Most people probably have no idea who Francois Sagat is, but in the gay (or gay male) world, his chiseled, classical physique has made him a superstar. With his unusual scalp tattoo, his appearance in Titan Media films propelled him to the top of the porn world, garnering him a loyal fan-base in the process and even winning the 2007 Gay AVN Male Performer of the Year, the gay porn version of the Oscars.
Sagat, released by TLA Releasing, is an intimate look at the man behind the camera and examines the mind that controls Francois Sagat’s world famous body. Through candid interviews with Francois himself and his associates in the porn world (plus a brief interview with his sister), behind the scenes footage of him working on set, and some of his own personal video footage, a portrait emerges of a man who sees himself as much more than a porn-star, but a serious artist. The film explores issues that you might expect from a film about the adult entertainment business like hyper-masculinity and stereotypes, things performers do to “endure” long scenes, and how porn is a front for many stars to be high-paid prostitutes. But, by far the most interesting parts of the film are those fleeting glimpses we get of the demons that haunt Francois Sagat and drove him to create what is (according to his own admission) a carefully manufactured persona and into the adult entertainment business to begin with.
Through various interview clips a picture emerges of a man who was deeply scarred by childhood bullying because of perceived effeminacy, someone who believes he is incapable of being loved and of loving someone in return, and is deeply insecure about his balding. He describes how after meticulously crafting the perfect, masculine persona he was left feeling empty and disillusioned, and that he prefers to be alone. Yes, the images in between are VERY, VERY sexy, but no doubt the value of this film is in the brief snippets we get into the psyche of a man that is just as complex and aloof as the haunting stares of the cats he frequently sketches.
My only complaint is that it is too brief. At only 41 minutes, we barely seem to scratch the surface of what makes this man in main-stream adult entertainment standout as so unique and artistic. The 80 minutes of bonus features offer some great, intimate visuals such as a full-length shower scene that is VERY hot, as well as some home videos, but by far the most interesting is the “Silly Interview” in which he answers 24 questions- some serious, some not.
In Sagat, Francois repeatedly describes himself, and gay porn as acting, a performer on a grand stage, and after watching it I couldn’t help but wonder if even this was all an act, or just one more of his performance pieces. Just as he carefully crafted his on-camera persona, was he doing the same thing with his behind the camera persona? I’m uncertain, but I definitely enjoyed the show.
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::: Renowned For Sound Technical Director and Film Reviewer ::: Robert is an IT geek, movie fan and part-time movie reviewer/editor. Robert also looks after the ‘behind the scenes’ technical elements of Renowned For Sound.