LaBruce’s seminal first feature is a low-rent semi-remake of Robert Altman’s That Cold Day in the Park, with LaBruce himself taking the Sandy Dennis role (you can make the comparison yourself when we screen the original this season as part of our Altman retrospective). A punk hairdresser with a skinhead fetish (LaBruce) encounters a handsome, troubled young skinhead sitting on a park bench and manages to lure him back to his apartment, strip him naked and draw him a bath filled with Mr. Bubble. In what would become the basic LaBrucian template, explicit sex and offbeat comedy intertwine with radical politics, here espoused by the skinhead’s sister — played by G.B. Jones, co-founder of LaBruce’s fanzine J.D.s and an original member of punk legends Fifth Column — who is shooting a movie within the movie titled Girls in the SLA (a reference to the notorious 1970s left-wing terrorist group the Symbionese Liberation Army). Shot on grainy Super 8 blown up to 16mm, with LaBruce’s exaggeratedly emotive voiceover scoring the action, No Skin Off My Ass is “sweeter than Warhol, subtler than Kuchar, sexually more explicit than Van Sant” (Amy Taubin, The Village Voice).
Bruce LaBruce in attendance to introduce and conduct a Q&A.
The intention of having Bruce LaBruce and his work as part of this project is to suggest that Bruce might be viewed as Canada’s John Waters and as such, certain parallels and correlations can be made in terms of their transgression against cultural and social norms. It should also be noted that the inclusion of Bruce LaBruce is to acknowledge Bruce’s influence on the creation of Queer City Cinema in 1996, which was inspired in part after viewing No Skin Off My Ass.
Winnipeg based filmmaker and visual artist Noam Gonick will introduce Bruce and conduct a Q&A after the screening.
Note: Tickets to John Waters talk and VIP Reception on June 24 will be available for purchase at this venue.
Bruce LaBruce is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, photographer, writer, and artist based in Toronto. Along with a number of short films, he has written and directed nine feature films, including his most recent, Gerontophilia, which won the Grand Prix at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal in 2013, and Pierrot Lunaire, which won the Teddy Award Special Jury Prize at the Berlinale in 2014. As a visual artist he is represented by Peres Projects in Berlin, and has had numerous gallery shows around the world, the latest of which, called Obscenity, a photography exhibit, caused a national ruckus in Spain in 2011. His feature film L.A. Zombie was notably banned in Australia in 2010 after having been programmed at the Melbourne International Film Festival. It later premiered in competition at the Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland that same year. LaBruce has written and directed three theatrical works at the Hau Theater in Berlin, including a production of Arnold Schoenberg’s avant-garde piece Pierrot Lunaire at the legendary Hebbel am Ufer Theater. He adapted the latter project into an experimental film, incorporating footage from the stage production combined with additional material shot on location in Berlin. He has also directed theatrical works at the Theater Neumarkt in Zurich, Switzerland, and he participated as a director in the Hau Theater’s ambitious X-Homes project in Johannesburg, South Africa. Most recently, LaBruce has been honoured with film retrospectives at both TIFF/Bell Lightbox 2014, and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, 2015. The MoMA retrospective featured all nine of LaBruce’s features as well as a program of short films. All of the films have now become part of MoMA’s permanent film collection.