Synopsis by Nicole Gagne
This haunting black-and-white short, an early effort from filmmaker Gregory J. Markopoulos, was shot in his native Toledo, OH, and features his parents and siblings. Flowers of Asphalt can be seen as an allegory for a young gay man's coming out, with the handsome (and usually shirtless) son getting ready to leave the house, despite the disapproving gaze of his mother and father. The film's climax takes place in the woods, with the young man dressed in Japanese garb and participating in an unexplained, homoerotic initiation ceremony, carrying a long candle and kneeling before an older man. The film's title is taken from the name of a legendary lost manuscript by the 19th century American writer Stephen Crane, which dealt with the then-taboo subject of boy prostitution.