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LaBruce at Die Untoten (May 2011)
|Born||January 3, 1964|
Southampton, Ontario, Canada
|Occupation||Actor, writer, filmmaker, photographer, underground adult director|
Life and career
LaBruce was born in Tiverton, Ontario. He has claimed both Justin Stewart and Bryan Bruce as his birth name in different sources. He studied film at York University in Toronto and wrote for Cineaction magazine, curated by Robin Wood, his teacher.
He first gained public attention with the publication of the queer punk zine J.D.s, which he co-edited with G.B. Jones. He has written and photographed for a variety of publications including Vice, the former Nerve.com and BlackBook Magazine, and has been a columnist for the Canadian music magazine Exclaim! and Toronto's Eye Weekly, as well as a contributing editor and photographer for New York's Index Magazine. He has also been published in Toronto Life, the National Post and The Guardian.
LaBruce's filmmaking style is marked by a blend of explicitly pornographic depictions of sex with more conventional narrative and filmmaking techniques, as well as an interest in extreme topics which mainstream audiences might dismiss as shocking or disturbing taboos. For instance, his films have depicted scenes of sexual fetish and paraphilia, BDSM, gang rape, racially-motivated violence, amputee fetishism, gerontophilia, male and female prostitution, and zombie and vampire sexuality.
He has frequently been identified with the New Queer Cinema movement that emerged in the 1990s, although at the height of that movement's prominence, he rejected the association on the grounds that he felt more personally aligned with the queercore movement. The queercore movement was born in the 1980s and LaBruce was one of the fathers. Noted as the avant-garde and unapologetic gay answer to the punk movement, queercore expressed the very same discontent with society as the punks were stating.
His movie, Otto; or Up with Dead People debuted at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. L.A. Zombie was banned from the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2010 because, in the opinion of Australian censors, it would have been refused classification. However, the film was subsequently able to screen at OutTakes, a New Zealand lesbian and gay international film festival, in May 2011.
In March 2011, LaBruce directed a performance of Arnold Schoenberg's opera Pierrot Lunaire at the Hebbel am Ufer Theatre in Berlin. This iteration of the opera included gender diversity, castration scenes and dildos, as well as portraying Pierrot as a transgender man. He subsequently also filmed this adaptation as the 2014 theatrical film Pierrot Lunaire.
Beginning with Gerontophilia in 2013, LaBruce dropped some of the more sexually explicit aspects of his filmmaking style. He retained his traditional interest in exploring sexual taboos, dramatizing an intergenerational relationship between a young man and a senior citizen, but opted to do so within a film that would be more palatable to a mainstream audience.
Themes and style
According to Courtney Fathom Sell of South Coast Today, some of his films explore themes of sexual and interpersonal transgression against cultural norms, frequently blending the artistic and production techniques of independent film with gay pornography.
- No Skin Off My Ass (1993)
- Super 8½ (1994)
- Hustler White (1996), co-directed & written with Rick Castro
- Skin Flick / Skin Gang (1999)
- The Raspberry Reich (2004)
- Otto; or Up with Dead People (2008)
- L.A. Zombie (2010)
- Gerontophilia (2013)
- Pierrot Lunaire (2014)
- The Misandrists (2017)
- Ulrike's Brain (2017)
- Boy, Girl (1987)
- I Know What It's Like to Be Dead (1987)
- Bruce and Pepper Wayne Gacy's Home Movies (1988), co-directed with Candy Parker
- A Case for the Closet (1992)
- The Post Queer Tour (1992)
- Slam! (1992)
- Come As You Are (2000)
- Give Piece of Ass a Chance (2007)
- The Bad Breast, or The Case of Theda Lange (2010)
- Weekend in Alphaville (2010)
- Refugee's Welcome (2017)
- Ride Queer, Ride (1996)
- The Reluctant Pornographer (1997)
- "Arts: Bruce LaBruce". Archived from the original on October 26, 2004.
- "A Timeline of Photographer Bruce LaBruce's Erotic Career". Paper Magazine. February 18, 2018.
- Gayle MacDonald (2010-07-22). "Australians won't see zombies having sex". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
- "Filmmaker's series critiques gay sensibilities". Toronto Star, November 1999.
- "Bruce LaBruce: There Is a Certain Romance to It". L.A. Record, June 26, 2009.
- Dave Croyle (2014). "Sexual Revolution, Bruce LaBruce". Gay Essential. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- Festival zombie porn flick banned. ABC News, July 21, 2010.
- "Bruce LaBruce zombie film banned in Australia". CBC News. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
- Michael Ladner. "Bruce LaBruce and Item Idem at the Opera". Butt, March 10, 2011.
- "Marie-Hélène Thibault et Pier-Gabriel Lajoie dans «Gerontophilia», un film de Bruce LaBruce tourné à Montréal". Huffington Post, December 19, 2012. (in French)
- Punched in the Nose: An Interview with Filmmaker Bruce LaBruce. South Coast Today, February 27, 2008.
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