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The Advocate for Fagdom

fagdom

I had the opportunity at this years Queer Film festival to view "The Advocate for Fagdom" and followed by "Hustler White", two films that have now inspired me to seek out every film directed by Bruce LaBruce and soak up every last drop of creative, raunchy, and outright amazing filmmaking that I can. I will admit that the name Bruce LaBruce was a foreign name to me at the beginning of the festival, and now it is a name I will not forget. I'll begin with the spotlight film "Hustler White." This cult classic was directed by Rick Castro and Bruce LaBruce back in 1996, starring LaBruce and Tony Ward. A low budget film that exposes the nature of hustlers in 1990's Los Angelas. Why the title "Hustler White" you may ask? Due to the white denim that the men usually wore to bounce off their Johns headlights or expose their package. You may remember Tony Ward as Madonna's ex beau featured in a few of her 90's videos or her infamous sex album. I will always remember him as the thieving Hustler who seems to like to take it from behind. The film was quite humorous given the subject matter, a characteristic of LaBruce's work that makes it all the more enjoyable to watch. What was shocking was his use of straight out pornography in the film, not that I'm a conservative prude, I have just not seen it before, well except in "Shortbus." LaBruce managed to balance the pornography with narrative so that not one outweighed the other, It never seemed like a cheezy porn with a quick plot thrown in for good measure. The other attribute that shocked me was the controversial subject matter dealing with S & M, asphyxiation, and death. I loved that there were no boundaries, no censors, and no fairy tales of the hustler life. A humorous and scary look into a life few of us know and so many of us that do.

"The Advocate for Fagdom" directed by Angélique Bosio is a no holds barred documentary on the film career of LaBruce from the beginning of his infamous journey to the present day. Bosio delvs into the early projects of LaBruce's career from "No Skin Off My Ass" to "L.A. Zombie." I was intrigued throughout this documentary film because as I said, I did not know of LaBruce's work before the fesival. It allows the audience a quick look into the mindset of LaBruce, why he does what he does and how he does it. It is impossible to grasp LaBruces work from viewing only one of his films so to counteract this problem Bosio shows footage from all pieces throughout his career. I was perplexed at first to understand the nature of his films, what was the message that he was attempting to convey to the audience? Was it for mere shock value when a young skin head beats off onto a copy of Mein Kampf? After watching the testimonials from legends such as John Waters and Gus Van Sant, as well as the men and women that LaBruce has collaborated with throughout the years, I have come to the realization that LaBruce sends a clear and apparent message. We are free to be who we are and censorship and denying who we are is an ailment in our society. We are dark and we are satirical and we are simply who we are. Destroy the boundaries and be free. This is at least a part of the message that I got from this film.

On a closing note, I was deeply riveted by LaBruces overall character, his will to break down the boundaries and show us something so exciting and so shocking. I will be a follower of LaBruce's work from this point on and seek out what I have been so unfortunate not to have yet seen.

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