"Having lost my uncle to AIDS in 1993, I never thought sex was a "good" thing. In college I discovered that a lot of my gay friends, despite their experience, had similar angst surrounding sex. After Michael introduced me to the haunting work of Serge Lutens he and I became obsessed with this idea that in some utopian queer future/past, beautiful guilt-free sex existed. The film took on this aesthetic duality of 1978 meets 2016 and told something like a reverse Adam & Eve story wherein someone takes a bite of forbidden fruit and instead of then being shrouded in fear and shame, they were exalted and changed...metamorphized. And that was really the truth, that I had been changed, mostly for good, over the years by these strangers that I knew intimately for a moment. That was a beautiful thing to realize and the real gift from making this film."
Creative duo CONDO presents it's first film, a hopeful meditation on the transformational potentiality of casual encounters. In a culture of increasingly transactional sex, this film looks back to a time when men cruised each other in public spaces with coded eye contact and hustlers were just "young men". The gaze of one in particular (Diego Villarreal) is a powerful change agent for the reclusive, closeted figure in a shadowed sedan (Lida Fox) in search of something. The shroud, a symbol of ultimate beauty, likens more of a death mask la la Thomas Mann's Death In Venice, and is almost spiritually removed by the reversal of the gaze. Now, with devices as our non-confrontational liaison for sexual exploration, are our physical connections fraught or are they still capable of deeper influence? Inspired in equal parts by Serge Luten's dramatic tenure at Shiseido and Jean Genet's seminal film Un Chant D'amour, Theoria submits that thoughtful vision has the power to unlock deep truths in an antiquated culture of shame.
"According to one etymological hypothesis, Theoria, which is derived from a version of thea (seeing) and hora (care, solicitude, urgency) implies careful or exact seeing, that is, the metaphysical ability to see beyond all robes, veils and coverings through to the thing itself in its exact particulates".
- Mario Perniola, "Between Clothing and Nudity"