Part of Fall 1996
Hustler White explodes on the screen with bold references to film culture, challenging sexual content and sizzling wit and humour. Co-directors Bruce LaBruce and Rick Castro escort us on a rough-trade romp along Santa Monica Blvd., LA’s infamous strip of outdoor male prostitution. Fast food, fast sex, fast exits. The film starts with a nod to Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard and ends with a kiss from Death In Venice. As in Bruce LaBruce’s other films (Super 8 1/2, No Skin Off My Ass) Bruce plays the lead. This time he’s the arch writer and gay ghetto anthropologist, Jurgen Anger. As Jurgen spies Monti the strutting hustler, played by former Madonna boy-toy and current Dolce and Gabanna model Tony Ward, the objectification begins as well as the chase. It’s a new slant on tainted love with an all-male cast including Vaginal Creme Davis, gay porn stars Kevin Kramer and Alex Austin, as well as an assortment of homocore skin heads, midnight cowboys, and a very memorable amputee. Cinematographer James Carman has shot the hustlers as a hazy memory of a late 70’s sun-bleached super-8 skin flick — recollections of maverick gay porn director William Higgins. This glimpse of a gay fringe sub-culture is gritty, funny, sometimes disturbing, and ultimately refreshing because it extends the boundaries of gay content in film. Move over Priscilla Queen of the Desert, LaBruce is back. Hustler White is definitely not a musical, but it does feature music by the likes of Rusty, The Dandy Warhols, Shades Apart, Goo Dolls, and The Boredoms.
“Hustler White is a comment on the extreme appetites that go into the production and consumption of gay male porn and prostitution. The film doesn’t glorify or condemn its subjects — played by real hustlers — but merely depicts their day-to-day lives. Sure to shock, it refuses to take a simple pro- or anti-sex trade stance; rather, it presents it all with brutal honesty.” (Liz Czach, Perspective Canada Programmer, Toronto Int. Film Festival)