One of the frankest and seemingly real movies about male prostitution and desperation opened in the Bay Area this weekend.
“Sauvage/Wild,” which started Saturday (May 4) at Landmark’s SF Clay Theatre and Berkeley’s Shattuck, follows the story of Leo.
Leo is a sexy free-spirited 22-year-old that is homeless and literally lacks direction or guidance. Leo knows there’s something more to life, but he doesn’t know how to get it and doesn’t seem to have the drive either or, sometimes, can’t tell when an opportunity presents itself.
Instead, he is content in dealing with the sexual desires of other men, all-the-while lusting after his best friend on the street Ahd (Eric Bernard) who may or may not be gay (or admit to it) but he at least Ahd knows he needs to think of his future.
Director/writer Camille Vidal-Naquet is a fresh face in the movie world and it shows. This story is a familiar one but her pacing, set-ups and dialog is real and almost seems to be a documentary as it shows not only the seedy side of hustling but the fantasy aspects as well which can be fun and sexy.
Leo, well played by Felix Maritaud, never knows what kind of trick he’s going to get whenever he gets into his customer’s car. Is it a sweet man that would be happy just to cuddle or it someone whose turn on is the shame at hurt Leo.
Maritaud brings a lot of depth to his character and makes him real, natural and vulnerable. For someone who gives you no reason to care about him, Maritaud’s Leo is likable and some of his bad decisions affect the audience.
It’s easy to see why “Sauvage/Wild” has done well in film festivals as it’s a frankness and realness to flawed characters we learn to like. Get tickets and more information on where the movie is screening at www.landmarktheatres.com.