Welcome to St. Sebastian Academy, the all-male boarding school where homosexuality is the norm and, when wrestling gets intimate, nobody bats an eye.
The school is the setting for a brand-new film from Swedish director Ylva Forner called The Schoolmaster Games, which is said to be an homage to high school dramas, ’90s boy bands, and, naturally, adult erotic films. But even in this so-called “queer utopia,” things are far from perfect.
The ensemble piece introduces us to a number of students and faculty, all dealing with their own thorny/horny issues. On one end, there’s a group of young friends whose preparation for the annual Winter Procession threatens to tear them apart, with lust and jealousy driving wedges between this tight-knit circle.
Elsewhere, the schoolmaster (Johan Ehn) is engaged in a BDSM-heavy affair with one of his students, but his insatiable appetite gets the best of him as he finds himself haunted by memories of past traumas.
Existing just beyond our reality, The Schoolmaster Games doesn’t play by the rules of a conventional narrative, pausing for prolonged wrestling makeout sessions, musical moments, and fourth wall breaking. And, as the official trailer makes clear, the film makes plenty of time for butts, too.
But beneath all the homoeroticism, The Schoolmaster Games has something to say about the generation gap between the younger generation and gays of a certain age. In the clip, an older gentleman comments on the vapidity of “these new guys,” who he views as much more free and fearless than he was ever allowed to be. “We thought we were building a sanctuary, but we’ve created a h*ll.”
That intergenerational disconnect is a fascinating theme to explore, and we’re certainly not mad filmmaker Forner chose to do so in the mold of an eye-popping queer exploitation drama.
In fact, that’s why Austin’s 35th Prism Film Festival has decided to program The Schoolmaster Games under its “queerzploitation” banner—part of a series of films they describe as a “grab bag of killers and kinks.”
The feature will make its North American premiere at aGLIFF’s (a.k.a the “All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival”) annual event, next Thursday on August 25.
For more information on the film and festival, head to the Prism site here. Below, you can watch an extended clip from the The Schoolmaster Games, which features plenty of singlet-on-singlet action.