Purple Magazine
— F/W 2014 issue 22

Pier-Gabriel Lajoie

canadian actor

portraits and text by FLORENT ROUTOULP

PGL_03 Bruce Labruce’s latest movie “Gerontophilia” (New Real Films & 1976 Production, 2014) PGL_04 Bruce Labruce’s latest movie “Gerontophilia” (New Real Films & 1976 Production, 2014)

 

Bruce LaBruce’s movie Gerontophilia is, surprisingly, just that: a young man’s physical love of an elder. Bruce LaBruce is an undisputed member of the Queercore movement — with the likes of Dennis Cooper, Slava Mogutin, Gio Black Peter — and his punk-porn filmography defines the opposition to normal heterosexual society. LaBruce also retracted from the gay and lesbian community, thus creating a politically violent queer artistic movement in its own right. But with Gerontophilia, there’s no zombie (like in Otto; or, Up with Dead People); there’s no prostitute (as played by Tony Ward in Hustler White); there isn’t a single gay skinhead (as in The Raspberry Reich). For this movie, rupture, or maybe a LaBruce inversion, is on display. Gerontophilia is the story of a very disconcerting young man, played by Pier-Gabriel Lajoie, who falls for an elderly man, played by Walter Borden. The film wavers between violence and pessimism, but instead of the typical LaBruce style of showing unsettlingly provocative intergenerational sexuality, he presents 82 minutes of typical American feel-good cinema. But this is the film’s strength — and its universal appeal.

Gerontophilia follows a different course of action and a different model of sexual liberation from his other movies. Borrowing mainstream codes, LaBruce makes atypical LGBT/queer sex look normal. This could be his way of easing the pressure on his radicalism and smoothing the angles of his style in order to actually enter the mainstream. But having heretofore resisted the moral society’s sexual codes, is using the language of his natural enemies the best way to fight them?

Sexuality takes different forms, and circumscribing differences by category or practice only serves to deny sexual freedom. But Gerontophilia does break one sexual taboo: the consent of an elderly person who supposedly should no longer be sexually active. One of the films leitmotifs is the elderly man’s admission: I can sleep with you as long as I want, even if the rest of the world tells us we should not, or that I cannot or must not. This kind of sexual revolt recalls Hal Ashby’s Harold and Maude from 1971, the love of a young man for an elderly woman, which is what makes the film so different and per- haps even more provocative.

[Table of contents]

F/W 2014 issue 22

Table of contents

purple EDITO

purple NEWS

purple BEST of the SEASON

purple INTERVIEW

purple FASHION WOMEN

purple FASHION MEN

purple DOCUMENT

purple BEAUTY

purple LOVE

purple SEX

purple NIGHT

purple STORY

purple VISUAL ESSAY

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