Bruce LaBruce: Super 8 1/2 (1993)

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Super 8 1/2

LaBruce stars in this vaguely autobiographical look at a triple-X star-director caught in the downward spiral of his career. Remarks Googie, the art-house auteur who’s either exploiting LaBruce or launching his comeback, “He was actually attempting to break down the whole subject-camera relationship… It was as if he was an existentialist trapped in a porno star’s body.” Well, almost.

Just as LaBruce’s scrawny, hangover aesthetics challenge the conventions of gay porn’s Wonder Bread desire, his newly adroit camera unsettles narrative assumptions. A dense weave of self-reflexive interviews, cynical vignettes, and outrageous cameos by “Kids In The Hall” Scott Thompson and drag goddess Vaginal Creme Davis – along with moments stolen almost verbatim from films like Fellini’s 8 1/2 and Perry’s Play It As It Lays – Super 8 1/2 still manages enough rude sex to keep the whole unruly narrative in your face.

watch also: The Raspberry Reich (2004)

*Bruce LaBruce is a Toronto based filmmaker, writer, director, photographer, and artist. He began his career in the mid eighties making a series of short experimental super 8 films and co-editing a punk fanzine called J.D.s, which begat the queercore movement. He has directed and starred in three feature length movies, “No Skin Off My Ass” (1991), “Super 8 1/2” (1994), and “Hustler White” (1996). More recently he has directed two art/porn features, “Skin Flick” (2000)(hardcore version: “Skin Gang”) and “The Raspberry Reich” (2004)(hardcore version: “The Revolution Is My Boyfriend”), and the independent feature “Otto; or, Up with Dead People” (2008). After premiering at Sundance and Berlin, “The Raspberry Reich” took off on the international film festival circuit, playing at over 150 festivals, including the Istanbul, Guadalajara, and Rio de Janeiro International Film Festivals. He was also honoured with retrospectives at the end of ’05 at the Madrid and Hong Kong Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals. “Otto; or, Up with Dead People” also debuted at Sundance and Berlin and played at over 150 film festivals, culminating in a screening at MoMA in New York City in November of 2008. His new film, L.A. Zombie, starring French star Francois Sagat, premiered in competition at the Locarno International Film Festival in August, 2010. It will have it’s French premier at the L’Etrange Film Festival in Paris and its North American premier at the Toronto International Film Festival in Septemer. 2010. The hardcore version, L.A. Zombie Hardcore, will be released at Halloween, 2010.