Friday, June 17, 2011

The Advocate for Fagdom

Filmmaker Bruce LaBruce
The Advocate for Fagdom, dir. Angélique Bosio, 2011 France, 92 min. 
Wed. 6/22, 7:00p @ Roxie, ADVO22R

Canadian-born filmmaker Bruce LaBruce is certainly controversial, mixing a hardcore porno sensibility (often including actual porn using scenes from the same film shoot) with slasher horror film imagery and erotic images of skinheads, including Nazi skinheads. Even just the titles of some of LaBruce’s films are deliberately provocative: The Raspberry Reich, Bruce and Pepper Wayne Gacy’s Home Movies (a reference to serial killer John Wayne Gacy), and A Case for the Closet, for example.

A scene from Bruce LaBruce’s 2008
film Otto; or, Up with Dead People.
Personally, quite apart from political considerations, I find most of Bruce LaBruce’s work aesthetically unappealing. I don’t like horror films, most especially bloody slasher films, and I find the skinhead look an offense against fashion even without swastikas. However, it is an ines­cap­able truth that Bruce LaBruce, by so aggressively pushing (and often crossing) the boundaries, has greatly expanded the realm in which filmmakers, and particularly queer filmmakers, can operate. The Advocate for Fagdom gives us a good look at the impact Bruce LaBruce has made, without requiring us to sit through an entire film, much less his entire œuvre. The interview segments with Bruce LaBruce are well done, interspersed with interviews with other queer icons including John Waters, Bruce Benderson, and Gus Van Sant. Watch carefully and you’ll even see Santino Rice, one of the judges from RuPaul’s Drag Race, on the set of L.A. Zombie (screening at Frameline35, Thursday, June 23, 9:30 p.m. at the Victoria, LAZO23V). Recommended, and highly recommended for any serious student of queer film.

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