Saturday, September 19, 2009

'Totally Confused'

Greg Pritikin.............Johnny
Gary Rosen...............Wiley
Jackie Katzman.........Annie
Heather Donaldson...Cindy
Darek Hasenstab........Alistair
Duane Sharp..............Murray

Written by Greg Pritikin and Gary Rosen
Directed by Greg Pritikin and Gary Rosen

Above: Greg Pritikin

Above: Gary Rosen

Above: Jackie Katzman

Totally Confused: (1998)

There are many gay themed movies out there, some very good. Up until watching ‘Totally Confused’ however, I had never really watched any that came close to my own experience. ‘Totally Confused’ did not mirror my experience exactly, but there were themes and scenes that came pretty damned close. I came out quite late. I was in my mid twenties and had spent many years in a very loving relationship with a very wonderful woman. I am happy to say we are still close today. During this time one of my good friends came out, and that began a journey which I am still on today. My connections with the movie are many and my comments are laced with moments from the movie as well as my own experiences.

I think many gay men are involved in 3 way relationships. When I say 3 way, I am not exactly talking sexual. I am talking about having a good friend, often a women and becoming an important part of her relationship with her boyfriend or husband. Though these relationships can be dangerous, all relationships have risks really, it is more about not losing your own life to be a ‘tag on’ for another. It took me awhile to learn this important lesson.

‘Totally Confused‘ is a simple story really. Wiley and Johnny are best friends, Johnny is in love with Annie, and of course as it usually happens in a triangle, Wiley is in love with Johnny.

Both Johnny and Wiley take journey’s to become honest with themselves over the course of ‘Totally Confused’. Johnny has to come to terms with the fact the music career he feels in on the brink of taking off is not actually going to happen. Wiley’s journey is a bit more difficult to explain. To me it comes down to him finding a life beyond the time he spends with Johnny and Annie. Without them, he usually spends most of his time, when not working, alone. His only company being the extensive porn collection he holds on so closely to.

I identified with both Johnny and Wiley in ‘Totally Confused’ and at different points of my life was both of them. At the core of the movie is their friendship and although it goes through some changes, I really loved how Pritikin and Rosen respected both characters through the changes and made neither of them a victim or a hero. Just guys going through life, sometimes fooling themselves, but ultimately achieving small victories which really is all we can expect in life.

The movie is full of lines and dialogue that spoke to me in one way or another and I am sure are universal and apply to many of you.

“I don’t see why you care so much” Johnny to Wiley about his relationship with Annie.

-I remember being heavily invested in some of the love lives of a couple of close straight friends of mine. It was not that I ever thought (or wanted) a sexual relationship with them, but having a good friend find a partner can be scary for many, it was for me the fear that they might leave you and you would be alone. Sometimes this has you interfering a bit more in their lives than you really should be.

‘What do you know about Fags, you run whenever you see one’
Johnny to Wiley.

-When I was in the closet the scariest thing to me was interacting with another gay man. I stupidly worried anyone who might see me with a gay man would instantly know I was too. So silly in hindsight, but so real at the time. I still know little about ‘gay life’ really, living in a rural area, sometimes I feel I need to take a course.

“I went to a gay bar last night, I just didn’t go in.’ Wiley to Johnny.

When I came out, for some reason I thought I had to go to a gay bar to actually be gay. The problem was my 1 gay friend was off to university and I had no one to go with. This line made me laugh as I remember driving to the one gay bar I knew of in a nearby city and sitting in my car for about 30 minutes before I turned around and went home. I felt like I accomplished something just by going to the location even though I did not go in. I still have no interest really in going to gay bars. Maybe I have never been to the right one. The few times I have gone, I usually end up leaving early. I do plan on hitting Splash the next time I am in New York though...

‘He has hair in his nose’ Wiley to Johnny about why he is not going to go out with a guy on a second date.

My friends (some still do) think any one gay guy should be attracted to the other. and it was hilarious to me some of the guys my friends would fix me up with. Any guy who said he was gay at one time or another I was pushed towards, no matter how incompatible we were.

‘Just because I hate everybody does not make me depressed’ Wiley to Johnny

I just love that line as it applies to me in so many ways and on so many days.

‘The whole human interaction thing is so over rated’ Wiley to Johnny.

Same reason as above.

I want to thank Pritikin and Rosen for finally writing a story that I could relate so closely to. ‘Totally Confused’ to me says so much and breaks down stereotypes quietly and with humor without having to bash a lesson down the viewers throat. ‘Totally Confused’ introduces the audience to two men, both with immense vulnerabilities wide open for all to see. They try so hard to keep them hidden, an in that hiding they actually expose themselves more than they intended.

All of the actors do a great job, and the leads are all likable, particularly Pritikin. The magic in 'Totally Confused' is in the writing though, with many cultural references you might need to watch twice to catch.

Near the end of the movie we hear a bit of ‘The Rose’ theme playing. I need to say I am sorry to Bette Midler as I always thought this song was too over the top and hated it for that reason. But a song that for so long I loathed, actually has a line that sums up this movie and the lesson I needed to learn in order to be happy. ‘It’s the heart afraid of breaking, that never learns to live’. Sappy of course but after all these years, that song finally has a bit of meaning to me.

I wholeheartedly recommend renting or buying ‘Totally Confused’. I got mine on Amazon. I should tell you all it is not filled with tons of sex and nudity, and the drama is not on the breathtaking grand epic proportion of a ‘Brokeback Mountain’. This is a character piece with real life events. The changes in the characters over the course of the movie are small ones, yet monumental. Much like real life. I loved this movie, but understand it may not be for all. Love to hear thoughts from others who have seen this movie. This movie did not hit me so much for what it is, but more for what it meant to me. For that, I again thank Pritikin and Rosen.

Johnny and Wiley's first time was far too familiar to me...

Pic Series Of The Day: 'Love Is In The Air' by Hans Fahrmeyer

Sunday's with Hans -Part 2-

Hans Fahrmeyer does it again in this series entitled 'Love Is In The Air' featuring models Rowan Pierce and Dylan Henley. I profiled Rowan last month and he continues to fascinate me. Rowan is not only amazingly hot, he also has an intelligence and wit that impress me. You can see that post HERE: Love the emotion and raw lust Hans puts forth with this series of shots. Check out more of Hans work at his official site HERE:

A Bit About Philip Fusco:

Philip Fusco is an Internet sensation. There have been others, but there is something about Phil that I think will ensure he remains in the lime light for many years to come.

For starters of course there is his amazing looks. Phil has an amazing body that he works hard at to keep in shape. More important than his body however is his face and eyes. There is something about them that draw you in. There are many great bodies on the net, but you need more than that to bring people in and Phil Fusco know this well. There is something about him that not only makes you want to be with him, see more of him, but also keep an eye on him to make sure he is ok. This quality is something that I think has people looking out for Phil, wanting to help ensure he remains successful.

Phil has also knows his audience and how to keep them interested. Phil is always changing up his site, adding new pictures and although admittedly slow due to his crazy schedule, makes every attempt to answer questions from his fans and keep his communication with his readers both positive and personal.

Phil's ability to know what his audience wants also includes his work. Phil seems to know the 'tease' shots drive fans wild and works hard to have new work and new creative ideas come out at a regular pace. Phil works with some of the best photographers in the business and together has masked an amazing body of work. Phil has been able to maintain his boundaries for what he will and will not do throughout all of his work. Although I am sure many of Phil's fans might want more, it is in the 'wanting more' that keeps them coming back to see what he has done next. Other Internet sensations, such as Joesph Sayers, although still popular, have burned out quicker by giving everything too quickly. Phil seems to have learned from those who have gone before him.

Phil also has not put all his eggs in one basket. Besides his modeling, he puts time and energy into his fitness site, has began video work, not to mention his DJ work. Add to this the fact that Phil is back in school now that September has hit, and you have a very busy man whose work I am sure will come together for a long career. Phil sees himself in the entertainment business one day. I am sure we can all see Phil on the silver screen. I also can see him, given how great with people, as a host or interviewer. I am sure he could make almost anyone want to spill all when looking in his eyes. Phil would be a great way to wake up each morning on one of the morning news shows. Happy Birthday Phil! Please check out Phil's sites below, and if you can, Phil would welcome a Happy Birthday wish or gift!

Phil On the Web:
Phil's Great Blog can be found HERE:
Phil's Site can be found HERE:
Phil's Fitness themed site can be found HERE:
Phil's Model Mayhem site can be found HERE:

Last two shots by Alberto Ocana

Phil Fusco by David Vance:

I am not sure there is a limit to the talent of David Vance. Each time I think I have seen the greatest of his work, he comes up with something else. His shots of Philip are some of the beautiful shots Phil has done. Check out more of David's work HERE:

Phil Fusco by Jason T Jaskot:

3 stunning shots of Phil by the talented New Jersey based photographer, Jason T Jaskot.

Phil Fusco by Scott Hoover:

I have loved the work of Scott Hoover for awhile now, and the shot above is one of my all time shots of Phil. Check out Scott's site HERE:

Philip by Scott Hoover for Oh La La:

Phil Fusco by Thomas Synnamon:

I have been really enjoying the recent work of the great Thomas Synnamon. Now if Thomas could just get Philip to participate in his Leather and Lace series!!! Check out Thomas's great new site HERE: