Bruce LaBruce: after zombies and corpses, sex with old people
Homo-cult film director Bruce LaBruce is in town tonight to “host” the official Apocalipstik after-party at the Royal Phoenix. The Toronto-based international homosexual provocateur will be sticking around for a few weeks to cast his next bad taste opus: Gerontophilia, to be shot in Montréal.
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“Hosting for me is just showing up. Maybe I’ll a bring a pot and pan and bang on it,” Bruce LaBruce quips when we ask him what he’ll be doing tonight at the GayBash after-party for Divers/cité‘s gigantic Apocalipstik outdoor show. “The name of the event [GayBash] intrigued me because it’s very politically incorrect,” he says, confirming what made LaBruce a reference for Tyler & Sally’s ‘Uncensored’ GayBash party this past winter. When Sally (Saladin Khireche) contacted him for permission to use his name in their torrid Facebook event text, LaBruce replied asking if he could host one of their parties (squeal!).
“My friend Andrew H. had a party in Toronto when he lived [there] called Gaza Strip Club, which was a politically incorrect joke as well.” LaBruce says he was intrigued that GayBash was outside of the “Zona Rosa”, i.e. the Village. “I can get into the ghetto, you know, too. But it’s always nice to get out,” he adds.
Known for DJ’ing and hosting parties in New York City (at the Boy’s Room) and Toronto (Buddies in Bad Times), Bruce LaBruce is a nightlife regular of the homo semi-underground when he’s not directing fabulously tasteless gay gore porn (also known as “Gorn”) films, such as the generally reviled L.A. Zombie. His fans, 2Bmag included, will always forgive this unfortunate foray into François Sagat idolatry when we remember his canonical Hustler White (1996) and essential queer viewing such as Raspberry Reich (2004). Never a stranger to controversy, LaBruce was recently in hot water for his “Obscenity” photo exhibit in Madrid, which for queer eyes in North America looked no more offensive than your average Lady Gaga video. For Catholic conservatives, it was too much, and the gallery received bomb threats.
And it’s precisely this attraction to excess that has made Bruce LaBruce a reference for the global gay zombie apocalypse cult/art-fag scene. While his last two films explored the taboos of fucking the undead, and then full on necrophilia with Otto; or Up with Dead People, his next project, Gerontophilia, will revel in one of the tabloid world’s favourite taboo’s: intergenerational sex.
Slated to be shot in October in Montréal, the audition call has already been made for an 18 year-old boy who “has a sexual preference for old people, which kind of takes precedence over gender,” LaBruce describes, adding that it will be set in a seniors’ residence. With a screenplay written in collaboration with local gay novelist Daniel Allen Cox, who explored bisexuality in his LAMBDA-nominated Krakow Melt, Gerontophilia will be another of the director’s sly attacks on what he has called “the new heteronormative essentialism.”
“It’s about the fluidity of sexuality – which is unpopular right now, with the whole “born this way” agenda, in which I’ve never really believed,” the Vice magazine writer, photographer, and queer icon says. “Biological determinism comes out of a kind of insecurity, that if sexuality isn’t solid, then there’s the risk of people thinking you can be ‘cured.’ It’s up to the gay person to be confident enough in their sexuality to not have to fix themselves with this almost paranoid idea that they have to be a certain way and always will be a certain way,” he expounds, adding that he’s “always been more of a Freudian.”
“It’s really annoying when gay activists make these sweeping statements about gay essentialism without having studied anything,” he laments. For Freud, we are all born with some degree of bisexuality; he believed in a greater potential for nurture over nature. So where did the idea for Gerontophilia come from?
“I have a friend in New York who’s a young beautiful black graffiti artist who had an exclusive sexual fixation on older white Jewish men over 50. He lived with a Jewish man who was in his 50s (close to 60), hirsute and bearish,” LaBruce says of his story inspiration. “There’s an annoying emphasis on youth in gay culture – good-looking white young gay men, particularly.” Gerontophilia “critiques ideals of beauty in gay culture,” which is funny given how very beautiful many of his lead actors have been in the past. But we digress…
Coming to Montréal in the midst of an election, just as the student strike movement gets reinvigorated reminds LaBruce of the “huge wake-up call in Toronto after the G-20, with how crypto-fascist the police have become.” Torontonians were shocked (back before Rob Ford, when they could still be shocked) by the police brutality and harsh criminal charges against protesters at the 2010 summit.
“I always support any kind of broad-based anti-authoritarian platform,” he clarifies, adding that he’s glad the carré rouge movement went beyond just asking for a tuition freeze. “Montréal is kind of the last hold-out against neo-liberal development. Toronto and Vancouver have gone through a Manhattanization, while Montréal has held out.”
Fri. Aug. 3, 11pm-3am
@ Royal Phoenix Bar, 5788 boul. St-Laurent, Montréal