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Has anyone else seen The Living End (1992)?

It was a 90s time warp. I heard "the gay Thelma and Louise" but it's almost more like a proto Fight Club.

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by Anonymousreply 45Last Friday at 5:28 AM

Aside from Mysterious Skin, it's Araki's best film.

by Anonymousreply 1Last Wednesday at 4:17 PM

R1 I agree 100%. Though I do like the Teen Apocalypse Trilogy and Kaboom!

by Anonymousreply 2Last Wednesday at 4:22 PM

I saw it when it was first released and loved it. I fear it might not hold up.

by Anonymousreply 3Last Wednesday at 4:36 PM

I had never seen it before. It is a little cheesy, but it beats the hell out of stuff like Happy Together, at least sexwise.

by Anonymousreply 4Last Wednesday at 4:39 PM

[quote]I saw it when it was first released and loved it. I fear it might not hold up.

I would say that it does.

by Anonymousreply 5Last Wednesday at 4:49 PM

I feel like this and Totally Fucked Up were his most gayest films. Both very sexy and sweet stories too.

Kaboom, Nowhere and Doom Generation had more of the bisexual and sexual fluidity thing going on.

I liked that Mysterious Skin established that the main character was gay as a child before he was abused. Though Araki didn't write the book.

His intentionally bad dialogue, love of camp and parodying brands is his trademark. He is very postmodern.

by Anonymousreply 6Last Wednesday at 5:01 PM

The end scene when the guy wants both to die together while at the same time he wants to fuck him. OMG, it was a great climax to an uneven film.

It would never be done today.

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by Anonymousreply 7Last Wednesday at 5:17 PM

The male hooker Luke was violent and angry at the world but he seemed genuinely in love with writer guy Jon and vice versa. More of an obsessive and abusive s&m kind. Hybristophilia. They both were HIV positive which was a death sentence back then. So there was a strong nihilist streak in them. Wouldn't have the same impact today just like Kids wouldn't.

by Anonymousreply 8Last Wednesday at 5:33 PM

Wikipedia: In a letter (dated September 25 1992) to playwright Robert Patrick, Quentin Crisp called the film "dreadful." Hilarious...

Has anyone ever tried to read his movie reviews? There's a book of them, I think they were in Christopher Street. Nowhere else does he come off as such a dreary frau.

by Anonymousreply 9Last Wednesday at 5:33 PM

[quote]The male hooker Luke was violent and angry at the world but he seemed genuinely in love with writer guy Jon and vice versa.

I didn't see it until a few years ago, but it seemed like the perfect film for the ACT UP era.

by Anonymousreply 10Last Wednesday at 5:45 PM

Yes. I went to visit a friend who was depressed because he tested positive for AIDS that day. So he wanted to see a movie to cheer him up, and we went to see this. Not exactly an uplifting film.

by Anonymousreply 11Last Wednesday at 5:52 PM

(In 1992, I was in grad school. The local ACT UP group totally ruined campus cruising by gluing "Cruising for Cock?" stickers all over the cruisy places on campus -- men's rooms, library stacks, gym locker room, etc. I was pissed off.)

by Anonymousreply 12Last Wednesday at 5:53 PM

[quote] I feel like this and Totally Fucked Up were his most gayest films.

Oh, [italic]dear.[/italic]

by Anonymousreply 13Last Wednesday at 5:56 PM

Araki seemed to identify as gay initially but by the late 90s came out as bisexual and then said he didn't want label himself. What I find also striking is he is one of the few Japanese-American directors out there but most of his movies have predominantly white casts. It would be interesting if he wrote a film about his life as a bi Asian man growing up in 70s California and his identity

by Anonymousreply 14Last Wednesday at 5:59 PM

I thought the characters needed cuddles.

by Anonymousreply 15Last Wednesday at 6:03 PM

I remember being pissed at the ending of Doom Generation and Nowhere. James Duval didn't get the guy in either film.

by Anonymousreply 16Last Wednesday at 6:04 PM

Was Araki fucking Duval? I mean, I would have, but I wonder if he was just a muse or something more.

by Anonymousreply 17Last Wednesday at 6:26 PM

I think they had a fling. Duval reminds me so much of Keanu Reeves and Brandon Lee. Trinity of hot Eurasian men with California accents.

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by Anonymousreply 18Last Wednesday at 6:30 PM

For gay Asian kids in the 90s, James Duval may have been an icon. Who knows?

by Anonymousreply 19Last Wednesday at 6:32 PM

Araki should just direct a porn using his aesthetics. It would be hot. All of his films are basically softcore porn. That short lived Now Apocalypse had millennial eye candy like Avan, Beau and Tyler baring it.

by Anonymousreply 20Last Wednesday at 6:38 PM

It started back in the early ’90s, when an emotionally confused 18-year-old Duval caught the eye of Araki in a cafe. Araki approached Duval and offered him a role in "Totally Fucked Up." Duval accepted and unknowingly began a working friendship with Araki that has so far resulted in three films. His relationship with Araki transcends that of actor and director. The two share the common bond of coming from Asian backgrounds – Duval is part Vietnamese and Araki is Japanese. Being the only Asian kids in their neighborhoods led both to rebel from society. Duval left home at 15 and dabbled in drugs while Araki focused his attention on music and comics. "There is a connection that Jimmy does share with Gregg. There is the experience of just growing up in America. People’s perception of them is as an Asian American actor or Gregg as an Asian American gay filmmaker instead of just Jimmy or Gregg," says co-star Rachel True ("The Craft."). The closeness between the two has led some people to describe Duval as being the brighter, happier version of Araki. The roles written for Duval do seem to reflect the experiences of Araki, but Duval is quick to point out that all the characters in Araki’s movies are autobiographical and that Duval represents just one aspect of Araki’s life. As the friendship strengthened, it became natural for Araki to cast the Keanu Reeves-like Duval in all his films. After completing the first two pieces of Araki’s trilogy, Duval knew "Nowhere" loomed somewhere around the corner and anxiously waited for the chance to get his hands on the project. "I have always loved his (Araki’s) work from the first time I read ‘Totally Fucked Up’ to ‘The Doom Generation.’ I actually heard of ‘Nowhere’ before we even shot ‘Doom,’" says Duval.

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by Anonymousreply 21Last Wednesday at 6:41 PM

"I think people have been really sweet about it. I am a really ambiguous person. I have a girlfriend right now that I am really in love with but I have no problem looking at women and men and acknowledging that they are beautiful. I am a monogamous person but I do fantasize about other people of the same or opposite sex," Duval says.

by Anonymousreply 22Last Wednesday at 6:45 PM

I loved the shower scene in Nowhere. Young James Duval was sexy.

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by Anonymousreply 23Last Wednesday at 6:52 PM

These films never have anal and the gay men die. Fucking Arakei hates gay men.

by Anonymousreply 24Last Wednesday at 7:28 PM

I saw this movie when it came out, as well. I watched a lot of Araki movies. I think Mysterious Skin was his best, and had better acting, but I wouldn't mind giving this one a rewatch.

by Anonymousreply 25Last Wednesday at 7:41 PM

Araki kinda predicted the young generation that tried to reject labels. Then by the mid-2010s everyone from tumblr started labeling everyone and their cat.

by Anonymousreply 26Last Wednesday at 7:49 PM

Mike Dytri (the hot one) is straight. I was disappointed but not surprised to hear that at the time. He's now a hot bald daddy who runs a 'combat sport' biz.

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by Anonymousreply 27Last Wednesday at 9:29 PM

Mark Finch, who played the Doctor in 'The Living End,' later became the Exec. Director of SF's Frameline LGBT film festival for a few years before killing himself by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Filmmaker/historian Jenny Olsen later made a spooky documentary about it.

by Anonymousreply 28Last Wednesday at 9:31 PM

The novels of James Robrt Baker bear a striking similarity to 'The Living End.' specifically 'Adrenaline' and 'Tim and Pete.'

Adrenaline: "A story of two gay fugitive lovers on the run, it presaged the satire and drug fueled violence so prominent in his later books. Here Baker began developing the themes that dominated his following works: anarchy; angry and somewhat paranoid gay men; the dark underside of Los Angeles, juxtaposed with its sunny outward image; the hypocrisy of organized religion; anonymous sex and its implications in the age of AIDS; and homophobia and the oppression of gays in a Republican dominated America."

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by Anonymousreply 29Last Wednesday at 9:37 PM

I remember really liking this when it came out. I’ve seen it once or twice since, and still really like it. Obviously it was made on a shoestring, but the themes are still relatable. The ending was very moving. Still vastly better than most gay cinema.

by Anonymousreply 30Last Wednesday at 9:45 PM

Both leads were just beautiful.

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by Anonymousreply 31Last Wednesday at 9:49 PM

Yes, I loved it back then. "Lovers on the lam" films were a popular genre in the early 90s, but with a gay angle, not so much.

by Anonymousreply 32Last Wednesday at 10:01 PM

Araki keeps repeating the plot of Nowhere with Kaboom and Now Apocalypse.

by Anonymousreply 33Last Thursday at 4:00 AM

As in he repeats the whole alien conspiracy to destroy the planet, bisexual and naive male protagonist, sarcastic openly sexually liberated female best friend, dumb pretty boy who is the crush of the protagonist, lots of heterosex but barely even a gay make out session and tons of driving around in cool cars in the LA background

by Anonymousreply 34Last Thursday at 4:18 AM

A friend of mine came out to me by showing me The Living End. We were close friends until I went off to college, and he began to get distant. When I came back for a weekend he told me I had to watch this film, since he knew I was getting into indie film at the time. I was super closeted at the time and thought this was his way of trying to out me.

I asked him why he chose that movie, and he told me it's because he is gay and thinks he may have HIV. I was floored and I came out to him right away. We talked all night. And no, we didn't fuck. We weren't even close to attracted to each other. Having a platonic gay friend from the get go was awesome.

It turned out he didn't have HIV at that time, but in a cruel twist of fate he later did contract the virus and died of AIDS related illness.

by Anonymousreply 35Last Thursday at 6:12 AM

I think I saw this at the Angelika Theatre in NYC. So many indie gay films back then.

by Anonymousreply 36Last Thursday at 6:17 AM

The Living End has always been the touchstone for early 1990s gay life for me. Not a great movie - but the only one that captured the sense of nihilism that came with being gay then. Knowing that AIDS was perpetually stalking - just waiting for that test that would come back positive. Saying “screw it” to long term plans and expectations because there was a good chance I’d be dead by 30. Seems like that history of AIDS being a death sentence which defined gay men of that period is forgotten. This movie is a great time capsule.

by Anonymousreply 37Last Thursday at 6:24 AM

James Robert Baker's description reminds me of Bret Easton Ellis. I'm sure Araki took inspiration from both.

by Anonymousreply 38Last Thursday at 6:51 AM

I loved it, and read the book too

by Anonymousreply 39Last Thursday at 6:52 AM

[quote]The novels of James Robrt Baker bear a striking similarity to 'The Living End.' specifically 'Adrenaline' and 'Tim and Pete.'

I indeed thought he wrote it. Testosterone of his burned a hoel through my brain

by Anonymousreply 40Last Thursday at 6:56 AM

All of them are from LA and it's weird to think of how Southern CA was actually pretty conservative at the time of their childhoods.

by Anonymousreply 41Last Thursday at 7:00 AM

orange county still really is

by Anonymousreply 42Last Thursday at 7:06 AM

Araki plays it way too safe now. He has rehashed the same plot from Nowhere for everything except Mysterious Skin. Now Apocalypse and Kaboom were both just a remake of his pilot This Is How The World Ends which was a rehash of Nowhere.

by Anonymousreply 43Last Thursday at 4:53 PM

it's a shame

by Anonymousreply 44Last Friday at 5:18 AM

I guess I'm the only dissenter. I saw this in the theater and thought it was over-hyped, over-blown, over-wrought, pretentious crap. It is one of those movies that relies on characters making one ridiculous, illogical decision after the other. I know people are going to ask if I haven't know real people like that, and I have, but I wouldn't want to spend two hours with them either.

by Anonymousreply 45Last Friday at 5:28 AM
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