What saves the film is that Crotty seems to genuinely love his characters: Their marriage is failing and their teenage daughter, Roxy, is moody and resentful; in the opening scene, she punches Roger, and he falls, bleeding, to the ground. The two films seemed to bookend the spectrum of dumb queer politics, with the notion that homosexuality is inherently radical and politically righteous on one end, and the queer embrace of bourgeois lifestyle fetishism on the other. One program featured two tellingly irreverent gay porn films: Everyone is always on the verge of hitting someone or bursting into tears, only to fall into the arms of whoever scorned them in an earlier scene. Dan Sullivan characterized their association in Film Comment this way: Eventually, in the summer section of the film, Roger and the other spouses fly to Djibouti to see their husbands. What the directors do seem to have in common is a boyish love for subversion and satire, particularly around queer narratives. Crotty, the oldest, is
It may be fair to assume that their grouping is just as much social as it is artistic. Serendipitously, it always turns out, to gratify yourself sexually by imposing your desires on another person is always to gratify that person as well. All four look like they would get carded at a bar. Fort Buchanan is shot and plotted somewhat like porn. Eventually, in the summer section of the film, Roger and the other spouses fly to Djibouti to see their husbands. Frank rebuffs him again, leaving Roger on the dance floor, bathed in red light, as an aggressive techno song plays: They live in high-design, modernist cabins in complicated shapes; they drink wine and complain while lounging in fields or crouching beside bonfires. Desperate, Roger shaves his head and dons a pair of ridiculous tight cut-off shorts, and gets drunk trying to entice his husband at a rooftop party. At this, the woman flies into an indignant monologue about the impracticality of monogamy, especially there, amid the loneliness of the army base. She stops in front of the wooden pen where her neighbor, a young man, is tending his goats. In How to Do Things with Pornography, the feminist theorist Nancy Bauer posits that the plotted world of porn operates according to a social logic in which all desire is reciprocated immediately, and with equal intensity. The spouses sleep with one another, miss their husbands, and worry about their children in a series of brief plot episodes, in which the emotional stakes are repeatedly raised to their peak and then promptly discarded. When they fuck, they do it in a perfectly stylized minimalist bedroom, in a crisp white light that reminded me of a J. The man is beautiful, with Schwarzeneggerian muscles accentuated by a grey tank top. It would be easy to think that a film like Fort Buchanan would wind up being a little too smart for its own good—that it would betray the kind of self-satisfaction that often sours a satire. Everyone is always on the verge of hitting someone or bursting into tears, only to fall into the arms of whoever scorned them in an earlier scene. The two films seemed to bookend the spectrum of dumb queer politics, with the notion that homosexuality is inherently radical and politically righteous on one end, and the queer embrace of bourgeois lifestyle fetishism on the other. What saves the film is that Crotty seems to genuinely love his characters: They eye each other while the woman performs a series of bouncy stretches. But Roger seems unconcerned when the women decide, moments later, to entertain themselves with a competition to see which of them can sleep with his daughter first. Dan Sullivan characterized their association in Film Comment this way: It is this logic that makes sex so frankly and easily omnipresent in the porn world. Crotty made the short film Visionary Iraq with Abrantes in , and Carver and Schmidt co-wrote and directed their debut, The Unity of Small Things in ; the remaining links between the four are less clear. The camerawork leans heavily on voyeuristic long takes, and outbursts of intensity between the characters, sexual or otherwise, are spontaneous and reciprocated with little prompting. One program featured two tellingly irreverent gay porn films:
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