The Last Lovers on Earth (film)
The film was shot on digital video in Boston with mostly local actors. Ortleb has described the film as "my student film" and a "talky, political, dark comedy about the state of the gay community after two decades of AIDS." (Boston Globe 2004)
The film follows three stories in a rotating format. The following plot synopses are directly taken from Ortleb himself (Oxman 2005).
Bruschetta on the Beach
Eddie is a gay man who is cursed by extreme ugliness. He moves to New York hoping that the gay community will give him the love that he was denied all his life. Instead, no one will have sex with him. He never finds a lover even for fifteen minutes. In his first few years in Manhattan, he figures that 1.2 million gay men have rejected him. His luck gets worse when he gets severely ill and is diagnosed with AIDS – even though he has never had sex with a single soul. The diagnosis changes his luck, because only when he is thought to have AIDS is he loved and honored.
Daddy's Little Clown
A gay man grows up in a family in which the father is obsessed with clowns. His greatest hope is that one of his children will one day become a clown. When his youngest son tells him that he is going to become a "gay" rather than a clown, the father is crushed. Only when the gay son later becomes a leading AIDS activist in New York and his parents see his wild, over-the-top AIDS activist behavior on television, do his parents realize that he has not disappointed them, for he has truly become one of the great clowns of the twentieth century. The son’s behavior and leadership is so out-of-control and loony that he turns AIDS research and activism into a three-ring circus. With his loud, hysterical and menacing antics, he succeeds in getting all the AIDS activists, the AIDS research establishment, and the government to do his bidding. Tragically, he falls victim to his own ridiculous clown act.
The Last Lovers on Earth
[This story] begins with the premise that the AIDS epidemic is over and all gay men are dead. All Hell breaks loose when two gay men are found to be still alive in Cape May, New Jersey. The entire AIDS research establishment suddenly realizes that the historic AIDS research effort has not been a complete success. The two gay men are invited to appear on a leading talk show to explain why they are still alive and every other gay man in the world is dead. Billions of viewers tune in to hear them explain that they have survived by not doing a single thing that the government’s AIDS researchers or the AIDS activists have told them to do. Shortly after their appearance on the talk show, they are shot to death by a disgruntled AIDS researcher. Thus, it seems that the AIDS epidemic is finally over.