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Bruce LaBruce’s strange queer films ranked, from arty to dirty

The Museum of Modern Art pays tribute to art-porn auteur Bruce LaBruce

Written by
Ethan LaCroix

For a quarter century, queer Canadian director Bruce LaBruce has been mashing up porn and arthouse fare, with a heaping helping of social commentary (and usually humor) on the side. He specializes in putting an erotic spin on decidedly unsexy subjects: For No Skin Off My Ass and Skin Flick, he made neo-Nazis into objects of desire, and in L.A. Zombie he rendered French porn star François Sagat unrecognizable under layers of gore. His work can be squirm-inducing—definitely not date-night material—but it's always fascinating. Many of his weird, wonderful works unspool at MoMA this week, and here are some of his most notable features which will be on view at the museum, ranked from almost quaint to pure filth.

Photograph: Courtesy Bruce LaBruce

Gerontophilia, 2013

In a dramatic departure from his deliberately creepy and unsettling earlier work, LaBruce got almost wholesome with this sweet road-trip movie about a young man with a fetish for elderly folks.

Photograph: Courtesy Bruce LaBruce

Pierrot Lunaire, 2014

Venturing even further afield, LaBruce's adaptation of Arnold Schoenberg’s 1912 musical Pierrot Lunaire pays tribute to the silent-film era—with distinctly LaBrucian twists, like an intertitle that reads “A cock, a cock, my kingdom for a cock!”

Photograph: Courtesy Bruce LaBruce

Otto; or Up with Dead People, 2008

A zombie wanders Berlin trying to remember his pre-undead life before becoming an unlikely artist's muse in this bleakly comedic satire set in a not-too-distant future.

Photograph: Courtesy Bruce LaBruce

The Raspberry Reich, 2004

Far-left German terrorists must "shake off the shackles of heterosexual monogamy" to hasten the revolution in this outrageous comedy.

Photograph: Courtesy Bruce LaBruce

No Skin Off My Ass, 1991

A hairdresser falls for a skinhead in LaBruce's 1991 postpunk feature debut, a lo-fi landmark in the New Queer Cinema movement.

Photograph: Courtesy Bruce LaBruce

Hustler White, 1996

Codirected by photographer Rick Castro, this 1996 cult classic sets a murder mystery in the gritty world of Los Angeles sex workers. 

Photograph: Courtesy Bruce LaBruce

Skin Flick, 1999

LaBruce's fascination with skinheads continues in this late-’90s shocker, in which a gang of racist thugs take time out of their busy schedule of fucking each other to terrorize a bougie London couple. 

Photograph: Courtesy Bruce LaBruce

L.A. Zombie, 2010

LaBruce continued with the zombie theme and returned to the seedy west coast underbelly of Hustler White in this creepy flick—starring adult-film vet François Sagat—that's equal parts gore and porn.

Go to the event

"Bruce LaBruce"
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MoMA looks back on more than two decades' worth of art-porn mash-ups from Canadian auteur Bruce LaBruce, whose work ranges from serious social commentary to titillating satire.

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