Outfest 2010: Fourplay and Release

Kyle Henry at Outfest and on IndiePix

Gary Chason and Paul Soileau in Fourplay: San Francisco
Gary Chason and Paul Soileau in Fourplay: San Francisco

When super-friend and UT Film grad Kerthy Fix invited me to join her at Outfest, Los Angeles’ fine queer film extravaganza, for screenings of two of her docs, I naturally jumped at the chance. When I saw that the festival was premiering Kyle Henry’s Fourplay: San Francisco, things started to get ridiculously exciting.

Henry identifies as “an experimental kind of guy,” he says, and Fourplay: San Francisco tests the waters on a few fronts. The versatile director of Sundance hit Room and University, Inc. plans to release each of the film’s four segments on the IndiePix Films website as they are completed, a novel distribution approach that breathes some optimism and energy into a part of the film industry that desperately needs it.

Written by Carlos Trevino, Fourplay: San Francisco is equally audacious in content. Henry deploys an unstoppable Austin duo – cinematographer/director (here DP) PJ Raval (Trinidad, Trouble the Water) and performance artist Paul Soileau (he inhabits Christeene and Rebecca Havemeyer, among others) – to tell the story of a transvestite prostitute faced with the quandary of how to pleasure her complicated trick (Gary Chason). The film’s edge comes not from its sexual content or from taking an “outsider” position, but rather from its explicit emotional openness. The characters are lovely and loving but also imperfect and real; the film draws out their struggle to connect as people as well as physically, in an environment that presents constant challenges to that struggle.

Henry says he wanted to make a film that would touch people, allowing them see sex as “another part of people’s personalities and a way to have relationships,” and the audiences at Fourplay: San Francisco’s two sold-out Outfest screenings were the “best possible audience” – one sophisticated enough to be unshocked by the subject and “impressed by the humanity” the film brings to it, said Henry. “They laughed and were crying in the right places. Afterward, a man came up to me, and he was crying, and said he was moved because his brother is a paraplegic and he was so glad the film wasn’t just a ‘problem of the month’ piece.”

Since it was also the last film in the shorts program, the audience “people were engaged and wanted to talk immediately after,” he says – a conversation enhanced by a Q&A with Chloe, the sex worker whose stories are the basis of San Francisco.

Fourplay: San Francisco is currently downloadable on IndiePix. Keep an eye out for Henry’s further works of wonder.

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Kyle Henry, Outfest, Fourplay: San Francisco, IndiePix, Paul Soleiu, PJ Raval

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