If you’re looking for a Latino French New Wave-inspired film about queer male identity, Daniel Armando‘s Daddy’s Boy is sure to be right up your alley. This dreamy black-and-white collage of vignettes follows a group of men that, as its synopsis suggests, “leave boyhood behind and shed more than just their clothes and inhibitions.”Armando’s men are sensitive and assertive, wear heels and cowboy hats, display tenderness and strength in equal measure. Exploring father-son relationships within the world of New York City hustlers, porn stars, and the like, Daddy’s Boy is a steamy meditation on gay male sexuality. In one of it most indelible scenes, for example, we see a bearded male dancer (James Koroni) rehearsing shirtless in heels, lovingly exhibiting and admiring his movements in the mirrors around him, forcing us to ogle and lust after his body.
As Armando told Remezcla when the film was still making the festival rounds a few years ago, he enjoyed making these bodies available in all their beauty while never wanting the suggestive nudity to be just for show. “Whenever things are very sexual, they’re not very sexy. The one sexual scene — the blowjob scene — you kind of don’t see it,” he pointed out, “And that, I think makes it more erotic.” That eroticism is on full display throughout the film which celebrates the male form even as it asks audiences to reframe what it is we mean when we talk about masculinity.
Daddy’s Boy is now streaming on Amazon Prime.