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'Boys Briefs 4'

Pity the poor horndog who sees the titillating title Boys Briefs 4 (and the ripped rent-boy on the poster) and expects some naughty fun, only to get this glum collection of festival-circuit flotsam. The six shorts in this mostly dire anthology, culled from as far afield as Germany and Australia, focus on male hustlers: The catch ranges from pretentious (Welby Ings's Boy, an oppressively arty study of small-town rot) to pseudo-sophisticated (Bastian Schweitzer's inadvertent Eurotrash parody Gigolo), touching on familiar tropes of transaction, pay-to-play alienation, and the hardships of street life without transcending them. The standout is Mary Feuer's Rock Bottom, in which a crack whore and his pudgy, lonesome trick descend a mutual spiral of self-negating need: With its grainy, garish night shooting and sexualized unease, it's as grimy as the titular pun. As a whole, though, the package is more cold fish than rough trade.


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