At a SXSW brunch hosted by the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival (AGLIFF), we ran into gay director Daniel Laabs whose dramatic film “Easy” is playing in the shorts program.
In a video interview with Towleroad, Laabs explained why his films’ exploration of athletic homophobia is relevant now more than ever.
Jeffrey’s skill and his brother’s new girlfriend have created distance between the two siblings. Jeffrey spends most of his time either practicing alone in the gym or admiring YouTube videos of hunky Olympian Danell Leyva. But he soon realizes that not everyone appreciates his sport’s athleticism and grace. And their thoughtless comments could damage Jeffrey’s love of the sport (and himself) forever.
Laabs works in a realistic minimalist style that uses light to set each scene’s emotional pitch — the gritty dimmed fluorescents of a subway car as the two brothers converse in private and the incandescent glow of a campfire as Jeffrey broods. His script also features succinct dialogue with a brooding yet passionate performance from young actor Brennen Bliss (who is himself an award-winning gymnast).
See Easy's trailer and interview with the director AFTER THE JUMP…