August (2011) Poster

(III) (2011)

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Strongly recommend. I loved the film
itsvivek4u17 July 2011
The moment the producer of this film introduced this film is a full length feature version of the short 'Postmortem', I was super excited because I had no idea. That had been one of my most favorite shorts and for some reason had stuck with me. I was super excited to watch a feature version and when I saw that 2 of the principal characters were retained from the short, it was all the more better, The actors just suited the part so well in the short that I would have hated to see someone else play those parts. I would strongly recommend the short also to people to watch it.

Jonathan and Raul are a very happy couple of few years. They practically live together though Jonathan still has his apartment. Raul is married to Jonathan's best friend so that once the immigration goes through, they can have Raul stay in the country so that they both can live happily. Enter Troy from Spain who is planning to move back to LA. Troy and Jonathan were ex-lovers and apparently Troy broke Jonathan's heart and left for SPain. It took a long time for Jonathan to get over him. Troy is trouble and naughty. We can see that all he wants is Jonathan back. Jonathan is also not completely over Troy and they have a sexual tension between them. They meet for coffee after Troy comes back but something takes Jonathan back to Troy's house and after initial reluctance on their second meeting, they end up sleeping. Raul suspects something but doesn't say much. He expects a mature man like Jonathan should know what he is doing. This goes on for a while. Jonathan doesn't really know whom he really wants, Troy trying to get back to Jonathan and Raul's dilemma when he knows and pretends to ignore what is going on. Finally on Jonathan's 30th birthday, Raul encourages the 3 of them to get in a 3way because they are drunk and stoned but Raul knows exactly what he is doing. He wants to see the extent of their passion. This incident outs some sense in Troy's head. He decides to move back to Spain leaving the 2 men to deal with each other on their own.

The director and editor of the film have very excellently used time jumps and creatively edited the film. The scenes going between past and future add a different feel to the film. We have all seen many love triangle gay movies but this one is handled very differently. Raul's character is the most complicated because he is going through various emotions to decide what o do with jonathan, try to make him understand. He had to speak a lot with his eyes and I must say he did an excellent job. Jonathan and Troy acted very very well too. here is something about Jonathan that makes him very charismatic, at least for me. The film shows how at various points in our life we always keep looking for true love, have to make some very tough decisions to get through the phases in our life and how compassion and passion can make us stop looking at things in a more logical way. Special mention to the background music. It was mostly middle eastern which for some reason fitted so well with the theme and the mood of the film. It was excellent. I wish I could get my hands on the music of the film. I really really loved this film. It is hard to describe in words but the way some of Jonathan's actions are showed are interesting because he thinks what he is doing is OK but from Raul's point of view, he is trying to show that he still has a thing for Troy and as we all know that Troy is trouble.

I strongly recommend this film. An excellent example of how direction and editing can do wonders to a film. I so wish our US based directors who make all kinds of bad film in the name of gay cinema can learn something from this.
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Interesting expansion of a short film, weakened by a miscast key role
jm107015 October 2012
Jonathan, a shortish, homely-ish, 29-year-old, minimally employed nebbish in LA, has a tall, gorgeous (but shallow and manipulative), 40-ish ex-boyfriend, Troy - who dumped him five years earlier but for some reason has moved back from Barcelona just to get him back. BUT... Jonathan has an even MORE gorgeous (breathtakingly gorgeous) twentysomething current boyfriend, Raul - who is not only gorgeous but sweet, strong, sincere and totally devoted to him. Right away you say to yourself, this is just like real life, just like me and the two incredible hunks who can't get enough of me. What's a homely nebbish girl to do? That's the dilemma in this movie that I really wanted to hate but can't.

It's the actors' fault: they're very, very good - TOO good for this unbelievable story. Unfortunately, the weakest actor is the one playing Jonathan, who brings no sensuality or charisma or other hot quality to the role to compensate for his nebbishy homeliness and explain WHY the two hunks are so irresistibly attracted to him.

He was much more believable in Postmortem, the short this movie is based on (available on the compilation DVD Boys Briefs 3 in the US or Boys On Film 4 in the UK). Opposite the same actor as Troy (but a much less gorgeous actor as Raul, in an almost negligible role), he was sexy, and the attraction between him and Troy in Postmortem was palpable and totally believable; it's not in this movie (but Postmortem was set in sexy, dynamic NYC, not in sterile, boring LA, which may have a lot to do with it).

Self-defeating compulsion is the only motivation either Jonathan or Troy shows in this movie, which may be intentional. August is a lot grittier and more complex (and therefore more interesting) than Postmortem was, which is why I'm giving it six stars despite the lackluster performance by Daniel Dugan in the key role as Jonathan. He was great playing the same character in Postmortem, but he'd lost the fire or something when August was made; since that character is central in the story, August suffers for it.
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8/10
Summer, Solstice, Synchronicity
gradyharp4 July 2012
Now and then along comes a film that is far more adventuresome than the PR suggests and such is the case of the very well constructed AUGUST. Written and directed by Eldar Rapaport (with Brian Sloan) this is a hard look at love relationships and how the test of time influences the success or failure of commitment. The choice of title reflects the generated heat of contentious relationships and just happens to be set in the time of the infamous Station Fire in Southern California in 2009, the largest and deadliest of the multiple wildfires, burning 160,577 acres (or 251 square miles), destroying countless homes, and killing two firefighters - a time when the Los Angeles basin was without electricity, full of smoke and ashes, and all nerves were on edge regarding the carnage.

Jonathan (Daniel Dugan) and Raul (Adrian Gonzalez) are a contented couple: though they live separately (Raul has married Jonathan's best friend Nina - Hilary Banks - for immigration purposes so they must maintain separate homes) they are devoted to each other and Raul is in the process of planning Jonathan's 30th birthday party. As an unexpected development Troy (Murray Bartlett), Jonathan's ex-boyfriend who has been living in Spain for several years after a painful breakup, arrives in Los Angeles at the height of the heat wave and moves in with his married brother Sean (Bernhard Forcher) and family. Troy calls Jonathan, arranges a meeting for coffee but is sure that Raul will enter the coffee shop to demonstrate the Jonathan is in a committed relationship. But old flames simmer and soon Troy is convincing the not unwilling Jonathan to rekindle their old passion, a liaison that becomes apparent to Raul. At Jonathan's 30th birthday party Nina and her chef boyfriend Nick (Mike Vaughn) invite Troy and Troy's good friend Devon (Brad Standley), and by the end of the evening the group hits the bars to smoke pot and drink. Raul then invites Troy to their home to join Jonathan and him in a physical liaison that results in Troy's 'wakeup call' about commitment as he sees the degree of passion between Raul and Jonathan: Troy as an outsider steps away and eventually returns to Spain - but we never know what will occur next.

AUGUST is blessed with a very fine cast of excellent actors who are able to pull off the intimacy of the story with decorum. There are some problems with the film: the director loses the audience with what feels like inadvertent non-linear storyline that disrupts the flow of the story, and the editor of the film David Au has cut and spliced the film in a disturbing and distracting manner. The musical score by Yuval Ron is heated Middle Eastern in flavor and at times covers the dialogue. But the story works in large part because of the exceptional acting and appeal of Murray Bartlett, Daniel Dugan, and Adrian Gonzalez. As the PR states, ' It is an irresistible gay romantic drama!

Grady Harp
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2/10
Look! It's an indie drama!
gregkae28 November 2013
What do we have here? An attractive cast, gorgeous photography, a story older than water, non- existent direction and a screenplay that should send the writer into medieval torture chamber of unemployable, talentless graphomania sufferers in an instant.

The movie does not raise any questions, does not upset nor observe. It is in fact a wooden dud which by definition fails to detonate due to its poor design. As a consequence the sex is not sexy and the drama is not dramatic.

Ladies... even the music is not musical. I give it a 2 because it is nice to look at when Raul is on - he is about the most sexy, dramatic and musical thing in this tripe of a movie.
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1/10
Avoid - a waste of time
derekph-11 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I saw the short this is based on, and thought it was mediocre. The full-length version is just a stretched-to-death version of the short, and not worth watching. I was bored twenty minutes in, but decided to hang on, and wish I has stopped. The story is minimal, and the writing is terrible - long silences, followed by awkward conversations that reveal little about the characters. The camera work is dreadful - lots of shaky hand-held-camera closeups that wandered around aimlessly and left me totally confused about what was happening or why it mattered. The editing just confused things further - jumpy and jerky, with scenes out of sequence - why? The guys are attractive, but there's nothing I found erotic, so it's not worth watching for the eye candy. If you want an enjoyable gay love story, try Big Eden, or Grande École, or Heights, or Luster, or Making Love, or The Object of My Affection, or Sasha, or Shelter, or A Very Natural Thing.
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6/10
Reasonable acting, but a bit of a bore.
johannes2000-15 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I had a bit of a hard time with this movie. It's probably a realistic account of what can happen if an old lover out-off the blue pops-up into the life of his former boyfriend, who in the meantime has gone into a new relationship. Here, predictably, the result is (mild) havoc, the two former lover are drawn to each other once again, the third party feels betrayed and isolated and tries to find a strategic way to hold on to his love. Even when I'm describing this, it gives me the same feeling as the movie itself: a sort of sullen and almost fatalistic atmosphere where all parties concerned don't yell or go at each other's throats, but mostly stay composed, ponder a lot and basically let nature have it's way. To be honest: it all turned out as a bit of a bore.

To make things harder, the two former lovers are hardly sympathetic, which makes it difficult to identify with either of them. Troy is knowingly messing-up Jonathan's and Raul's relationship, while it's also clear that his intentions are dubious, since we see him philandering through town, with every night another guy in his bed. Jonathan just seems very flattered and infatuated by all the renewed attention and gives as good as zero resistance to Troy's advances. I guess our sympathy should have to lie with poor Raul, but his reactions are so secondary and ambiguous that it's hardly clear if he makes a go for saving his relationship himself. He for instance even stoops to a threesome, but it's unclear with what goal. And in the end all things pretty much are as when the movie began, everyone takes up his old life but with some new scars.

The acting was not impressive, but still okay I guess. What I really missed was some pathos – but that's partly due to the choices in the script and direction of course. Murray Bartlett as Troy is good-looking in a sturdy, macho (and very hairy!) way, but everyone's ravings ("O my god, TROY is back in town!!") as if he was some long lost sexual icon, were waisted on me. Daniel Dugan as Jonathan is merely (visually) cute, but without (noticeable) substance, more or less like a purring kitten curled up on the bed, to be fondled by everyone who comes along. It was beyond me anyway, why these two guys should feel such mutual attraction. And Adrian Gonzalez as Raul in my opinion didn't get enough room to show his full potential, which did shine through at some sparse moments, like when he comes home and finds that his boyfriend has cut off his hair, just like Troy. Gonzalez's reaction in words and expression was very poignant and convincing: we could almost feel him thinking: don't panic, stay calm! while the hurt and disbelief were visible in his eyes.

A last point of criticism: the director made some strange choices in the editing. We hop back and forth through time, see Troy with cut-off hair and then later on with normal hair, and more of these inconsistencies in the chronology. Of course such a choice can have some artistic meaning, but if so, I missed the point of it; here it impressed me as unnecessary and confusing.
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Sometimes a Re-Tread just doesn't take.....
arizona-philm-phan27 February 2012
(( BACKGROUND FOR VIEWERS: This Feature Length film is a reworking of Director Eldar Rapaport's 2005, well received Short, "Postmortem" ))

"August"....whatever is meant by that, you might ask? Well, rather than looking at the title as being merely some play on words, let's just assume what's meant is the "simmering"..."sweat-drenched"..."torridness"...of that particular time in the yearly weather cycle. In fact, this is what becomes visually and audibly obvious to us, as our actors/characters experience sometimes uncomfortably high temperatures---a condition reinforced by repeated soundtrack use of Los Angeles area weathercasts. So, indeed, this film does have "Heat"! ....But, it's not just that sort of "Hotness" which involves us...because "Lovemaking Action" makes up a significant part of what we are seeing in this film.

Still and all, IF a film director is going to expand an earlier released 16 minute Short into a 100 minute Feature Length work....and essentially retain the same storyline and same 2 lead characters (tho now 6 years older)....there has GOT to be more provided than "Heat"....more than "Hotness". Admittedly, a much lessor role in the short film's "triangle of 3 guys" has notably (and most SIZZLINGLY) been expanded in this 2011 production. For now we are seeing the character of "Raul" being torridly played by relative newcomer, Adrian Gonzalez (giving us something not weather-related which definitely IS HOT). Oh, and we also have added a female role in the form of B(Girl)FF (and Green Card facilitator) "Nina", played by Hillary Banks.

At this point, allow this Reviewer to give just a few closing thoughts involving the "old and new" productions, as coming from someone who's lived with the former for years...and with the latter for a couple of viewings:

  • In the Short's early scene...involving former lovers meeting once again at an outdoor coffee house...there was an intimacy, a "Heat" between the 2, which burned off the screen and into the viewer. That is pretty much missing in today's re-tread scene and, for me, is due to one actor in particular.


  • Adding several extraneous scenery and street-related shots may add minutes to a feature's length....but it does not necessarily add interest.


  • I was sometimes left wondering which way writing and film direction were heading with the sex shots. There is an anal sex scene, with virtually a full length, nude shot of the 2 going at it. Yet, at another point we're given an after-sex scene---our leads still together in bed---BUT wearing underwear (even tho the camera is, obviously, avoiding any "crotch shots"). Are we advertising boxer briefs? Is this CBS or NBC network TV filming? Does our director expect this ever to be shown as a K-Thru-12 afternoon school special?


  • What I would consider a production glitch involves occasional sound problems, due to music and background conversations drowning out conversation between lead characters (this is even with earphone listening). There is no captioning provided...at least in the Region 2 DVD release.


FINALLY -- Perhaps the best thing I can bring out of this comparison of Short vs. Feature Length film, is that the feature definitely gives us a FINAL Ending...one which cannot be misconstrued, or that is left up in the air. And even better than that....everyone gets what they deserve.

PS -- Writer/Director Rapaport strikes me as being particularly capable of developing intense and interesting story lines; he should stick to doing that...in all-new works. (I do acknowledge it is not easy for anyone to expand a short story into an acclaimed full-length novel...let alone achieve fully successful refilming of an earlier work.)

****
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5/10
Shadow from the past
ZanderZion15 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I like how the movie emphasizes a true situation when a certain person belong in the past(Troy) suddenly showed up and act its motive of recollecting what he believes belonged to him but it was in bad timing; for the love of his life Jonathan was already bond with Raul (its present & hopeful future). Even they hang-out, they hooked up, still Troy cant change what was already been changed by time, Jonathan committed his love, sealed & locked it to Raul. But Troy presence causes an impact of humiliation and questions to Raul, in his point view its clearly detailed that Troy is still something for Jonathan. The Jonathan character here for me defines as a senseless person that cant make up his mind nor decides what is better for himself. The three-way bed scene was unnecessary but maybe its the key for conclusion on Raul's situation. Hence every situation rely on Jonathan, he wasn't oblige to decide or to choose between the two but clearly he must distant himself against hooking up with Troy because he just doesn't know he's causing a pain already to Raul, the man he loves now. Troy is just like a shadow in the past lurking and messing in the present that don't have a value anymore, while Raul is a sheen of light, that was so bright and Jonathan was just simply blind that he neglect to appreciate the true worth in his life. I don't know if I was right but I believe at the very end Jonathan was left behind alone in his own (for me a person like him worth to be alone). Troy accepts the reality to move on and go back to Spain and seems Raul gave up his sacrifices too as the last scene he stare in his luggage and the empty room just means he leave Jonathan too.
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10/10
A visual treat and intelligence in every frame
howardroark_9004 February 2012
In the world of never ending clichés and re writes of similar scripts and screenplays with only character changes, 'August' is a true summer day. It felt like the first day of summer holidays after a year long of school.

It's amalgamation of east and west is brilliant. The world view director holds and the complexity of modern relationship in the time of economic recession is very thoughtful. It's a story for all of us, haven't we all wanted something we lost or left behind? I have never seen more synchronized screen play, visual treatment and music. All come together to progress the story. 'Synchronicity'- If you have seen the movie, you will understand why I used this word here! For those who have watched it, I can see you smiling! Yes Eldar! It is all about Synchronicity and your movie is one of the greatest I have seen! Hope you do more movies and have a great future.
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8/10
Love = Lost = Amost found = Hurt = New love = ??
viggyjiggy12 May 2013
I was a nice portrait of lost love The hurt The missing The Lust The Affection The crazy person who you can never get over with, I mean never. Movie started of with lost lover troy coming back to L.A cause he misses his old life, and for love of his life Jonathan. And Jonathan is living with his lover Raul, who's is an immigrant. And he's married to one of Jonathan BFF Nina. Movies takes is turns and kinda of slowly in the middle, but I enjoy the end feeling of the movie. And movies gives you a feeling that love never die that easy, and its never easy to let go for the person who you long for, the person who hurt you so much still does matter. And all you left is hurt, its a feeling that we never wanna let go.
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1/10
Mundane LA queens trying to make a Bergman film.
peru1-595-63010625 September 2013
I can spot a bad movie within the first 5 minutes. Fortunately IMDb is here to confirm these suspicions. Even "good" reviews can tell you the movie is one you don't want to watch when you glimpse the concerns and logic of the people writing them.

I pulled the plug on this ersatz beautiful gay people "deep" relationship flic. A bunch of mundane queens trying to make a Bergman film. It just doesn't work it comes off as trite. The acting is bad the directing bad...the lines delivered one step above a wooden porno movie. Endless pregnant silences over how much sugar to put in your Latte.

I am not a great Bergman fan but at least the acting and movement rivet you to his movies....this movie reminded me of a bunch of routine LA queens thinking they are hot (they are not) world class yuppie somethings. Living in Barcelona (how classic!--the gay version of Florence) a yuppie gay tour de force.

PS I am gay so this is not a gay bashing critique quite the contrary. Maybe pseudo intellectual yuppie bashing.

Avoid avoid avoid.
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5/10
Moody July
macpet49-131 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This is a valiant attempt to emulate a foreign film. Frankly, Americans just don't have the depth or the acting ability to do just that. We are better at action, special effects and surface level comedy. We cannot divorce ourselves from pretty people! We just will not settle for actors who can act but may not look like models. We keep creating superficial worlds with lame dialogue about superficial people living in wealthy environs and lush surroundings. We seem to feel ordinary people are boring and not worth the effort. One more gay film about Los Angeles and its many phonies trying to 'feel' like they are really alive is just a bit much.

The cinematography is very nice. All the principals look healthy and tan and freely drop their trousers giving the audience the expected thrills. There are lots of lengthy pauses suggesting French and Scandinavian films which never translates in American movies. It's just a cinematic yawn. In the end, we are left with stereotypes. Troy leaves with the usual single tear rolling down one cheek (I'm sure it had to be done with an eyedropper.)looking not nearly as believable as Lana Turner in her worst Ross Hunter productions. Fade out, curtain. We don't really care what happens to any of these people unless we are 13 years old and have enormous crushes. What is the point of Troy anyway? He's just a case of arrested development. If you go to bars you see them by the dozens, next stop--AA.
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9/10
Searching for his lost youth
cekadah9 February 2014
I hate to disagree with the previous reviewers but I feel this story is all about Troy thinking he is going to find is lost youth by going back to L.A. and seeking out Jonathan!

What Troy fails to realize is that Jonathan went on with his life and found a like soul in Raul ... until Troy comes back on the scene. Jonathan is captivated by Troy and their memories and is willing to give him what he wants while not realizing Raul is incensed by this behavior.

This is a complex story as Raul has two things to possibly loose, Jonathan is crossing over into his 30th years and needs to grow up and Troy will never know what he wants in his life.

The story is expertly told with sudden short flash backs of what happened just before the scene we are watching. It's a movie that one must watch attentively - an expert job of editing and writing. It will leave you wondering just what will happen with Raul & Jonathan!
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