Directed by Bruce La Bruce Presented by WHITE LIGHT CINEMA
December 10th, 2011
Nothing says holiday-time like gritty, punky, black and white, queer Canadian quasi-porn! We are pleased to present a rare screening of Bruce La Bruce’s (Super 8 1/2, Hustler White, LA Zombie) first feature film, NO SKIN OFF MY ASS (1991).
Not available on DVD in the U.S., NO SKIN was made during the burgeoning of the New Queer Cinema “movement” of the late 1980s/early 90s (Gus Van Sant, Gregg Araki, Christopher Munch, Todd Haynes, etc.). But La Bruce was on the fringe of even that fringe: his film drew from Canadian underground Queercore, punk, skinhead, music, and zine scenes and struck a decidedly more strident and in-your-face tone than his American travelling companions.
But NO SKIN was not just radical posturing and provocation; it was also a personal, and at times sweet (see Amy Taubin quote), film, and this is what helps it still feel fresh twenty years later.
“Sweeter than Warhol, subtler than Kuchar, sexually more explicit than Van Sant.” (Amy Taubin, Village Voice)
“Triple X-rated, NO SKIN OFF MY ASS is a gay remake of Robert Altman’s THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK. Director Bruce LaBruce plays the Karen Carpenter-loving hairstylist who is helplessly attracted to the lonely and stoic skinhead he finds and invites to his home. This very sexually explicit comedy is really for anyone – male or female, straight or not – who is a bit curious and wants to see a movie that offers something…a little different.”(Film Threat)
“In the early 1990s, while the New Queer Cinema was busy trying to sell fags ‘n dykes to mainstream audiences, Canadian Bruce La Bruce was happily preaching to the queer choir. NO SKIN OFF MY ASS wasn’t his first film – it followed a handful of Super 8 shorts – but it was the one that got him attention and fixed his image as a talented trashmeister willing to mix it up with social satire, homo camp, and hardcore sex. NO SKIN OF MY ASS, a low-rent remake of Robert Altman’s THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK, is a typical Brucian effort, with the usual pleasures and pitfalls. Bruce, who wrote, directed, and photographed, also stars here as a hairdresser who obsesses over skinheads. Luckily, right near his apartment he finds a handsome specimen, sitting silently on a park bench. Before you can say “wash and set,” Bruce has lured “Skinhead Guy,” as he’s known, into his apartment. There Bruce gives the bald beauty a bath (using Mr. Bubble), after which he locks his new pal in a bedroom. Of course, this being a Bruce La Bruce movie, Skinhead Guy quickly and easily escapes for a visit to his sister, a lesbian activist filmmaker and graffiti artist. But soon Bruce and Skinhead are reunited for more edgy fun. Shot in extra-grainy Super 8 and blown up to 16mm, and mostly lacking synch sound (Bruce’s voiceovers occupy much of the soundtrack), NO SKINN OFF MY ASS has the look and feel of a low-rent porn flick, with Bruce’s love object the ultimate wish-fulfillment fantasy – a mindless stud who lets Bruce take every imaginable liberty with him, from boot-licking to urinal caressing to straightforward blow jobs. And like much porn, this one has stretches of dullness that will endear some viewers to their fast-forward. As gorgeous as Skinhead Guy is, the camera’s endless slow crawl over his fetching flesh as he bathes, lounges, and lusts becomes numbing after awhile. Still, Bruce gets points for daring to bare all, and doing it with humor. A zany soundtrack that includes such il–matched talents as Karen Carpenter, the Subhumans, and Tiny Tim adds to the foolish fun.” (Gary Morris, Bright Lights Film Journal)
NO SKIN OFF MY ASS
Directed by Bruce La Bruce
(1991, 73 mins., 16mm, Canada, Black & White)
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