After years of skirting the line between ambitious porn director and envelope-pushing cinematic auteur, often releasing hardcore DVD versions and softcore festival-circuit versions of his works, Canadian filmmaker Bruce LaBruce is making a modest attempt to tap into the mainstream with his latest project, entitled “Gerontophilia.” The premise: A virile teenage boy with heterosexual leanings develops an unlikely fetish for elderly men, falling in love with one in particular, whom he helps to escape from his nursing home.
Okay, so LaBruce will obviously never in his life have a shot at mainstream success. His commitment to exploring sexual deviance drives his work. No more needs to be said than that his past two films, “L.A. Zombie” and “Otto; or Up With Dead People” have come complete with undead chest cavity penetration. You get the picture. However, “Gerontophilia” does appear to have a concept with some heart – no gross pun intended. In a director’s statement on Indiegogo where the film is fundraising for post-production, LaBruce writes that his characters are merely “two old souls who, had they met each other somewhere else along the space/time continuum, might have become the perfect couple.” Awww, Bruce, you’re just a regular Nora Ephron underneath it all!
Comparisons to “Harold and Maude” are to be expected, and LaBruce indeed cites that film along with “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” as inspiration (the young lead frees his geriatric love from oppressive overmedication, à la Jack Nicholson’s McMurphy). Though he’s done some gratuitous things in the past, with these classic films as noble guides and a voice in his head that we know won’t be too tempered by commercial concerns – maybe LaBruce has a chance to come up with something interesting here – something with a premise as explicit as “The Sessions” but with a tonal edge to match. If you want to support the movie, head over to Indiegogo — there’s only two weeks left on the campaign.