Gerontophilia Screen 8 articles

Gerontophilia

2013

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  • ...Gerontophilia is engaging from the start and pleasingly non-judgemental of its protagonist's peccadilloes. However, it's badly hamstrung by a wan central performance from the pretty but ineffectual Lajoie, and there are some terribly ham-fisted dramaturgical moments... Yet the overriding impression is of a sensitive, normalizing approach to a thorny subject

  • LaBruce himself fails to replicate his own rawness in Gerontophilia, which chooses the delicateness of a fable instead of the narrative recklessness we've come to expect from the filmmaker... [The film] becomes more relevant if we consider it in the greater context of La Bruce's rebellious oeuvre, that is, as a symptom, or an answer, for what queer theorists have been asking themselves for a long time: What comes after queerness?

  • The director Bruce LaBruce’s vision of this March-December romance is warmhearted, sexually explicit, and tender, but thin; none of the characters has much density. But Borden’s ironic worldliness lends exquisite spin to such lines as “Old men and gin bruise so easily.” The film surfs smoothly on good vibes and lulling moods; Borden, a majestic presence, deserves sterner stuff to wrangle with.

  • The mild style that the filmmaker Bruce LaBruce slips on for his new feature is that of tastefully observed indie romance, flavored with a sweetly droll sense of humor but never to the point of undermining the sincerity of its intentions.

  • More Gus Van Sant than Jack Smith, so reserved is Gerontophilia in comparison to every other one of LaBruce’s cinematic manifestos that it’s easy to lose perspective on how subversive it still is beneath its naive surface: the absence of erect dicks, cum glops, and pulsating intertitles aside, this is nonetheless a recognizable product of the revolutionary fetishist behind the Marxist Raspberry Reich and subsequent zombie pornos.

  • Ever the provocateur, director Bruce LaBruce (The Raspberry Reich, L.A. Zombie) presents all this as a tender coming-of-age story—in fact, it often looks like a made-for-TV family film—which makes the material feel even more perverse.

  • LaBruce has called this his most "normal" film, and it's true that Gerontophilia evolves into more of a buddy road movie than a cross-generational sexcapade. But what we are seeing is the opening of a door within Lake, a discovery of a new facet of his life that will leave him forever changed. By the usual definitions, LaBruce is showing us the awakening of a pervert. But Gerontophilia accomplishes this with an almost middlebrow warmth and good taste. That, in itself, is a rather radical move.

  • Gerontophilia represents new ground for a director who has perfected a deeply intimate form of his own devising. If its curb appeal and relative tameness helps newcomers delve into his back catalogue with an open mind, then it may perform an even more vital function than entertainment.

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