Ask Any Buddy – BFI Flare Film Festival 2020 Review

Our online culture has definitely made seeking sex a lot easier to seek out. With the rise of Grinder, Tinder, and porn sites, it seems that it is easier to access casual courting.

This was not always the case and during the seventies, most men would find adult films and sex in all-male cinemas.

Directed by Evan Purchell, Ask Any Buddy holds nothing back in this kaleidoscopic portray of gay culture through two defining decades: The 70s and the 80s. Piecing together footage from camp comedies to erotic romances as well as protest documentaries, Ask Any Buddy paints a highly charged piece about this long-forgotten but formative culture.

Ask Any Buddy is a graphic film that blends these different types of movies (and a lot of nudity,) to bring the spectrum of 70s and 80s gay way of living to now. Provocative images parade around the screen but somehow tell a brilliant story within its titillation.  The films utilised showcase aspects of the time including cruising, gay bars, and glory holes and it is informative in perhaps the most inventive way.

American Genre Film Archive ASK ANY BUDDY

As a queer woman, it certainly feels as though I am not the exact key demographic here and its appeal is lost with the more graphic images on show here. That’s not to say that people cannot enjoy this film (except if you had a more prudish nature.) It just may sit kindly with people’s sensibilities. But what is art if it is not to provoke extreme reactions and underneath all of the high-sexualised and naked latter

However, Ask Any Buddy is evocative time capsule. It is an intriguing watch for a world that has Porn and Sex at the swipe of a fingertips. Purchell brings to light the exultation and titillation of an underground gay culture making progress in the shadows and under the disco balls.

One of final scenes is one of naked and crazed jubilation in a heady magnificent climax which sums up this film perfectly.

Ask Any Buddy played as part of BFI Flare Film Festival


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