Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Geronotophilia": an 18-year-old male attendant takes to the old men he cares for at a retirement home


There is a point in the French Canadian dramedy “Gerontophilia” (by Bruce La Bruce) where Desiree (Katie Boland) tells the attractive 18-year-old Everyman Lake (Pier-Gabriel Lajoie) that he is indeed revolutionary (a boy with an "old soul"), going against even what nature says is desirable (a favorite world during my Army stay) when he courts the affection of elderly men, approaching their ends in a Montreal assisted living facility where Lake works.

It starts innocently enough. Lake works as a lifeguard, and feels depressed when an old man drowns when he is at work, probably because of a natural causes in the pool. His mother gets him a job as an attendant at the home, and he immediately takes to the intimacy of the duties.
  
As he washes them, he imagines that they were at one time young like himself. He plays cards with them, and then becomes suspicious that the home is keeping them drugged to keep them controllable. One man whom he first comes on to passes away (they show the body bag), and another fellow, Mr. Peabody (Walter Borden) is caught “wandering” (a term used with Alzheimer’s patients).  But when Lake befriends Peabody (even not so secretly drinking with him in the room), he learns that Peabody wants to go on one last trip, across Canada to the Pacific Ocean.
  
So the last act of the film becomes a road movie, although there seem to be some narrative gaps.
      
I can remember my fist “gay talk group” in New York in 1973, when I was pleasantly surprised to find that a number of the men wanted to meet someone who was “older”.  But I personally find I need to start out with perfection.  Marriage, of course, implies that people will remain interested in each other as they age or face calamities that would, at first glance, make them “unattractive”.  Other calamities, like war, can deny some people the chance to get started, unless others are “realistic”.  So there is some.
  
Lake himself would make eye candy.  He looks a little mature for 18, already with chest hair.  He is always personable, even a bit controlling, and sometimes combative.
  
Of course, what would also be controversial is ephebophilia, a bit the subject matter of my own controversial screenplay short, "The Sub".  But exclusive upward affiliation can lead to bad karma. 

The official site is here  for the DVD July 17 from Strand Releasing, or here from Canada.  I watched a private Vimeo screener.
  
Wikipedia attribution link for panorama of Montreal;  the stadium used to house the Expos. by Antoine Mgyayhar under creative Commons 3.0 Share Alike license;  my last visit was in August 1993. Indeed, Blame Canada!
   

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