On the examined sex life: a meticulous chronicle of desire and self-knowledge
Deftly crafted, frank and frequently funny, The Tricks List by the US director Brian Bolster chronicles some of the myriad sexual encounters of a gay New York City-based professional. Obsessed with list-keeping, the man keeps track of all the countries he has visited, all the Shakespeare productions he has seen, all the books people have recommend to him – and every sexual partner he has ever had. Now middle-aged, his tally is nearing 800 across a list that spans a notebook, many Post-its and a BlackBerry file, which is where he continues to add new entries. Thumbing through the list, he recounts several highlights, including a daredevilish rendezvous hanging out of a high Empire State Building window, and an unusual hook-up with a recovering sex addict. But the list is not merely about exploits or raunchy anecdotes: citing Socrates’s dictum that the unexamined life is not worth living, the man explains that memorialising each partner through his list brings dignity to his sexual proclivities. Offering an unexpected, personal perspective on our data-obsessed times, Bolster’s film is a warm-hearted portrait of a life lived without compromise, with a surprisingly touching, universal message at its centre.
Director: Brian Bolster
Executive Producer: Thomas Harrington
Editor: Anthony Sherin