What makes a gypsy? If living in colorful wagons and dressing strangely is the requirement, then there are many in Berlin. Not far from the center of the city is the Wagendorf, or “Wagon Village”. Squeezed in between blocks of apartment buildings and a narrow river is a long row of wagons that two dozen people call home.
Even though I walked by the Wagendorf almost everyday for a year, I never truly interacted with the inhabitants. Like most passers-by, I would peek shyly into their encampment in wonder. Living off the grid is an immediate theme. Solar panels and systems to catch rain water are in plain sight on most of the tricked out wagons and broken down RV’s. Despite this commonality, each wagon is delightfully unique, customized to the owner’s needs.
Scattered amongst the wagons is art in all its forms. Sculptures are most plentiful, but carvings and colorful paintings are present as well. One simple wagon functions as public photo gallery, using humble printouts tacked to the wall that can be easily replaced once they are inevitably vandalized. At one end of the Wagendorf is a small stage for live music. During the summer movies are presented via projector and a small screen that all are welcome to enjoy.
This isn’t the only such encampment in Germany, or even in Berlin, but of those I have seen it has the most friendly and progressive vibe. These aren’t people one inch away from living on the streets, begging or desperate. These are a self-sufficient folk who have chosen their own form of freedom, and their satisfaction from the success they’ve found causes the Wagendorf to shine with a fantastically strange aura.
A more appropriate title for this movie would be “Cockblocked” since it is about two men who want nothing more than a private place to copulate. Gabriel (Christian Campbell) is a struggling musician and composer. On a subway ride home he meets Mark (John Paul Pitoc) a gorgeous professional striper. With no more than an exchange of names, they head back to Gabriel’s place for a one night stand. The rest of the film is a series of cock-blocking roommates, dogs, drag queens, and even horse-faced Tori Spelling.
The two men rush from location to location, searching for a place to get their freak on without success. The premise of the film is that the two characters inadvertently get to know each other during this process, eventually falling in love. Unfortunately, too much of the lime light is given over to the obstacles ruining their potential for a romantic moment. Tender scenes struggle to find air in the midst of to many unwelcome interruptions. Another failure is that the director does little with John Paul Pitoc aside from asking him to stand around looking pretty or occasionally dance. Mark doesn’t get much character development, leaving the final picture rather incomplete in my eyes.
-Some of the minor supporting characters are a real treat, including Gabriel‘s flamboyant but wise music teacher and a drag queen out for revenge.
-John Paul Pitoc is the stuff of wet dreams and finds a surprising number of excuses to peel off his clothes.
-A couple of great monologues.
-Tori Spelling “starring” as Gabe’s annoying best friend.
-Not enough breathing time between conflicts.
-Not enough conversation between the would-be lovers.
In conclusion, the film needs to be tempered with more intimate scenes between the two protagonists, but aside from that Trick has its moments. This movie may not be worth seeking out, but is an acceptable diversion if you chance upon it.
Germany has so many quirks, little differences from the USA where I was raised. I should have started documenting these when I first moved here five years ago, but better late than never. I’ll start with something simple; the beds.
As you can see, pillow are square and rather flat. Folding them in half brings you fairly close to the standard American pillow, but they don’t provide much cushioning between your head and the bed. The pillow might be fail, but the blankets are pure win. There is the standard fitted sheet on the mattress and a comforter, nothing in between. Usually a nice down comforter with a slip cover, it is just the right size for a single person. Each sleeper getting his own prevents cover hogging! Making the beds is also simple. Fold the comforter in half and you are done!
We recently watched a gay thriller called “No Night is Too Long.” You may not have heard of this film. It was originally a TV movie, co-produced between the BBC and Canada’s Showcase Network, although it has all the feel of a big screen film. The story centers around bisexual Tim Cornish (Lee Williams), a college student who develops a crush on his teacher Dr. Ivo Steadman (Marc Warren). Their relationship moves from being physical and distant to obsessive and dangerous. The plot itself is full of enough twists to keep you guessing and enough sex to keep you interested until the shocking end.
-Lee Williams is smoking hot and despite this being a televised film, there are plenty of revealing shots to keep this boy in your fantasies for years to come.
-Coming out doesn’t factor into the story at all, which is refreshing.
-The characters are complex and different to what we usually see in gay film, possessing a number of negative traits that make them compelling and unpredictable.
-The famous elevator kiss scene:
-Tim has terrible taste in lovers. His romantic counterparts in this film are far from attractive. Luckily Lee Williams is hot enough to make up for this.
-Availability. This film is currently only available on DVD imported from France. It has non-removable subtitles and you need a region 2 DVD player at home, unless you can find a download of it somewhere.
Overall, I highly recommend this film. Gay cinema desperately needs more genre films like this that feature gay characters rather than gay stories.
Over the backyard fence like a thief, robbing the house of you. Steal away your affection, take away your loneliness, make your riches mine. Fingers pressing on sliding glass door, uncertain until it gives way. All the invitation I need. Air conditioning blowing over me, a whisper from your mouth. Skin tingling. It always does when you are near.
So close now. I with you and you with me. Cat brushing up against my leg. Scratch it on the head, grateful it can’t tell our secret, the need hidden from their sight. Slowly up the stairs, dreaming of running. The door to your room and the softness of your breathing.
Undressing. Watching you sleep, the ritual ends with my lips on your neck. You pull me down, expensive sheets rustling and the scent of you. We show the night how two boys can become one. Our murmured promises escape the room. Your parents, wrapped in sandman’s chains. This moment is for us, alone, together. I take everything that you’ll give me.
Your smile, my sigh. Drift off again, me as your blanket. The suburbs sleep. Drowsy moon, singular witness, us shaping lonely silent hours into perfection.
I used to love a drink at night. What better way to shut off one’s brain and unwind before bed? Then I discovered a chart that really opened my eyes:
Okay, so the first entry is decidedly British. Cider and the odd snack of beans and toast aren’t really on my radar. A pint of bittter, aka a little more than a can of beer, is more to my liking. Three beers a night is the perfect buzz, but that means I’m eating three doughnuts? At night when I’m not burning calories? Not to mention that drinking gives me the munchies and I usually end up snacking.
They say wine is healthier, and I do prefer it even more than beer, but a glass of wine equals a slice of cake? Honestly, I’d rather eat two slices of cake than have a couple glasses of wine. In fact, I can gladly give up drinking just for that pleasure. Chocolate reigns supreme!
Or maybe I should go for a slice of cake along with three shots of vodka. How’s that for a happy compromise?