Pride Movie Night in Canada: Fred Lee on Love and Human Remains

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      Vancouver Pride Week is well underway and we're fast approaching the climactic event on Sunday (that's the parade, for those who couldn't figure it out).

      In the meantime, we've been asking professionals in screen-based industries what their recommendations are for Canadian queer cinema to check out. Comedian David C. Jones previously recommended Grown Up Movie Star.

      Our latest recommendation comes from none other than that proud man-about-town known as Fred Lee.

      Lee, a contributor to local newspapers and the CBC, is a host extraordinaire, who emcees numerous fundraising events, and even demonstrates his skill as a killer auctioneer.

      It's Fred Lee!

      Lee wanted to tell us what he thought of Love and Human Remains.

      The 1993 dramatic feature was based on Brad Fraser's stage play and directed by none other than filmmaker Denys Arcand. Arcand was nominated for Academy Awards for The Decline of the American Empire and Jesus of Montreal, and won an Oscar for his 2004 film The Barbarian Invasions.

      The story focusses on the sexual adventures and frustrations of two Edmonton roommates, David, a gay man and former actor, and Candy, a woman who is questioning her sexuality, as a serial killer is stalking young women.  

      Lee provides some context for how the film was received when its initial theatrical run:

      As a young gay man living in Toronto, I recalled Brad Fraser's play Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love attracting wide attention. Controversial for its sexual explicitness, nudity, and frank language, it was declared one of Time magazine's must-see top 10 plays of the year. (And a populist play that has been produced countless times across the country since then). While I don't recall seeing the play when it premiered in Toronto, I did recall the movie's debut Love and Human Remains. Not necessarily the best queer movie ever made, the movie's explicit sexual language, behaviour, and experimentation was shocking and provocative for its time. While the film centres around a serial killer loose in the city, the most interesting part of the movie was the character studies and the relationships between its characters. The premise and theme of teenagers and twentysomethings agonizing over their sexuality and the meaning of life I think is still as relevant today as when the play and then film debuted.

      The film received three best acting nominations and Brad Fraser won a Genie Award for best adapted screenplay.

      Here's the trailer to give you a sample of what the film is like:

      Although that's all for this special edition of Movie Night in Canada, stay tuned as we've got more in store as we explore the underrated, obscure, and forgotten gems of Canadian cinema.