EXCLUSIVE

The tricks list

19 minutes

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

Video/Gender & Sexuality

How a dairy farmer preached radical self-acceptance to his gay son in the 1950s

4 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Ethics

If soldiers act with unjust aggression they are as culpable as civilian criminals

6 minutes

Video/History of Technology

Breakthroughs, quackery and strange beauty: the afterlife of outmoded medical devices

5 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Neuroscience

A happy life is built on pleasures such as sex and food, but also company and variety

7 minutes

Essay/Wellbeing

Tripping in the ICU

For those suffering the trauma of intensive care, the soothing swoosh of otherworldly ambient music can be a welcome gift

Charles Fernyhough

Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

The bilingual brain: why one size doesn’t fit all

Angela Grant

Video/Cognition & Intelligence

Optical illusions show how past experience dramatically influences perception

4 minutes

Idea/Social Psychology

Dishonesty gets easier on the brain the more you do it

Neil Garrett

Essay/Neuroscience

Living in the now

She can paint, but not name a painting; learn new music without knowing a tune. Lonni Sue is teaching us much about memory.

Michael D Lemonick