Why this film fell under the radar or slipped through the cracks somewhere in 2008 is, quite frankly, beyond me. Perhaps even more sad are the movie standards that film goers everywhere wish to uphold. Irregardless of how great a film can be, people seem to avoid indie films like the plague unless Hollywood has given it's blessing. Thus, films like Live For Sex Die For Love are the unsung heroes for film festivals perhaps & DVD. Although I think the same treatment that Hollywood films have always received should be administered to the great indies, I am glad that we have the digital world of film readily available at our finger tips.
Filmed on an estimated budget of about $6k, one wouldn't expect a whole lot initially & might even forego purchasing the movie altogether. Whereas something like Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity may have had slightly bigger budgets, Live For Sex exhibits a more natural feeling of the human parallels without feeling contrived. In fact, we grow to love the lead characters despite their flaws or shortcomings. We cry when they cry as it's quite easy to understand their basic human needs although all we can do is basically sit back & watch. At the end of the day, one can't help but feel they've lived a day or two in the shoes of John (Joe Rubin) or Vinnie (Ricky Sinz) even though the vast majority of viewers will never experience anything remotely similar.
The films opens up with a young gay male (Joe Rubin)cruising the video shops & back alleys while his mother sleeps. At this point it's somewhat unclear as to whether our lead just enjoys sex with strangers on the fly or if he does this for a living. Within a matter of hours, John will confront his mother after finding his birth certificate & dare to venture out on his own when he can no longer take living at home.
Unfortunately, John is now homeless & unemployed with very few options save working the streets. With nowhere to go, he turns to the unscrupulous Rocco who is able to offer him work in their three story hotel & an alley in the back of the building. Within these walls, John meets Vinnie whom we automatically assume could be the young man's father although their interactions are strictly business related deals. Mind you, this is not the kind of lifestyle you'd want for your son by any means & we almost feel a bit of resentment towards Vinnie in the beginning. Yet what makes the film so painstakingly human is the sadness we see in Vinnie's eyes each time he interacts with the young male.
Over the course of the hour, we watch the seedy happenings taking place throughout the building & our eyes are opened to a lifestyle that has, seemingly, always been kept kept in shrouded secret. Here we have a world were married men can find other men to gratify them as the encounters are being videotaped by a security camera in the background. Although the so-called closeted man or married man is oblivious to everyone or everything around save him save the pleasure he has been receiving, we also see a juxtaposition with the lonely middle-aged man who seeks the companionship & intimacy of a young junkie who may also be infected with HIV. It's dark world in which our gentleman are encapsulated & one doesn't always have a great deal of hope for the future.
John quickly makes friends with Thorne, who has had his addictions to drugs & may have even had difficulty in procuring food or health care. In a few rather touching scenes, we are shown the extent of Thorne's extreme hunger which viewers will safely assume has been an ongoing issue. Although it's hard to be certain as to whether or not John & Thorne are gradually falling for each other, it's a fact that they rely on one another & need the companionship which each other offers. Their relationship is not only heartfelt but genuine although it could possibly be short-lived.
Prior to having seen Live For Sex, I knew very little about Joe Rubin. Other than the vague descriptions you find through Wiki or IMDB which state his age & speculate that he may have a large porn collection, there is little information to be found about the man who doesn't see himself as an actor but seems quite sincere about his infinite passion regarding film-making outside of Hollywood. I can honestly say that I could see a future in acting for Joe Rubin as he looks rather natural in his portrayal of John. Only time will tell as to whether or not Joe will be found in front or behind the camera but his work thus far has been solidified with Live For Sex Die For Love.
As with Payton Collins Serial Rapist, Live For Sex Die For Love may not be an easy film to digest at first but it's a rewarding view nonetheless. Be forewarned that the material presented here is rather dark & edgy which may be off-putting to those who prefer the light-hearted side of Toby Ross. However, this is quintessential viewing for those with open hearts & minds that wish to acquire something a bit different in the annals of independent cinema. Do not miss this film!
Not unlike Payton Collins, there are several options for those ready to make a purchase. You can grab the inexpensive Darkotica box set for a little under $50 if you wish to see this film as well as Payton Collins Serial Rapist & Like A Moth To A Flame. As an added bonus, you will get the very informative documentary The Night At The End of The Tunnel which makes the deal even sweeter. However, it is not necessary for you to purchase the box if you're main interest is Live For Sex Die For Love. This title alone sells for under $25 & readily available for purchase. Don't miss out!
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