Fourplay director Kyle Henry talks about the exploration of sex and intimacy as a narrative
In director Kyle Henry's latest film, Fourplay, nothing is off limits, sexually speaking. But this isn't some cheap porn flick: The movie delves into the oft-missed intimate details of a sexual narrative as the characters in four vignettes face many personal challenges.
Paul Soileau as sex worker Aliya in Fourplay.
In advance of the film's opening this Friday, March 15, at the Sie FilmCenter, Henry spoke with Westword about the frank nature of Fourplay -- without giving too much away, of course.
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Westword: How did these four stories come together? Was there one vignette in particular that was the impetus for this film?
Kyle Henry: I think the impetus for the film really was meeting the inspiration for "San Francisco," the final segment. It was a real cross-dressing sex worker in San Francisco who goes by the name of Chloe. I was nervous about meeting Chloe -- Chloe was an old friend of Jessica Hedrick, the screenwriter for the first vignette, when she was a women's studies major.
She said, you know, this person is a real film lover, and I think you two would get along -- and by the way, he's a sex worker. I have to say, I did have preconceptions for meeting him -- but when I met him, he just had such interesting stories, and really subverted a lot of stereotypes that I had about what he did. He's someone who's really articulate; he's someone who believes what he's doing is a useful job, a calling of some kind.
And I think for me, the inspiration was to subvert these notions that we have about sex and to tell these stories with sex as a major narrative element. That's why we use the comedy, the drama, the tears and the pain of something we all participate in.
Was there a particular reason for the order of the four stories? I was startled by the opening vignette, "Skokie" -- bestiality isn't often so, um, openly shown.
You know what? We're telling you what kind of film you're in, right off the bat. If you're going to be startled by "Skokie," just wait until you get to "Tampa" [laughs]. Believe it or not, we give you a somewhat gentle introduction to what you're going to see later.
For sure, though, we always wanted it to end with the "San Francisco" section, because for me, I tell people, if you're going to risk coming out to see an adult film, I didn't want to drop you off at the curb and abandon you. I wanted to reward you and leave you leaving the theater, hopefully, with a good feeling about the adventurous stories we're telling.
The characters may have shame and be going through shameful events and actions, but at the end, they've learned something from their experiences -- like we all do.