Update: Twink Review, Wade Radford Interview Update: Twink Review, Wade Radford Interview
  For the first time, Wade Radford’s aacclaimed film, Twink (for which he was nominated for a best acting award), will be available in... Update: Twink Review, Wade Radford Interview

 

For the first time, Wade Radford’s aacclaimed film, Twink (for which he was nominated for a best acting award), will be available in the UK. Not only that, but it will be a special edition, with a limited run of only 500 copies. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. They will come with a certificate of authenticity, and a small number will be available to have signed. Featuring all new artwork, an essay on the film, and a postcard of Kaden, this is going to kick some butt. Preorders are available now, with the DVD being released in February.  Please note, this is a region 2 DVD, so will not work unless you have a region free player. 

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In addition to thedeluxe DVD, those in the UK can also attend Wade’s first public appearance, at a screening and Q&A on Saturday, Feb 6th.

Tickets for the screening and the preorders for the DVD can be found here: http://twinkthefilm.co.uk/

Here is my review of the film, as well as a brief interview with Wade.

 

Originally published 04/2014

If there’s resurgence in guerilla style indie filmmaking, and I have every hope there is, I’ve found the leaders. They are U.K. residents Jason Impey, and Wade Radford. Not only are they leading the charge, they’re also the architects of said resurgence. With four films in a matter of two years, and their fifth just completed, Impey and Radford show no signs of slowing down. I was fortunate enough to see a screener of their newest collaboration Twink, and it’s simply a stunning piece of work.

Filmed in a single day, with just a camera, an actor (well two, though one is an off screen voice), and improvised dialog, and made for less than $35 USD, Twink belies all the notions of what indie and low budget cinema can be. It is what cinema should be.

Twink tells the story of Kaden, a former porn actor, who abruptly left the business, and is on a downward slide. Living in a rundown (though rundown is being generous), room, with peeling wallpaper, and graffiti written across, the movie opens with a documentary filmmaker waking him up, because he’s late to start their project. Thus begins 68 minutes of Wade Radford giving an absolutely stunning performance. All too often indie movies are dragged down and made insufferable by bad acting, hackneyed writing, and directors who have a streak of self importance. Twink shuns all of that, and shows two artists at work, creating and making statements on society without bashing you over the head.

Filmed as a talking head type documentary, and shot entirely in one setting (with a brief campfire bit which doesn’t quite work, but more on that later), Twink could have been a crashing bore. Yet, Radford lights up the screen, not just with his boyish looks and charm, but a wicked smile, and gleaming eyes. You’ll want to fuck him, or smack him, and often at the same time. Radford does such a wonderful job portraying the rakish, downtrodden Kaden (real name Quinn-so he says); that you can almost believe you are watching a documentary. Impey’s direction is perfect, and lets the camera act as a fly on the wall, being obtrusive only when necessary. There is a couple of places where the style is broken, such as a drug and alcohol fueled scene where Kaden attempts to seduce the filmmaker, and at the very end, but it works well, and, the film feels cohesive.

If there’s anything I have a negative feeling about, it’s a brief scene shot around a campfire. There’s the clichéd shot of Kaden, face half hidden in shadow, as he talks about his youth and family, preceded by his reading a poem (which is from Wade Radford’s most excellent poetry collection Tough Blows of A Sleepless Universe), which is then burned, and an endless shot of the paper burning. While it was nice to get out of the cramped dwelling Kaden is reduced to living in, it also seemed unnecessary and a bit overwrought. Still, it’s a very short scene, and it is redeemed by Radford’s performance.

As the movie unfolds, you see Kaden become vulnerable, then building his walls back up. It is clear, he trusts no one, and given his past, you can’t blame him. The more he drinks and smokes weed, the more delirious he becomes, and that leads us to the inevitable conclusion. I won’t say I was surprised by the ending, as I wasn’t. However, it was still a very potent and emotional climax, and a payoff-if you can call it that-which works very, very well.

This is not an easy film to watch. Listening to Kaden’s story, his fall from grace, and bitterness against the world (seemingly blind to his own willing participation), takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. Impey and Radford, as with all of their work, pull no punches. This is raw, dangerous work. It has something to say, and says it with a big fuck you to not only the porn industry but the world of media as well.

I was not overly familiar with their work prior to Twink (though I’ve followed Radford on twitter for sometime), but if Twink and the trailers for their other work is anything to judge them by, watch out for these two.

They’re going to go for the throat and won’t be content until they rip it out. What follows below is an email interview I conducted with Wade about Twink, and his work in general. Check out their websites, buy their work, and support two guys who truly are worthy of being called artists.

  1. What was the impetus to make Twink?

Life…Some need to stand and speak where others wish not too! It’s fine to sit back and watch the world decay, we all have a choice…Just like sometimes it’s fine to open your trap and scream the truth in the most harrowing, and descriptive ways!

  1. In your twitter bio, you say you’re not a porn star, but it seems like you have a working knowledge of the industry-how much of Twink was based in reality.

    Porn stars have always fascinated me, not because of what they do- Personally I find nothing about porn at all attractive, it’s so staged and exploitative who would get off on it? But people do, and the guys in porn do interest me, what makes them tick etc. Through some of my Independent Movie titles since 2012, sex, violence and lives in deprivation have been a long running theme, unfortunately however due to some of the titles of the films, I’m asked on a regular basis whether I do porn (Boys Behind Bars, Sex Lies & Depravity)…I guess you can see this issue! So doing a film called ‘Twink’ for me was another joyful step in the wrong direction…Just how I like it ;). Twink is not based on a reality I know, but a reality I see, platforms like Twitter etc have opened up opportunities for anyone to get into porn, now I’m an open minded person, it is not for me to judge, but social networking has opened up doors for anyone, to do anything..however the education and information on such activities is not available. Will these companies be here to protect vulnerable young users from nasty industry folk when it all goes tits up…I don’t think so!!
  2. The character of Kaden/Quinn is at turns likeable, unlikeable, deranged, and charming often at the same time-how do you prepare for making someone who’s onscreen for the entire film worth wanting to watch?

Well I’m glad you personally thought he was worth watching, thank you! I set out to be experimental with the characters, much alike the films, I can never promise myself or anyone else they’ll be worth watching, just sometimes I have to hope I get lucky! I purposely don’t prepare really for a role, I can’t bare that method acting shit- If I have the opportunity to ad lib a film, the only way that is going to be natural is if it is unprepared, if not it stands the chance of coming across stagey! Problem with that is, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t! Hopefully it does for Quinn!

  1. In the DM on twitter, you said Twink was improv, did you have an idea of what you wanted to say, and a list of questions, or did you go into it cold?

    I just wanted to lay it on thick, to constantly remind the world, to remind the vulnerable that while they work hard and get exploited, some flashy dressed up tit is spending the money they earn’t while fucking! That isn’t just the case for pornography, it’s the case in most media, the guys earning the least are the one’s making the material! So I kind of went into the production with an idea of the message I wanted to get across, but mainly it was just making it up- Luckily as well as myself and Jason making the film, he also played the reviewer behind the camera! We’ve worked together a lot of times so the banter was always going to be fine, although I didn’t know what questions Jason was going to ask me, I knew it’d all be cool, we’re on the same wave length!
  2. You act, write scripts, stories, novellas, poetry, which brings you the most satisfaction?

That’s a hard one! They all come packed with their fair share of both absolute, creative fun, and pure bastard misery! I love acting it’s a freedom to create something, and doing what I do, I don’t have to put up with some studio giving me lame, commercial parts that they want to flog to the magazines and cinema’s at the highest price- I just create the characters I want to play, regardless of what people think! I make films firstly for myself (film’s I’d want to watch), and if someone else enjoys them…bonus! I know Jason feels very much the same about his own film making! I adore my story writing, (not so much script writing), I mean, writing poetry and my novella’s, that’s a real passion for me! I’m pretty good at being in my own company, so writing goes hand in hand with that- I just get to loose myself in whatever mad world I feel like creating. But all in all dependant on how I feel at the time in my life, all of them bring satisfaction, and like everything they bring me great sadness sometimes also, when something don’t go right, or I felt I could have done something better or when I end up burning the candle at both ends.

  1. When will Twink be released and how? (VOD, DVD, theatrical release)

Discussions are taking place for a world wide release, so far our other four feature films have only had releases in America & Canada on DVD & VOD, but we are in serious discussions for ‘Twink’ to have a DVD & Blu Ray release in Europe.

  1. As a writer and filmmaker, you seem to push the envelope in terms of story, themes, and shock-what propels you to do that?

    Pretty much the same as I said above ^! I could make family films and mindless horror slashers, but for me personally I will gain nothing from these, I want to make something real, the same way distributors will not dictate to me ‘what I should be doing’ you even want my film, or you don’t!
  2. If there’s one thing you want viewers to take away from Twink, what would it be?

    Firstly, as with everything we make film wise, have a look around you, a good look! Consider people’s lives, differences, backgrounds and where they may be at, try not to judge, try to understand, we all have a story… ‘Twink’ in particular though, simple… you reap what you sow!
  3. What are you working on next?

    I’m back off for a little hibernate I reckon! See if I can’t get some more writing done, and some film ideas brewing…

www.wadeford.com
www.jasonimpey.co.uk

 

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Scott Colbert

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