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 Post subject: Encounters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Encounters

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"In a hundred years movies, homosexuality has only rarely been depicted on the screen... When it did appear, it was there as something to laugh at - or something to pity - or even something to fear. These were fleeting images, but they were unforgettable, and they left a lasting legacy. Hollywood, that great maker of myths, taught straight people what to think about gay people... and gay people what to think about themselves." The Celluloid Closet

This new collection from the BFI featuring four rarely seen gay classic shorts brought together on one disc is essential viewing for anyone interested in queer cinema.

Dream A40 (UK, Lloyd Reckord, 1965): Two years before the Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexuality, a young gay couple's relationship is put to the test as they make a journey during which they must refrain from public demonstrations of affection. Daring and poetic, Dream A40 was the second film by Jamaican actor-director Lloyd Reckord.

Vapors (US, Andy Milligan, 1965): Independent US director Andy Milligan's first film offers a fascinating glimpse into the pre-Stonewall gay scene. Set in New York's St Mark's bathhouse, this bold and sensitive film chronicles an emotionally awkward encounter between two equally inexperienced strangers.

Come Dancing (UK, Bill Douglas, 1970): Celebrated filmmaker Bill Douglas' early student short follows two men who meet in a cafe on a Southend pier. Glances, body language and very brief snatches of lewd dialogue suggest a pick-up, but the atmosphere soon darkens and events take an unexpected twist.

Encounter (US, Peter de Rome, 1971): A number of young men wander through the streets of New York in a dream-like trance before finally coming together in a secret tactile ritual. Directed by legendary filmmaker Peter de Rome, this wordless erotic fantasy is presented here with a new score by Stephen Thrower.

Extras
- Lloyd Reckord in conversation at the BFI Southbank (2011): the director of Dream A40 discusses his controversial film.
- Illustrated booklet with essays and full credits for each film.


Last edited by antnield on Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:13 pm 
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Release Date: 19 March 2012. Currently available to pre-order at MovieMail, Zavvi and Play. The above (taken from the Zavvi production description) is all of the info available, other than mention of three directors amongst the general information, namely Andy Milligan, Peter de Rome and Lloyd Reckord.

Quote:
Dream A40 (UK, Lloyd Reckord, 1965)
Two years before Wolfenden, a young gay couple's relationship is put to the test as a road trip takes a sinister turn. Jamaican actor-director Reckford made Dream A40 after the acclaimed BFI short Ten Bob in Winter (1963). Unseen for many years, his daring look at love and sexuality in 60s Britain is presented here for the first time on DVD.

Vapors (US, Andy Milligan, 1965)
Cult US filmmaker Andy Milligan's first film Vapors offers a fascinating glimpse into the pre-Stonewall gay bathhouse scene. Set in New York's St. Mark's bathhouse this suspenseful and tense film chronicles the emotionally awkward encounter between two men, one gay and one potentially straight or closeted.

Come Dancing (UK, Bill Douglas, 1970)
Bill Douglas' brilliant student short shows two somewhat peculiar men meeting at a café on a Southend pier. Glances, body language and very brief snatches of lewd dialogue suggest a gay pick-up - yet the atmosphere suddenly turns malevolent.

Encounter (US Peter de Rome, 1971)
A group of young men move through the streets of New York in a dreamlike trance before finally coming together in a loft to make contact through a tactile ritual in this vérité style film by US-based British filmmaker Peter de Rome, a legendary figure in the world of gay pornography.


Last edited by antnield on Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:52 pm 
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I suspect it's the BFI's mistake rather than yours, but the first director is actually Lloyd Reckord.

(Whose playwright brother Barry died the other day, incidentally)


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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:13 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
I suspect it's the BFI's mistake rather than yours, but the first director is actually Lloyd Reckord.

That was a cut-and-paste job from the Amazon listing. But now fixed.


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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:04 pm 
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antnield wrote:
Quote:
- All films previously unreleased on DVD


Come Dancing was released on the DVD and Blu-ray of the Bill Douglas Trilogy.


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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:06 pm 
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GaryC wrote:
antnield wrote:
- All films previously unreleased on DVD

Come Dancing was released on the DVD and Blu-ray of the Bill Douglas Trilogy.

That bit of info has now gone from the Amazon listing. It was only there when the titles were yet to be finalised. (That initial post was made back in November.)


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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Here's a YouTube excerpt of Vapors


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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:33 am 
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New extra announced to go along with the booklet:
Quote:
Lloyd Reckord in conversation at the BFI Southbank (2011): the director of Dream A40 discusses his controversial film

And a cover:

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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:40 am 
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Full specs announced:
Quote:
Encounters
Four ground-breaking classics of gay cinema


This new DVD collection from the BFI brings together four rarely seen classic shorts from Lloyd Reckord, Andy Milligan, Bill Douglas and Peter de Rome, making it is essential viewing for anyone interested in the history of gay cinema.

“In a hundred years of movies, homosexuality has only rarely been depicted on the screen... When it did appear, it was there as something to laugh at or something to pity or even something to fear. These were fleeting images, but they were unforgettable, and they left a lasting legacy. Hollywood, that great maker of myths, taught straight people what to think about gay people...and gay people what to think about themselves.” The Celluloid Closet (1995)

Dream A40 dir: Lloyd Reckord (UK, 1965, 16 mins)
Two years before the Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexuality, a young gay couple's relationship is put to the test as they make a journey during which they must refrain from public demonstrations of affection. Daring and poetic, Dream A40 was the second film by Jamaican actor-director Lloyd Reckord.

Vapors dir: Andy Milligan (US, 1965, 31 mins)
Independent American director Andy Milligan's first film offers a fascinating glimpse into the pre-Stonewall gay scene. Set in New York's St Mark's bathhouse, this bold and sensitive film chronicles an emotionally charged encounter between two equally inexperienced strangers.

Come Dancing dir: Bill Douglas (UK, 1970, 13 mins)
Celebrated filmmaker Bill Douglas's early student short follows two men who meet in a café on a Southend pier. Glances, body language and very brief snatches of lewd dialogue suggest a pick-up, but the atmosphere soon darkens and events take an unexpected twist.

Encounter dir: Peter de Rome (US, 1971, 13 mins)
A number of young men wander through the streets of New York in a dream-like trance before finally coming together in a secret tactile ritual. Directed by legendary filmmaker Peter de Rome, this wordless erotic fantasy is presented here with a new score by Stephen Thrower (Cyclobe). Alongside this short on the Encounters collection, the BFI also releases The Erotic Films of Peter de Rome, a de Rome film series from 1973, on DVD on 26 March.

Special features
• Lloyd Reckord in conversation at BFI Southbank (2011, 7 mins)
• 24-page illustrated booklet with essays and credits for each film

Release date: 26 March 2012
RRP: £19.99 / cat. no. BFIVD938 / Cert 18
UK, US / 1965 – 1971 / colour & black and white / 73 mins / original aspect ratio 1.33:1


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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:19 pm 
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The Film Pilgrim.


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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:47 am 
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Mondo Digital:

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The late '60s and early '70s are now widely acknowledged as perhaps the most fertile ground for Hollywood filmmakers since the death of the Production Code, but just as significant is that era's contributions from underground filmmakers including a bold new wave of gay-themed films. Today most gay and lesbian film festivals tend to aim for mainstream subjects ranging from adolescent coming out stories to stories of romance and loss, but in the years when political upheaval and porno chic were changing the pop culture landscape, things got very edgy indeed as elements of horror, exploitation, and the avant garde became more common.

One of the most fascinating collections celebrating this sea change in underground film is the BFI's Encounters, a quartet of substantial short films from 1965 to 1971 showing a wide range of subject matter, technique, and taboo breaking...


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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:27 pm 
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The Digital Fix


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 Post subject: Re: Encounters
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:59 am 
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An interesting set of films although most of them are dark and intense rather than particularly fun, suggesting the danger at the heart of opening up in any kind of relationship - not only the physical but mental danger.

Dream A40
This film begins rather naturalistically (the opening party scene intercut with the credits is a little reminiscent of Shadows) as a couple of chaps go on a trip down a local motorway, which looks much emptier in those days than it would be now and perhaps is something that could suggest a certain novelty in being able to take such trips out of the city that simply wouldn't have be possible (or at least as easy) a decade or two before. One of the men is eyed up by a French girl in a convertible, which he seems to like playing along with, but then reacts badly to a young girl seeing him holding the hand of his male companion, getting panicked a little at wondering what she saw while his companion who seems more comfortable with his sexuality tells him it not to make to much of it.

This was made in 1965, two years before homosexuality was decriminalised, so it was perhaps an understandable reaction to being 'caught', but it is this small event that seems to spins the chap into a spiral of paranoia. The pair go to cafe and there seems to be a pointed contrast between the way that the three businessmen-looking men at one table look with suspicion at the two men (perhaps only being in a trio can deflect suspicion of sexuality?) with the interracial couple canoodling at another table. There is the sense from that moment that the permissiveness of the 'swinging 60s' seems to have passed homosexuals by, and that the moment of liberation may never come.

The paranoid chap plays worryingly with a knife in the cafe before walking out. He is then seen driving dangerously fast down the motorway. Is he trying to escape his thoughts, or more worryingly is he angry with the relaxed attitude of his companion to his sexuality and maybe has the thought of trying to hurt or kill him?

Then the film does its extreme swerve into a delirious Kafka-esque nightmare of obscene bureaucracy, uncomfortable waiting rooms (with a noose to hang yourself in if you get tired of this purgatory) and crumbling castles, as the pair get pulled over by an ominously silent cop on a motorbike and escorted to some ruins and a waiting room full of ashamed-looking people. The paranoid chap seems more in his element here, abandoning his companion to search through rooms full of shambling zombie-like men eyeing him up and long underground corridors before finding the office where he can pay his fine for an unstated offence.

Returning to his companion he finds the waiting room empty but for a pile of bodies and his friend with a noose around his neck. His friend is still alive as the noose is taken off and he is carried out but there is a sense that he has been badly treated at the hands of his companion's fears, and that he might be the abused partner in the relationship alternately condemned to death and saved at his partner's whims (the way that he is introduced asleep in the back seat of the car also seems a strange premonition of the way that Katia is introduced in Bruno Dumont's Twentynine Palms - already almost a dead body in the back, its presence weighing on the driver's mind)

I'm not really sure that the tonal shift of the second half of the film entirely works, but it certainly makes for a number of striking images! Anyone interested in Kafka should check it out just for that section!

Vapors
This is a really great little film with the grubby look of the film perfectly fitting the grimy, unsanitary looking bath house setting. It is the first Andy Milligan film I have seen and I think that if I did not already know about his horror films that I would still get a really strong sense of horror from the events of this film. It's really another kind of paranoid nightmare - a guy called Thomas goes to the baths for the first time and has perhaps the most unfortunate kind of first encounter there that anyone could possibly have as the person that he meets turns out to want to have a long and involved monologue about how ugly he finds his wife (with nightmares about her feet and her "throwing balls of blood" at him, which he puts down to her leaving used sanitary pads lying around), and the death of his idealised (and seemingly idolised) son, drowned at the bottom of a lake surrounded by ravenous snakes biting chunks out of him.

This dark, intense discussion is regularly intercut with the more bitchy banter going on in the corridors outside and eventually the man leaves but not before gifting Thomas a significant item which seems to suggest that the man has cemented Thomas and his dead son together in his mind in some way. Instead of having a first casual sex encounter (he tries to pretend that he goes there regularly but has to confess during their talk together that it is his first time - the relative sexual innocence of the couple underlined by the way that they plug up the peep(glory)hole rather than use it, and the grubby room, for its intended purpose) Thomas gets a heavy dose of another person's psychological issues to contend with instead.

There is an interesting ambivalence towards this - does this conversation add depth and meaning to the bath house setting, suggesting that it is a place where people can sort out their issues as well as have sex? But the meeting is a kind of psychologically brutal one, leaving Thomas sobbing at what he has heard, compared to the fluffy, bitchy shenanigans and chatter about where someone bought that tank top they're wearing that is going on outside. The ending of Thomas welcoming a new man into the room, with the new arrival immediately disrobing as he approaches the camera suggests that this more casually sexual encounter could be seen as both Thomas's reward for dealing with the previous complex situation and finally his true welcome into the world and culture of the bath house. In that sense even the optical censoring of the guy's penis as he walks towards the camera (Thomas's point of view) kind of makes sense - it is sort removes the penis from taking centre stage(!) instead making it stand in for more than just the one man but a whole sexual community. As well as simultaneously suggesting again all of those barriers standing between a person achieving what must have seemed like a simple goal!

Come Dancing
This is a film about an older and younger chap meeting through looks and gestures (and shared cigarettes and smoke rings!) in a dreary pierside cafe where the waitress is more enthralled by watching an edition of a ballroom dance show on the TV than with her customers. The essay in the booklet beautifully describes the lady losing herself in the dance show and the way that the men treat her with a bit of disdain, which parallels neatly with the sudden turn of events from playfully erotic to threateningly violent at the end of the film. After watching the older man dancing around the pier on his own the younger man beckons the older one over to pee from the pier with him, then turns holding a knife and threatens to stab him. The older man stands his ground (is he laughing at the resort to violence by a confused young man or accepting that he might die from such a brief encounter with a stranger?) and the younger one runs off. Then there is a wonderful return back to the older man as the arrogant sneer suddenly collapses into a mixture of released tension, relief and upset.

Encounter
After the rather threateningly violent events of the previous films, the Peter de Rome one comes as quite a relief. Although there is a strange kind of body snatchers feel about the opening as various men walk the streets with one arm outstretched in front of them in a semi-Black power raised fist! (Amazingly they are able to ride bicycles and go through revolving doors that way!) They all meet together in deserted loft and do an interesting kind of group orgy/ritual/Esther Williams-but-on-dry-land-style synchronised dance number, climaxing in an opening flower formation. Finally after all of the botched, horrific encounters of the other films at least you have men of all kinds working together in harmony here! Although it does seem to be a member you have to have very white buttocks compared to being tanned everywhere else!


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