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Reverse Lolita

You can play a role in getting the sexy new Bruce LaBruce film made


Canadian filmmaker and provocateur Bruce LaBruce is sitting down to start editing his new film, and he’s got sex with old men on his mind. “I’ve known some people who could be considered gerontophiles, young guys who have a fetish for older guys, a really specific type of older guys,” LaBruce explains. “I knew this boy in New York who was really good-looking: tall, black, muscular guy who was 18 or 19, and everyone was smitten with him. He only dated husky, hairy, Jewish men over 50, I mean exclusively.”
Gerontophilia tackles the titular fetish with the delightful perversity of LaBruce. “I sort of think of it as a reverse Lolita,” he says. “Instead of an older man with a fetish for young girls, it’s a younger man, he’s 18, with a fetish for older men.” Played by the painfully beautiful French-Canadian actor Pier-Gabriel Lajoie, Lake is a teenager with a beautiful girlfriend, although he’s always been fixated on older men. Jumping at the opportunity to work at a retirement facility, he is horrified to find the residents drugged and restrained to keep them pacified. Lake forms an intimate friendship with an older man, Mr Peabody, and together they conspire to escape from the facility so Peabody can see the ocean a final time, the last place he spent happy hours with a long dead lover.
Torontonians may find a familiar face in the film, since Mr Peabody is none other than the award-winning actor and village regular Walter Borden. LaBruce explains that when holding auditions for the role, it was a tough decision. “It’s a very difficult role, because it’s very frank,” he says. “It’s not explicit sexually, but it’s very frank. There’s a bit of nudity. It’s more about the subject that’s dealt with in a very ungarnished way.” Some big names were up for consideration, although they auditioned a number of stage actors and Borden fit the part. “As a character himself, just with his life, he’s had such a prestigious career,” LaBruce explains. “It was really a good role for him that he could really sink his teeth into. He’s very easygoing and very positive and upbeat, and his energy is always very life-affirming. I’d have to get him to almost play against that, because the character is a bit crotchety and has been through a very difficult life. He had to really play against his own nature.”
Gerontophilia will be a departure from LaBruce’s previous work. The script, which he worked on for almost four years, is a more conventional narrative than his previous films. The financial side, as well, is something new. “It’s my biggest budget film, and I’ve never done a Canadian film before, which is a whole interesting experience for me,” he says, adding that he feels fortunate to have worked outside of big-budget works, which has as many benefits and drawbacks. “When you’re making something where there’s a bigger budget, with more at stake, with more parties involved, it’s a different process. I’ve been working within that existing system, and I’ve found it very intriguing; I’ve never really done that before. It’s making an industry picture, really, even though it’s still independent.” Now in post-production, LaBruce has launched a fundraising campaign to finance this exciting, ambitious film, with some interesting perks on offer. For donations of $2,500, LaBruce is offering a free dinner with himself and “some random old man we pick off the street.” Gerontophiles, apply within.
Gerontophilia’s IndieGoGo campaign runs until Wed, Feb 23. indiegogo.com/gerontophilia

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