A black and white, fantasy-like recreation of high-society gay men during the Harlem Renaissance, with archival footage and photographs intercut with a story. A wake is going on, with ... See full summary »
Frank Ripploh is a bit of a rascal: he's a bearded and shaggy-haired teacher, and he's gay with a very active sex life and an interest in making films. He keeps his personal life and ... See full summary »
Reminiscent of Sunset Boulevard, Hustler White transposes the action from the silver screen's old movie backlots to contemporary male prostitution and the porn industry. Said to be an homage to classic Hollywood cinema.
The French naval ship, Le Vengeur, based out of Marseille, has just docked in Brest for an extended stay. The ship's captain, Lieutenant Seblon, can see the passion in his men, which can as... See full summary »
An unseen woman recites Shakespeare's sonnets - fourteen in all - as a man wordlessly seeks his heart's desire. The photography is stop-motion, the music is ethereal, the scenery is often ... See full summary »
Visually Fascinating Sometimes, Ambitious Always. Period Piece? Yes.
The first thing that struck me about the imagery in this film was how much the art of Pierre et Gilles owes to it. Oversaturated color, pink, blue, and yellow gels, and every object gilded and bejeweled within an inch of its life. Add chiffon, satin, and skin-tight chinos, and almost any still from this movie could be misconstrued as Pierre et Gilles.
As much as those French artists have borrowed from PN, the film itself reaches for a lot of gay iconography of the time. The street scenes seemed to be trying to animate Paul Cadmus canvases, e.g., with a pinch of Tom of Finland thrown in.
Another reviewer mentions that while the film is dated 1971, images from it appeared as early as 1964. I was a teenager in 1964, and the first thing that struck me was how early 60s Bobby Kendall (the lead) looked vis a vis hairstyle and clothes. And the props, such as they are, would now be called Hollywood Regency, and that wouldn't be far wrong. From our current perspective, I would say it's a good look back at what openly gay men looked like--or aspired to--immediately before Stonewall, and before the hippie aesthetic took over the 60s.
Correct, the film is free-form, nonlinear, yet seems to be trying to get some point across. I'm not exactly sure what that point is. It's pretty much fill-in-the-blank, it's so generalized. Something about gayness and self-revelation, but perhaps it was too early in the century for the filmmaker to be able to give us something with more emotional impact.
This isn't especially a good film, but it is an ambitious one. And it's early in gay culture. For that reason, I think it deserves to be seen, but keep your expectations low. If it had been trimmed by at least half of its 110 minutes it probably would be more highly respected today as a work of art. But then a 45 minute film wouldn't have made it into the art houses of the 70s....
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