Reg Hartt, everyone’s favourite dude with a movie theatre in his basement, is promoting the new(ish) film version of off-Broadway tittilator Naked Boys Singing by screening a mini Queer Film Festival at the Cineforum over the next few weeks. Each Thursday night for the next four weeks, he’ll screen Naked Boys (which is exactly what it sounds like) at 9, with a different gay movie as a lead-in at 7.
While the main attraction has received mixed reviews and is definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, the lead-in movies are what really caught our eye. Tonight, it’s The Celluloid Closet (1995), which is a fascinating documentary based on Vito Russo’s 1981 book of the same name. It tracks the history of queer characters from as early as the 1920s up until the time the film was made, and it’s really interesting to see how “coded” queer characters have been used (and abused) for about as long as there have been movies. Next week, for Valentine’s, it’s O Fantasma (2000), a Portuguese movie about a gay garbage collector featuring real sex scenes. On the 21st, it’s Pink Narcissus (1971), an arty movie about gay sexual fantasies that was once thought to have been made by Andy Warhol (but it totally wasn’t) and also the short film Un chant d’amour (1950), the only film made by poet/playwright/kleptomaniac Jean Genet. Finally, on the 28th, it’s For a Lost Soldier (1992), a Dutch film based on Rudi van Dantzig‘s autobiographical novel about his experience as a 12-year-old boy involved in a sexual relationship with a Canadian soldier during World War II.
No, he’s not screening any of those gay movies, but it’s a great opportunity to see some queer cinema classics that are otherwise hard to come by.