Gerontophilia. 2013. Canada. Directed by Bruce LaBruce. 82 min.
With Pier-Gabriel Lajoie, Walter Borden, Katie Boland, Yardly Kavanagh, Marie-Hélène Thibault. Asked about this recent film, LaBruce remarked that he “wanted to shock people by making a film that isn’t shocking,” and the work is indeed a departure for the artist. Well known for subversive depictions of onscreen sex, his taste for carnage, and an unsparing comic intelligence, LaBruce here offers a gentler, more compassionate form of transgression. Gerontophilia concerns a saintly young man working at an assisted living facility in Montreal who discovers that he is attracted to the extremely advanced in age, and an affair starts to blossom between him one of the residents, a droll octogenarian. As elsewhere in LaBruce’s filmography, desire resists easy classification. Like a queer Harold and Maude, the paramours ultimately escape from the carceral atmosphere of the retirement home and hit the road, revealing, in the process, something new and unexpected about the mysteries of affection.