- Director: Deveau
Just because it was made in the 70s doesn't make it anything else other than...porn...despite what the cinematic [porn] historians have to say!
With a soundtrack so bad, any musterings of excitement will soon be quashed by the interminable drone.
Weirdly, among all the man-on-man stuff, there's an interlude with a woman!
LEFT-HANDED offers a sensitive portrayal of a homosexual affair at the dawn of gay liberation.
We first meet Ray (Ray Frank), a handsome, long-haired New York artist type, as he cruises a nerdy young guy in a park restroom. Stopping by his friend Larry's (Larry Burns) head shop afterward, he crosses paths with Bob (Robert Rikas), a handsome blonde who Larry assures Ray is straight.
Returning home, Ray fantasizes a sexual encounter with Bob while we simultaneously watch Bob make love to his girlfriend. Determining to make the handsome blonde, Ray contrives to meet him again at Larry's and ask for a ride home. Inviting him inside, Ray seduces Bob after a few drinks, and the two end up making love.
Quickly, Bob begins ignoring his girlfriend and spending long weekends in the country with Ray, while Ray, lording his conquest over Larry, provokes his friend's jealousy. As monotony begins to set in, Ray is tempted away by an invitation to an orgy at Larry's. Most viewers won't be too surprised by who else Larry saw fit to invite...
Handled at once deftly but with an eye for the experimental, LEFT-HANDED combines the best impulses of the early '70s underground with a keen eye for naturalism. The limited number of locations never feels constrictive, as Deveau and his actors imbue them with such a keen sense of place that film feels like a time capsule 45 years later. While his roster of characters is similarly limited, Deveau also has a sharp eye for casting, scoring big with both Frank and Burns as emblems of the newly-liberated '70s homosexual. If there's any weak point, it's Rikas, who comes off kind of dull, though even that aloofness fits his character. All the actors figures are suitably alluring and are well-shot by Deveau, with a particular highlight being a long, languid take of the gorgeous Frank trying on and then lounging around his apartment in a pair of deliciously revealing designer briefs.
Sensitive portrayal of a homosexual affair at the dawn of gay liberation. feels like a time capsule 45 years later.