GERONTOPHILIA: A new romantic comedy by a cult director A Queer Auteur Landed First Screening

Entertainment Press Releases Wednesday July 22, 2015 14:03
Bangkok--22 Jul--Scala Lido

‘Bruce LaBruce’ is a Canadian filmmaker that is not very well known here in Thailand but his reputation as a provocative queer auteur who explores themes of sexual and interpersonal transgression against cultural norms has made him an important figure in underground queer cinema for decades. When it comes to discussing each of his films, there is always a very thin line between interpreting it as an indie movie or a pornographic film.

Prior to making film, Bruce LaBruce was a writer, photographer and artist who spearheaded ‘Queercore Movement’ in the 80s as an act against society’s disapproval of LGBT communities. LaBruce’s filmmaking style is marked by a blend of explicitly pornographic depictions of sex with conventional narrative, as well as an interest in extreme topics like sexual fetish or zombie sexuality. Labruce’s work might be dismissed as disturbing taboos by mainstream audiences but in queer cinema he is truly an icon.

Perhaps all these are some of the reasons why Museum of Modern Art New York (MoMA) has, in April, decided to conduct a retrospective of all of Bruce LaBruce’s films. And the movie chosen to be the opening film for the exhibit was his latest film called “GERONTOPHILIA”, a winner of Grand Jury Award at Milan International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2014 and a LaBruce film that surprises critics and his fans by being a romantic comedy that sexually explicit scene is nowhere to be found.

Bruce LaBruce discussed his work in GERONTOPHILIA that “My films, no matter how extreme or pornographic, have always had an intense strain of romanticism running through them. Whether it’s the relationship between a hairdresser and a skinhead, or a hustler and a john, the attachments are emotional and romantic, even when there is a very specific and sometimes extreme and taboo fetish involved. So I’ve always played somewhat ironically with rom-com conventions. With GERONTOPHILIA I wanted to engage these conventions even further, and with more subtle sense of irony. I also always like to work within the conventions of a particular genre and somehow push it to some extreme or unexpected territory.”

The unexpected territory, as Bruce mentioned, for GERONTOPHILIA, would be the fact that he plays with yet again another sexual taboo – the love or sexual preference for the elderly, a direct meaning of the word ‘gerontophilia’. GERONTOPHILIA tells a story of a young boy named ‘Lake’ who one day discovers that he has an unusual attraction for the elderly. Fate brings him to land a job at a nursing home where he develops a tender relationship with an old man leading to a sort-of road trip romantic tale that is as fun to watch as rom-com movies from Hollywood.

“The plot of GERONTOPHILIA might sound a little strange to some but the fun part of watching this film is to get to learn which way it will go for these two different characters in the end,” says Thapanan Wichitratthakarn, an independent film distributor who previously brought in a Brazilian gay romantic THE WAY HE LOOKS. “GERONTOPHILIA is clearly a romantic comedy set in a different context from those Hollywood films. But to say the least, I think the film is very cute and lovely – words I have never thought I would choose to describe Bruce LaBruce’s film. And perhaps that’s why I like it and want everyone to see.”

GERONTOPHILIA will be in limited release only at Lido Siam Square from September 10, 2015.
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