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Peter de Rome: Grandfather of Gay Porn

Peter de Rome: Grandfather of Gay Porn 18 rating

The journey of a true English eccentric, from his 1960s experiments with gay erotica to a reappraisal 40 years later as an LGBT pioneer.

Documentary 2014 96 mins

Director: Ethan Reid

Overview

Armed with only an 8mm movie camera Peter De Rome was an eccentric English gentleman who in the 1960s would politely ask young men to remove their clothes and perform on camera. Initially intended for his own consumption, it wasn’t long before his work gained a growing audience, although at the time it was far too subversive and corruptive for general viewing.

Ethan Reid’s charming documentary chronicles Peter’s incredible story, from his early work in the British film industry to a Hollywood sojourn at Paramount Pictures and his eventual notoriety within the Manhattan queer underground of William Burroughs and Andy Warhol. After decades languishing in obscurity, De Rome’s work was accepted into the BFI National Archives in 2007; a pivotal moment in the filmmaker’s rediscovery which becomes the focal point of Reid’s profile. Along with contributions from a range of collaborators, the film uses extensive extracts from Peter’s varied and often explicit work, from his early 8mm experiments in the 1960s to his extraordinary feature films, to create a portrait of a true original.