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WATCH: 12 dudes take part in an experiment on sex, death, and bondage, in auteur director’s new film

Image Credit: ‘Apostles,’ Breaking Glass Pictures

For a film ostensibly about the “exploration of death,” there sure are a lot of naked dudes in this first-look trailer for Apostles… So, what’s going on here, exactly?

Hong Kong director Scud is known for provocative, atmospheric, and oftentimes graphic films about the queer experience, and his latest feature, Apostles, promises to be no different.

Its story concerns itself with a scholar who claims to be an apostle to ancient philosophers Socrates and Plato. Nearing the end of his own life, he—along with his wife and his ex-partner’s family—recruits 12 young men to join them at their gorgeous, secluded manor to take part in an intimate project about death. (Sounds like the messiest season of The Bachelor ever, if you ask us….)

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Here’s where we’ll share part of the film’s official synopsis, because it’s a doozy: “Philosophical discussions aside, the practices encompass climbing the volcanic summit of Mt. Fuji, bondage, sexual activities, and even living sacrifice. Throughout it all, these thrilling experiences are filmed, leaving everyone involved facing life changing revelations.” Whoa.

Come to think of it, “little deaths”—la petite mort—is a phrase often used to describe an orgasm, so we’re starting to feel Scud knows what he’s doing here. There’s an intriguing connection between sex and death, and it’s one that Apostles sets out to investigate through in the filmmaker’s typically thought-provoking, mesmerizing fashion.

Image Credit: ‘Apostles,’ Breaking Glass Pictures

Intriguingly, the film will be one of Scud’s last. Earlier this year, the director announced his retirement, sharing that Apostles and Bodyshop (which he filmed first, but is awaiting a release date) will be two of his final features. In other words, it seems fitting that Apostles deals so thoroughly with mortality, even as it continues to dabble in some of Scud’s favorite recurring themes: Love, lust, and the male form.

Apostles will be released by indie distributor Breaking Glass Pictures, which is also responsible for bringing some of the filmmaker’s previous works to American audiences. In a press statement, a spokesperson for the distributor said, “Unique, bold, original, and always challenging, Scus has always been a visionary filmmaker and his latest work is his most daring yet.” And that’s saying something!

Apostles arrives on digital/VOD platforms on December 13. Watch the trailer below…

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