Festival Highlight

129

A very sexy film about the perils and pleasures of reuniting with one’s ex, “August” (12:30 p. m. July 16 and 7:15 p.m. July 17, Ritz East) has Troy (Murray Bartlett) returning to L.A. from Spain. He reconnects with his ex, Jonathan (Daniel Dugan), at a café. However, while Troy is looking to rekindle their part relationship, Jonathan has moved on. Not only has he quit smoking, Jonathan now has a smoking-hot boyfriend, Raul (Adrian Gonzalez). But that doesn’t stop Troy from trying to seduce Jonathan, or Jonathan to resist what he once had.

Writer/director Eldar Rapaport, expanded his 2005 short “Postmortem” (which also starred Bartlett and Dugan) to create a stylish feature that astutely addresses issues of having sex with an ex. PGN caught up with Rapaport for a quick Q&A.

GK: This topic of sex with an ex, was it based on your experiences? ER: It wasn’t entirely my experience. I think everyone, gay or straight, can relate to this film. I’ve been on both sides of this fence, thinking about the “mythological ex” — the one person that you had a relationship with that had a tremendous effect on your life. You put them on a pedestal, and every time you meet a [new] person you compare them to the mythological ex. And usually they are not good enough. If I look back at the event that occurred to me — the [opening] café scene — I was Troy there, but years later I was Jonathan. I beefed up the role of Raul [Jonathan’s boyfriend] and how it all connected — that’s the fiction.

GK: How did you develop Troy’s influence over Jonathan? Why do you think some guys have such power over others? ER: I think you can’t always understand why people are attracted to a person, and they have this influence over them. They call, and guys turn into Jell-O, and do whatever they say/want. I wanted to show that no matter how many times you tell him, “He’s not good for you,” no one knows what’s going on between these two people. That’s why we have all these intimate moments between Troy and Jonathan in bed — there’s a power that no one understands what’s behind that. The classic mind/heart struggle.

GK: The film suggests that relationships are all in the timing. Have you found that to be true? ER: That goes back to the idea of my mythological ex. When we broke up, he said, “It’s all about timing, synchronicity.” I said that was bullshit. If you love a person, you love a person. Over the years, I realized it does matter — where they are at, and what they want. It has to match. It doesn’t matter if you’re 26 dating a 45-year-old.

GK: What prompted you to tell the film with a prismatic approach — shifting time and points of view? ER: I wanted to show that it’s a circle. The characters are stuck and keep making the same mistakes. Troy is in a cycle. Jonathan is in one too, with different actions. The [storytelling] was another tool to emphasize that.

GK: Do you think exes can/do/will mess up a relationship? ER: [Laughs.] I think it [helps] resolve things — you get to a certain conclusion. Everyone has an epiphany. Some change has occurred. They have to move forward. It will fuck things up before you get to any conclusion.