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FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

GAY SEX IN THE 70S

TFF 2005
FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE GAY SEX IN THE 70S [TFF 2005]

The West Side of Manhattan, from the Meatpacking District to Battery Park, is recognized today for its high-end boutiques and restaurants, pricey real estate, verdant waterfront parkland, and wealthy vanilla denizens, to say nothing of the glamorous and iconic neighborhood that lends this film festival its name. But in the late Sixties, in the wake of the Stonewall Riots, the West Side became the epicenter of a restless sexuality that would go on to define the era of gay liberation. On the former ramshackle piers of the West Village, deep within the loading docks of TriBeCa (once famously known as The Trucks; mere footsteps from what is now Nobu), and in bars, discos and bathhouses bearing names like The Meat Rack and Crisco Disco, gay men embarked on a freewheeling frenzy of marathon, drug-fueled casual sex that was frequently public and rarely restrained. So many of these men are dead now, victims of a merciless disease that yielded scant survivors. In Gay Sex in the 70's, those who lived to tell--including activist Larry Kramer, photographer Tom Bianchi, and music producer Mel Charin--revisit the era through vintage photographs and documentary footage, exhibiting a rueful nostalgia that will infuriate some and captivate others. This sobering, unapologetically frank memoir of recreational gay sex among a brotherhood of men who would pay the ultimate price for their proclivities examines an aspect of freedom that has both champions and detractors. As the pendulum swings back toward a similar hedonism among gay men of this era, we can only watch and learn.

The West Side of Manhattan, from the Meatpacking District to Battery Park, is recognized today for its high-end boutiques and restaurants, pricey real estate, verdant waterfront parkland, and wealthy vanilla denizens, to say nothing of the glamorous and iconic neighborhood that lends this film festival its name. But in the late Sixties, in the wake of the Stonewall Riots, the West Side became the epicenter of a restless sexuality that would go on to define the era of gay liberation. On the former ramshackle piers of the West Village, deep within the loading docks of TriBeCa (once famously known as The Trucks; mere footsteps from what is now Nobu), and in bars, discos and bathhouses bearing names like The Meat Rack and Crisco Disco, gay men embarked on a freewheeling frenzy of marathon, drug-fueled casual sex that was frequently public and rarely restrained. So many of these men are dead now, victims of a merciless disease that yielded scant survivors. In Gay Sex in the 70's, those who lived to tell--including activist Larry Kramer, photographer Tom Bianchi, and music producer Mel Charin--revisit the era through vintage photographs and documentary footage, exhibiting a rueful nostalgia that will infuriate some and captivate others. This sobering, unapologetically frank memoir of recreational gay sex among a brotherhood of men who would pay the ultimate price for their proclivities examines an aspect of freedom that has both champions and detractors. As the pendulum swings back toward a similar hedonism among gay men of this era, we can only watch and learn.

Film Information
Year: 2005
Length: 67 minutes
Language: English
Country: USA
Premiere: World
About the Director(s)

Joseph Lovett has produced and directed independent features and shorts for the festival circuits as well as many television films for HBO, ABC, PBS, CBS, and BRAVO. His company, Lovett Productions, Inc., has focused on social issues and health topics since 1989. Lovett has the ability to put a human face on the most complex problems, making them accessible to everyone. Lovett has taught at the New School for Social Research, lectured and published at the Kinsey Institute and is a clinical associate professor at the State University of New York's Health Science Center at Brooklyn on the subject of "Medicine and the Media." In 1997, Vice-President Gore presented him with the AIDS Leadership Award for his ongoing work against the epidemic. His awards include the Peabody, the Christopher Award, and an Emmy nomination. He has shown his work at many festivals including Sundance, SXSW, Vancouver, and the Los Angles International Film Festival.

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