical figures — everyone from Hitler to Christeene gets down and dirty. But, even in this fantasy world, Louis is left humiliated and unsatisfied…that is until his own personal savior arrives and gives him a heavenly blow job.
Certainly most devout Christians and conservative Republicans are going to be grossly offended by this film (what would Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann say?), as will any remaining members of the National Socialist Party. Of course it is all in jest and all of the guy-on-guy action takes place in the absurd confines of Louis’ fantasy. Sure, Henry is taking advantage of the pure shock value of using recognizable — and some very polarizing — characters in the orgy scene…but that is precisely the point. Basically, Fourplay: Tampa is punk as fuck. Henry is flipping the bird to the establishment and I love every single frame of it…
(Note: Henry and company are running a Kickstarter campaign for the completion of the feature-length version of Fourplay. For a measly $10 you can get a Vimeo link to watch Fourplay: Tampa! See the Fourplay Kickstarter page for more information.)