In Their Room shirks off boundaries that have made previous Peccadillo Pictures DVDs tremble and weep. Directed by Travis Mathews, the intimate footage of gay men in their bedrooms is certainly not for the faint hearted.
The premise of the DVD is as follows- Someone has put a camera into the bedroom of gay men living in San Francisco, Berlin and of course London. The men range from all types of gay men you may come across on an average night out in Soho, old men in drag, big hairy German bears and of course the mysterious young guys with the tattoos and the piercing eyes. What happens next is up to them. Some scenes are like watching a video diary, with that familiar pornesque build up of answering questions into the camera about sexual experiences, sexual fantasies and first times – the bits of the video you skip late at night. Other scenes involve a lot of lying around in the bedroom, with the guys seemingly unaware they are being filmed as they pick at scabs or smoke a cigarette – the stuff we all do in our bedrooms when no one else is there, but none of us really talk about.
The videos don’t follow the beaten path of onscreen plots and twists, this isn’t a Hollywood blockbuster, it’s a documentary and it’s safe to say that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing Mathew’s collaboration with James Franco on their previous work Interior. Leather Bar then you will have an idea at what to expect from In Their Room. The new release sticks to the promiscuous audacity that shirks boundaries and stares convention in the face. If you are an avid LGBT film-buff then you have to see watch this whether you like it or not just because in true gay fashion it’s here and it’s (even more) queer.
The underlying sexual tension from start to finish carries the films as you barely contain yourself waiting for the explosive build up at the end. Like any first date the collection starts a little awkwardly, but after a while the small talk and seductive smiles soon go from playing with themselves to playing with each other, with lots of heavy breathing, hushed giggles and heavy petting. The build up releases in a 25 minute climax of erotica that soon becomes a little uncomfortable as you realise that without the pretend groans of pleasure one normally hears on the internet, you may as well be hiding behind a door spying through the keyhole. Now whilst that may be the overall message of In Their Room (and then not to deny that there are certainly those out there who lean towards such tomfoolery) it brings the scene right back around to awkward.