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Former gay porn star Colton Ford has decided to get out of the porn business to follow his life long passion, music and being a professional singer. But, can he break away from his gay porn past, and achieve success in the mainstream music industry without the porn stigma holding him back? Director Christopher Long has crafted an unusual documentary by following Ford, his partner Blake Harper (who also wants to escape his porn career), and their interactions with a variety of professional music, club, and porn industry veterans. It's a bumpy ride, but hopefully a successful path to what Ford believes is his destiny. Written by
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Paint a perfect picture...Bring to life a vision in one's mind...
The story of a rise, a fall and the struggle to rise again.
Once upon a time, or maybe twice, there was a man who took the name Blake Harper. Now Blake was considered 'tops' in his field, one of the best there was at what he did. In the course of his work and the fame he garnered, he met an equally well-known, adept guy named Jason Branch. The two met while working, and sparks flew.
But alas, it seemed too good to last, and as it turned out, it was. As in any coupling where each person has their own career, especially when it's in the same field and one person might be enjoying a little more success than his mate, the risk of a relationship implosion is great...sometimes it can be overcome, other times, it can't be. Unfortunately, in the case of Blake and Jason, the latter was true, and with heavy hearts, they went their separate ways.
Then, a few years later, lightning struck again for Blake, this time in the form of a remarkable guy called Colton Ford. The sparks that Blake had in his last relationship? Now with Colton, it was an entire fireworks display, and Blake knew he was dead serious about keeping this relationship going. How serious? When Colton presented the idea of getting out of the business they were in and entering the world of music, not only did Blake agree, but he decided to make an exit as well, opting to pursue his own dream of becoming an actor.
If the career that these three men shared was in the world of business, culinary arts, medicine or something similar that most people would consider commonplace, that might very well be the cue for the *de rigeur* closing line--"And they lived happily ever after." But like Jason, Blake Harper and Colton Ford were stars in the world of gay porn. Under any other circumstances, two forty something men with great bodies, stunning good looks and personality to burn would have no problem easing into a new career. But go back and look at who they were again: gay porn stars. And that sums up the gist of Chris Long's documentary/cautionary tale, NAKED FAME.
Nearly warts and all, the doc presents the trials, tears and tribulations of two guys simply trying to become better men and leave behind a past that just can't be shaken, no matter how hard they try. In the progression of their journey, we meet family and friends, and discover as the film presents in a non-judgmental way, how some of those relationships help them, hinder them, or in some cases do both at the same time.
Everything you heard about the world of gay porn and the people who inhabit it is both true AND false, and NAKED FAME presents at least part of the reasons why. Which is also why it has managed to polarize so many audiences who either love it or despise it. We like our fantasies tall, dark, sexy and hung, and the less we know about their lives as mortals, the better.
Though the technical aspects are far from perfect, it does definitely achieve the demystification of the "porn star gods," and warns those who would tread the same path, that just because you're one of the "beautiful people," it doesn't mean you can't have problems every bit as daunting as Joe Blow down the street. (And if you wanna be a porn star, they can be much worse than that.) For good or ill, you will never forget the cast of characters who play the supporting roles in the 'ballad of Colton and Blake"; the ubiquitous Chi Chi La Rue, the unctuous David Forest, who brings to mind no less than Danny De Vito's sleazy character in L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, dipped in even MORE grease; and Kyle Nevins, who could be in his own separate documentary about who and what to avoid in one's quest for fame and glory.
Then of course, on the plus side there is Colton's surprisingly supportive parents, and celebrated dance divas Lonnie Gordon and Pepper Mashay, who can definitely appreciate Colton's uphill battle to release his first single, (which ultimately did happen, with better-than expected results.) The bottom line? NAKED FAME may not be the most enjoyable film you've ever seen, but for anybody who ever harbored a dream of becoming a star, porn or otherwise, and felt cheated and unfulfilled for never having reached that goal, you can now watch Colton and Blake in this film, and as clichéd as it sounds, realize at last that "There but for the grace of G*d..."
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