A while back Kevin wrote an article focusing on gay-themed cinema, and I hate to admit it but outside of the stereotypical films such as the Eating Out franchise, I haven’t exposed myself to this area of our culture. Or at least not in the true cultural art form that I would like. One of the comments to Kevin’s post spoke of an additional film that should be added to his list of brilliant gay flicks; Shelter.
Naturally, I instantly went to YouTube to check out the trailer of the movie to get a better glimpse of what that particular movie was about. I was moved by the trailer so in turn started the hunt to rent (or even purchase – could you imagine) the movie. After searching for it at my gay-friendly movie rental store to no avail I decided to check out our local Vancouver gay-mart, Little Sisters. After browsing the ‘movie section’ and walking out with my jaw on the floor from a few of the adult movie titles/cover art, I asked the guy at the front counter if they sold movies that we’re porn based. I know I’m rambling on this one, but stick with me…
He told me that they unfortunately didn’t have anything that didn’t involved explicit sex scenes (and I don’t fault them in the slightest for this). I was about to give up my search when he asked which film I was looking for, and I referenced Shelter. Not only had he heard of the film, but also had a copy at home that he was willing to give to me! I was blown away by his kindness and community-spirit of sharing with a like minded individual. I returned two days later to the store to pick it up (as he didn’t have the film on him at the time, duh) and I thank the universe that I did.
Shelter, directed by Jonah Markowitz, is hands down in my top five gay-related movies of all time. I must admit that I have recently watched a few other films that break into the top few spots, edging Shelter down ever so slightly.
The film synopsis is quite simple actually; when his college dreams are sidelined by family obligations, a young man finds comfort in surfing with his best friend’s brother.
That young man is Zach played by Trevor Wright (I personally believe this man should make it into Donovan’s weekly crush one of these upcoming weeks), who falls passionately in love with his brother’s outwardly gay best friend, Shaun, played by Brad Rowe. What struck a heartstring for me was the film didn’t solely focus on Zach’s battle of coming to terms with who is was from a sexuality standpoint, but explored the deep relationship struggles from all facets in his life. The primary struggle of the plot instead was the constant lack of parenting by Zach’s sister Jeanne, played brilliantly by Tina Holmes, in the case of her young son raised hand-in-hand by Zach. The fact that Zach is an inspiring artist/skateboarder didn’t hurt his image either (aka this is one of the sexiest male characters ever adapted).
Feeling a deep sense or pride in raising my nephew alongside my sister when he was first born definitely had an affect of the movies impact on my emotions; regardless, this film is beautiful. The companionship between the two lead male characters is almost an aspiration in this day and age, and to this day still puts a smile on my face when I think about them and their relationship.
Don’t just take my word for it though! This movie is definitely worth watching yourself. I have since passed my shared copy along to several friends and wouldn’t mind continuing to pay the service forward. Just fire me a note!
Check out the trailer here, if you aren’t yet convinced: