„(…) Antonio da Silva’s Mates, a pornographic film that aggressively equates narrative and sexuality; a very particular kind of sexuality that complicates our relationships to images we desire and images of ourselves in the digital age. (…) This film obliterates personality and particularity in service of a structural representation of contemporary gay male sexuality and its relation to normalized
(and masculinized) narrative structures in the west.
These bodies outwardly represent a kind of wealth, a fullness in which a person has the means, discipline, the work ethic-and the leisure time-to perfect his body. It is a clean-cut, middle class body, symbolizing the final embourgeoisement of the gay community and its related aspirations. The values of the marketplace rule the central circles of gay life, perhaps to a disturbing degree, where the body is advertising and “knowing the price of everything” is a main principle of doing business.
But taken as a whole, this film is not as subversive as it is simply transgressive: it’s primary gesture is showing how masculine sexuality and narrativity are mutually constitutive and secondarily shows us the limits of the way mainstream contemporary gay male sexuality functions in terms of race, body type, age. It suggests that there may be more options, but does not represent those…but it is not that sort of film.“