In his 20s, Toronto-based Bruce LaBruce edited and produced 'homo punk' fanzines and super 8 movies (Boy/Girl, I Know What It's Like To Be Dead, Bruce and Pepper Wayne Gacy's Home Movies, Slam!) which contributed to the launch of the so-called radical Homocore or Queercore movement in Canada and elsewhere.
In 1991 LaBruce released his first feature length film. Shot on super 8 and blown up to 16mm, No Skin Off My Ass went on to become a world-wide cult hit. No Skin explores the sordid relationship between a queeny hairdresser (played with little effort by LaBruce himself) and a mute, handsome young skinhead (played quasi-convincingly by his then-boyfriend Klaus Von Brucker). His follow-up feature Super 8 1/2 (1994) - shot in both super 8 and (mostly) 16mm - is a harrowing cautionary bio-pic about LaBruce's rocky rise to cult stardom. Labruce plays an aging porn star/director with his career on the skids and an inability to cope with his newfound fame. After meeting an underground lesbian film-maker, he consents to appear in a documentary about his sordid life, only to realize that she is ultimately exploiting him to further her own career!! Super 8 1\2 went on to become a film festival circuit favourite, earning slots in such high-profile festivals as Sundance, London, Berlin, Dublin, Thessaloniki, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Tokyo, etc.
LaBruce's Hustler White, made in collaboration with L.A.-based photographer Rick Castro, was released in 1996. Co-starring supermodel Tony Ward (ex-consort of Madonna and Christina Applegate) and LaBruce himself, this 16mm feature premiered at Sundance and similarly went on to become a film festival and cult favourite. In this controversial movie, LaBruce plays Jurgen Anger, a gay tourist who visits Los Angeles to check out the infamous Santa Monica Boulevard hustler scene, "strictly for anthropological reasons," where he spots Montgomery Ward (Ward) plying his wares at Plummer Park. Hustler White went on to play at numerous film festivals including Cannes, and won the grand prize at the International Trash Film Festival. The movie stars which stars a cavalcade of underground luminaries and pornstars such as performance artist Ron Athey, drag artist Vaginal Davis, born again Christian country and western singer Glen Meadmore, and author Graham David Smith, not to mention porn stars Kevin Kramer and Alex Austin.
His first legitimate porn movie, Skin Flick (1999), about "a gang of adorable neo-nazi skinheads which breaks into the home of an annoying, mixed-race, salt-and-pepper, bourgeois gay couple and sexually terrorizes them," was shot in London and produced in Berlin.
In 1998, LaBruce became a professional visual artist and writer, as a photographer and columnist for such gay porn magazines as Honcho and Inches, and as a photographer, writer, interviewer, and contributing editor for New York's Index Magazine. LaBruce writes regular columns for Toronto's eye Magazine, a free weekly, and Exclaim, an alternative music monthly, and now has a monthly column in Inches magazine entitled "Bruce LaBruce Must Be Killed". His 1997 book of memoirs, The Reluctant Pornographer, was preceded by Ride, Queer, Ride, a catalogue of his artistic work.
Hyper-Mercurial LaBruce has the quicksilver planet ruling his Gemini Ascendant from his Seventh House in Jupiter's sign. Hence his livewire tongue and prestigious output of writings. The masculine planets Jupiter and Mars closely conjunct in Jupiter's own sign on his Descendant explain the "Road Film" nature of much of his work. With Uranus trine his Jupiter/Mars, LaBruce gets away with the quirkiest and queerest sorts of "boy's own" films. The quincunx between Uranus in Leo (on his Part of Fortune) and his Pisces Moon prompts LaBruce to dazzle as an outrageous actor and filmmaker. Both angular, his Uranus and Moon anchor him in his often queeny presence. LaBruce's aspirations toward ultra-femininity (Pisces Moon on Midheaven) manifest best when grounded in fundamentally offbeat drama (Uranus in Leo on IC). He's written that his homocore stuff "corrupted a whole new generation of homosexuals." Saturn conjunct (and ruling) his earthy Capricorn Sun and Eighth House is speaking here! This combination of stellar influences channels him toward a focus on the physical expression of intimacies. To put it simply, toward the pornographic. For LaBruce, (homo)sexual expression obviously rules supreme!
"Bruce La Bruce" Filmography at Internet Movie DataBase.
Burston, Paul. "Porn Broker." Attitude (UK) #1.11 (March 1995), pp. 53-55.
LaBruce, Bruce. "Cheap Thrills Head LaBruce's Czech List" Feelings #7.52 (1 October 1998).
---. The Reluctant Pornographer. Gutter Press,
---. "The Wild, Wild World of Fanzines." A Queer Romance: Lesbians, Gay Men and Popular Cultures. Ed. Paul Burston and Colin Richardson. Routledge: London, 1995, pp. 186-195.
Naod, Sasha. "Shock Trooper." DNA February 2003, pp. 54-56.
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