The Toilers And The Wayfarers

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Looks like the once-fresh New Queer Cinema is starting to get a little moldy around the edges. Director Keith Froelich's clunky debut feature follows a trio of young gay men -- wayfarers at heart -- trapped in the small, German-American town of New Ulm, MN. Phillip (Andrew Woodhouse) is the first to escape: After his advances are rebuffed by the panicky...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Looks like the once-fresh New Queer Cinema is starting to get a little moldy around the edges. Director Keith Froelich's clunky debut feature follows a trio of young gay men -- wayfarers at heart -- trapped in the small, German-American town of New Ulm, MN. Phillip

(Andrew Woodhouse) is the first to escape: After his advances are rebuffed by the panicky Dieter (Matt Klemp), his desirable but confused high-school buddy, Phillip heads for Minneapolis and a life of prostitution. Dieter, meanwhile, starts hanging around Udo (Ralf Shirg), a slightly older, openly

gay German immigrant. After a humiliating spanking at the hands of his homophobic father, Dieter begins to have second thoughts about Phillip, and he and Udo hit the road in search of their old friend and themselves. The film's German-American backdrop lends this rather flimsy story a certain

distinctive flavor (much of the dialogue is in German), and given its minuscule budget, it all looks pretty good: Jim Tittle's elegant black-and-white cinematography captures the requisite moods, isolation and loneliness. But whatever Froelich hoped to gain by using a young, inexperienced cast is

undermined by their limited acting skills, and all too often it's hard to figure out who or what his wobbly script is meant to be about. Being able to say that this is just another indie picture about good-looking young men coming to terms with their sexuality is really a sign of remarkable

progress, and perhaps one shouldn't take that for granted. But surely there are other tales to tell.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Looks like the once-fresh New Queer Cinema is starting to get a little moldy around the edges. Director Keith Froelich's clunky debut feature follows a trio of young gay men -- wayfarers at heart -- trapped in the small, German-American town of New Ulm, MN… (more)

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