Exteriors (2023)

“We are not the sum of our losses.”

Exteriors, a new release from Diamond in the Rough Films, certainly has a chill about it as human nature gets explored, developed, massaged, and exploited.  The movie is achingly precise with its emotional intentions, but settling into its three-course meal as former lovers are reunited in unexpected ways, are a series of coincidences and consequences which will leave you wanting more from the pen (and promise) of Writer/Director Mark Schwab, who continues to earn the praise when it comes to New Queer Cinema.  Perhaps that chill is owed to the atmosphere of the “sum of our losses” ruminations here, but these stories don’t disappoint.

"another class act.  It doesn’t disappoint in any of its thematic handlings"

Whatever the reason behind the effortless cool of this collection of coincidences, the team behind this film should feel proud.  If powerful stories of love and lust are your cups of tea, Exteriors has your back. 

The movie opens with the story of “Wyatt”, who is helping his friend, Logan, with new headshots.  Everything can be made better with apps these days and Wyatt helps his friend out with the task of impressing his new boyfriend, which Wyatt is both interested in and jealous of.  As they walk, they talk about Logan’s new beau.  Does Wyatt know him?  We can’t help but wonder. 

The conversation is deep, impressive in its leanings, and - as it was shot on location - feels very real, letting the atmosphere of the park open up the details of Logan’s new fling.  That’s the impressive thing with Exteriors: the film is professional and feels very real; eliciting raw emotions from us as the conversations reveal their true intentions as the story develops.  Prepare to be taken aback by where this lead-off narrative goes as connections are twisted into the imperfect perfections that they are.

The story of “Jason” follows and it is a sweet rekindling of lost and lapsed loves as a pool boy discovers that a friend of the renter of the house he is servicing is a former fling.  Does he recognize him?  Well, barely.  It was a one off moment back when Jason was carefree, long hair and all.  What follows in their eventual friendship is a stalled car, a lot of conversation about where they met and why and how, and a solid atmosphere where the past 8 years are explored, detailed, and analyzed.  Love is a funny thing, you know?  And its forms are detailed here expertly over California’s Russian River, but . . . there’s a lingering “what if” hanging about in the air which delivers with one hell of an emotional bump as situations are sorted out.Exteriors (2023)

The final story in the collection is “Dr. Lesh” and it delivers an interesting and unethical patient/therapist relationship.  The details here I want to brush over because of the expert handling of the relationship and the ins and outs of the relationship, but this narrative is primed for discussion - especially in the modern world as it happens more than it doesn’t.  The conversations are real once again and rippling with tension and terrific performances as things dip dark.

Exteriors is another class act.  It doesn’t disappoint in any of its thematic handlings.  Everything works to create a unique vision of Queer cinema.  It is honest and refreshingly handled.  The film will debut at this year's Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival as well as the Seattle Queer Film Fest before it goes out onto streaming platforms.

The film stars Jacob Betts, Matthew Bridges, Michael Champlin, Jose Fernando,Christian Gabriel, Julian Goza, Diogo Hausen, Peter Stickles, and Pano Tsaklas.  While not a straight sequel to Brotherly Lies, Exteriors expands on some of the same themes and doubles-down on Schwab’s intentions to present thoughtful responses to the questions which hang about in the air after a relationship loss.  Humans, regardless of their sexual orientations, are a curious species, after all.

4/5 stars

Director's Note: we have entered Exteriors into Palm Springs Cinema Diverse (and have received encouraging words from the film festival since they programmed and awarded Brotherly Lies) but have not received official confirmation that we are in just yet. If we do get in, it will be the world premiere. The same is true of Seattle Queer but that would be in October if we get into that one.

Film Details

Exteriors (2023)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
80 mins
: Mark Schwab
Mark Schwab
Jacob Betts; Matthew Bridges; Michael Champlin
: Romance | Drama
3 Coincidences. 3 Stories. 3 Consequences.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Diamond in the Rough Films
Official Site: https://www.ditrfilms.com/b/3B98E386-C8BD-43DE-B3C9-7AE15AD9CB80/Exteriors
Release Date:
September 13, 2023
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Three interconnected stories, with each story involving an extraordinary coincidence centered around a returning character from Brotherly Lies.


Exteriors (2023)