Hustler White. 1996. USA. Directed by Bruce LaBruce, Rick Castro. 79 min.
Cinematography by James Carman. With LaBruce, Tony Ward, Kevin P. Scott, Ivar Johnson, Glen Meadmore, Ron Athey. Hustler White, which LaBruce codirected with famed fetish photographer Rick Castro, begins with a man floating face down in a jacuzzi. It’s an image straight out of Sunset Boulevard, and the film is likewise a tale of obsessive desire on the margins of Hollywood. LaBruce stars in his own film once again, this time as the sardonic, queeny writer Jürgen Anger, who has come to California to pursue research for a book about sex workers. Upon arrival he becomes transfixed by one hustler in particular, whom he pursues throughout the film, and the directors pepper this chase with a series of remarkable vignettes that inventory all manner of sex-for-hire scenarios (cowboy role-playing, amputee fantasies, etc.). Filmed along Santa Monica Boulevard and in iconic hooker hangouts like the Yukon Mining Company, Hustler White is at once an unlikely romance and a raunchy ethnography of trick-turning.