In Their Room (2013) |London|Berlin|San Francisco

December 5th, 2014
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director/Writer: Travis Mathews

113min  US Docudrama

So you thought INTERIOR LEATHER BAR was explicit? In some way, Travis Mathew’s latest project is even more so. Here, he takes his voyeuristic camera to reveal that the most intimate part of gay men’s lives is probably their bedroom. This is where hearts are opened and desires are divulged in a raw and sometimes moving exposé of gaydom that offers insight and food for though, even to mainstream audiences.

This latest docu-drama is cobbled together from a series of videos that have now been aired under the title IN THEIR ROOM, that wanders peripatetically through the boudoirs of eight urban men starting off in Mathews’ hometown of San Francisco back in 2009. Some men are open and candid; others more coy and clandestine; one or two even flirt openly with the camera but they all bare their souls and their bodies to provide us with fascinating thoughts centred mainly on their views of sex, relationships and love. In Berlin, the second and most provocative segment focuses on their online lives as they trawl the internet for dates and hook-ups. A couple compare notes and discuss their findings and, in common with any sexual orientation, the fear of loneliness looms ever present, surfacing as one of the most haunting fears: seemingly more worrying than contracting AIDS or other diseases.

Eventually we arrive in London for the third and most recent part filmed in 2013. Roaming through tawdry bedsits it feels that this capital city is really where gay men feel most isolated and fearful for the future. But, there again, London is the hardest, most competitive place for almost anything or anyone and this factor filters through quite alarmingly amongst the gay community. Ageism is mentioned as one of the ongoing fears of gay men. But isn’t that also a fear in the heterosexual community as relationships break-up more easily than ever before due to the pressure of modern life but also the availability of alternatives and the apparent ease of moving on with our lives due to the internet.

Whatever your orientation, Mathews provides a thought-provoking and engaging set of interviews thats probes the innermost thoughts of men stripped bare, quite literally. MT



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