“There are no more lovers left alive,” Neil Tennant sang in Pet Shop Boys’ “Dreaming of the Queen” (1993), a lament for AIDS devastation that distinguished itself from ordinary threnodies by recognizing a certain alienation and inhospitality that settled upon the world—especially gay culture—ever since. That song resonates through two new documentaries, Derek by Isaac Julien and Chris & Don: A Love Story by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara. Both are elegies to gay cultural figures, British filmmaker Derek Jarman and British novelist Christopher Isherwood, but they also uniquely chronicle lives of affection and rebellion—personalities that are rarely found in the gay films that break into today’s mainstream. These gay documentaries show more loving than today’s gay film fiction.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Armond White wishes more gay-themed fiction films would be like the documentary Chris & Don: A Love Story: (NY Press)