"The gay world is very focused on sex and the main problem with that is that it can keep us locked in a state of apathy," the director of new NSFW short RASPBERRY REICH GR tells Adam Baran on this Indie Focus Thursday.

If there’s one thing that seems to be in the air this election year, it’s anger. From 8 years of right-wing anger over President Obama that’s fueled unprecedented racism and bigotry from the Republican candidates to the next-level animosity between the supporters of the two Democratic candidates to the frustration felt by everyone who has to be constantly reading about it all on social media, 2016 is all about rage. But when we’re faced with mounting anger - what do we do with that anger? Do we get apathetic and take it? Hell no! We’re fags - and fags fight back!

Raspberry

Menelas

At least, that’s what the fags in our latest addition to the ever-growing NSFW library do. RASPBERRY REICH GR comes from the one-named Greek filmmaker Menelas. Frustrated with the conservative political government in Greece led by Prime Minister Samaras, who oversaw an austerity crisis and a particularly hostile period for LGBT citizens, Menelas drew inspiration from pioneering queer punk filmmaker Bruce LaBruce’s THE RASPBERRY REICH, a film about a group of horny Baader-Meinhof-style terrorists who try to start a revolution in between hot, cum-drenched fuck sessions. Menelas crafted his own homage-slash-experimental short update of LaBruce’s film, focusing on a group of frustrated Greek revolutionaries enacting their own S/M-style rituals of fucking and fighting back. The sexy scenes of boys in balaclavas and buttless Aussiebums are overlaid with savagely satirical texts about modern gay life, social media, and politics (“Lana Del Rey is counter-revolutionary”), plus images of Greek politicians that pop up throughout the music video-esque short. 

Raspberry Reich GR nsfw
But you don’t have to know about Greek politics to understand the quality of rage and horniness that motivates the characters. Simply substitute George Bush or Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders or whoever else pisses you off today to get it. Meanwhile you’re sure to be horny enough to start your own sexual eruption - er, I mean, revolution, thanks to the sexy stars, including the astonishingly hot Nico Deen, who was recently signed to Lucas Entertainment, thanks no doubt, to his talent for hands-free cum shots. I reached out to Menelas earlier this week to talk about the inspiration for his film, Bruce LaBruce’s involvement, and what pornographer has crafted his vision of heaven. 

Adam Baran: How did RASPBERRY REICH GR come about?

Menelas: I was working on my contribution to a photo and video group exhibition I host in Athens called Civil Disobedience, that year's theme was violence. My initial idea was naked boys with Kalashnikovs but the more I thought about it I was like fuck it let's make a RASPBERRY REICH-style political statement about the institutional violence we receive as a gay community from the government. I have to state at this point that the original film had a profound influence in my life, it led me down a path of discovering the Baader-Meinhof Group, Wilhelm Reich and the Situationist Movement.

3Raspberry Reich GR nsfwFor American audiences who might not follow the Greek political issues addressed in the film, what should we know about Prime Minister Samaras and the source of the characters' rage?

Prime Minister Samaras was from what you in America would call a conservative party. Not only did his government do nothing to advance gay rights, but specific members of the party often made anti-gay statements in public without any consequences. He also made several stupid statements like he'd get free wifi for everyone in Greece, so I guess in that regard he's the equivalent of George W. Bush. Greece has been in trouble with the European court of human rights for not having civil partnership for gay couples and Samaras’ government did nothing but stall the civil partnership bill. Thankfully, the current government finally passed a bill so now we have civil partnership for gay couples - unfortunately, without the right of adoption.

Raspberry Reich GR nsfwYou have a pretty provocative statement about plagiarism that appears in the film: “Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it.” but I see the film much more as an experimental homage to Bruce LaBruce's film than as actual plagiarism. Were you worried about that and did you clear your film with Bruce LaBruce? And has he seen the film?

When I found this wonderful quote from situationist Guy Debord, I knew what I was doing was on the side of progress. I agree with you the film is mostly an homage. But it is also an update, there are so many new things like social media and what I call fuckApps that needed to get the “Raspberry Reich” treatment. I am not aware that LaBruce has seen the film, but that film's producer, Jürgen Brüning, saw the film and selected it for the Berlin Porn Festival which he organizes. That for me was an honor of high distinction.

Raspberry Reich GR nsfwWhere did you find your hot cast members and was it fun to direct them in the sexy scenes? 

Most are friends of mine and a couple I found online on gay dating sites. I am very lucky to have some hot friends who are exhibitionists and who trust my mad vision. The whole was process was fun and mad and the cast members certainly had a lot of fun especially in the group scenes!

I've heard it rumored that one of your cast members is now an exclusive with Lucas Entertainment, and that he has some insanely hot videos out there online already. Is that true?


Yes, two of my stars were a couple who were already very active on Cam4. One of them is now, very deservedly, signed with Lucas. His name is Nico Deen, and there are some insanely hot explosive hands-free cumshot videos of him online. That guy is seriously talented, and I think the boyfriend is also considering a porn career, so watch this space.

They always say that every film is an autobiography, no matter what the subject is. Is RASPBERRY REICH GR based on you and your anger?

I couldn't agree with you more. I am not a big fan of anger but I think art is a very constructive way to express it. RASPBERRY REICH GR is based on the crazy artistic side of my personality. It combines hot guys, sex, guns, sarcasm, wit, and the revolution. I am not as revolutionary as my film is, but I certainly think about the revolution a lot.

Raspberry Reich GR nsfw

Like Bruce LaBruce's THE RASPBERRY REICH, your film has a series of humorous statements that flash on the screen that skewer gay people's apathy and lack of political interest. My favorite is "Lana Del Rey is counter-revolutionary". How did you come up with these and were there options you left on the cutting room floor?

I think the gay world is very focused on sex and the main problem with that is that it can keep us locked in a state of apathy. Wilhelm Reich showed us that sex is political and Bruce LaBruce very intelligently uses sex to make political statements. To answer your question I immersed myself again in the world of the Situationist Movement, Ulrike Meinhof, Wilhelm Reich, the original film, and tried to relate their ideas to today's world. Some statements that weren't used in the movie, I used in stills for the photo exhibition that accompanied the movie. I will share with you this one: "Grindr is the opiate of the gays”

What's next for you? What are you working on now?

I've just completed a short documentary on a young sex worker in Athens which has just screened here.

Final question. What’s your favorite gay porn film?

This is like Sophie's Choice! But my favorite director is Jean-Daniel Cadinot and I am gonna narrow it down to Challeur and the legendary Service Actif 2. To me heaven is a place filled with French boys with floppy hair.

 
 

[Watch "Raspberry Reich GR" from NSFW at NakedSword]