Sunday afternoon at DocFest brought with it a pair of very different films about very similar subjects. Both The Advocate For Fagdom and A Letter To Elia told the story of a filmmaker, albeit in a very different manner, with each telling of their particular subjects.
The Advocate For Fagdom charts the life and career of Bruce LaBruce, icon of the counterculture, and legendary Queer Cinema filmmaker. It’s an unflinching work, and one that pays its respects to its inspiration in a manner completely befitting. To a heterosexual male that has had very little exposure to queer cinema it was something of an eye opener.
While the subject matter fascinated the bigger problem with The Advocate For Fagdom lays in the construction of the film. Put simply, nothing really happens. There isn’t any real narrative as such, instead the film is just a series of talking heads, with, the famous fans and admirers of LaBruce such as Harmony Korine, John Waters and Gus Van Sant simply talking about Bruce.
LaBruce, dubbed the “Brecht of pornography” by one commentator is certainly an important cultural figure, but 90 minutes is perhaps pushing it a little too much for such a relatively visually dull movie.