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Queering the May-December courtship of Harold and Maude, iconic provocateur Bruce LaBruce (L.A. Zombie) returns with this subversively tender tale of the intimate bond between a teenage nursing home attendant and an elderly resident.
A sharp, subversive take on the mainstreaming
of gay culture courtesy of one
of queer cinema's most upfront and provocative
filmmakers, Bruce LaBruce's
Gerontophilia may also be his most tender,
romantic film to date.
The hero, Lake (Pier-Gabriel Lajoie), has
been in a straight relationship with Désirée
(2011 TIFF Rising Star Katie Boland) for
a while. But lately he finds himself paying
special attention to some of the older male
clientele where he works (reluctantly) as
a lifeguard. When one of the swimmers
nearly drowns, Lake rescues him, but in
a manner that's, well, a little too enthusiastic —
and Lake must finally acknowledge
his own desires. Luckily for him, his mother
gets him hired at a seniors' home, where
he meets Mr. Peabody (Walter Borden).
Sparks fly — and soon Peabody and Lake are
faced with some tough choices.
With Gerontophilia, LaBruce takes satiric
aim at both the desire for mainstream,
even conventional films within the queer
community and the youth-obsessed nature
of gay (and straight) culture. The tone
may seem like agitprop camp — LaBruce
is aided by a group of skilled actors
who know how to play it perfectly — and
it's certainly very funny, but there are serious questions percolating underneath.
Désirée's oft-repeated list of revolutionaries
may sometimes seem like a lefty
parlour game, but it raises important questions:
What and who sparks real change?
Part of the answer comes with the way
LaBruce approaches the material. Seldom,
if ever, have the bodies of aging men
been presented so gently or romantically.
Updating and queering Harold & Maude,
LaBruce has made sure to make it not just
about emotional attachment but about
ardour, too. Here, the real revolutionaries
aren't just those who write or talk about
revolution; they're the people who are
brave enough to follow their desires.
- Bruce LaBruce
- Bruce LaBruce was born in Tiverton,
Ontario and is based in Toronto. His
feature films include No Skin Off My
Ass (91), Super 8 1/2 (94), Hustler
White (96), Skin Flick (98), The
Raspberry Reich (04), L.A. Zombie
(10), and Gerontophilia (13).