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DIRTY MOVIES: A History of the “Stag” Film ("Le bleu de la nuit : Histoire des « stag movies »")

  • 2013
  • 160 mins
  • English
Hosted by Philippe Spurrell (C/FS) & Thomas Waugh, Concordia University Research Chair in Sexual Representation and Documentary, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, who last wrote about stag films in his 1996 book “Hard to Imagine: Gay Male Eroticism in Photography and Film from their Beginnings to Stonewall”

Presented by Le Cinéclub de Montréal: The Film Society (C/FS)

Beginning many decades ago, in an age when explicit erotic imagery was taboo, 16mm projectors were set up in secret darkened rooms, where risky stag films showed generations of people everything they wanted to know about sex. Even more risky than viewing them was actually filming them, but that didn’t stop some directors from being creative, funny and outrageously daring. We will explore the origins and development of the genre from its early days through the 1970s.

The centrepiece of this exploration is the little-seen INSERTS (1974, 117 min.). This black comedy, written and directed by John Byrum, tells the story of a washed-up silent-movie director who reboots his career by making films in his crumbling mansion for the growing XXX market. Playing the lead in this major studio release is Richard Dreyfuss (JAWS, CE3K), who took on this small project as a quiet break following months of insanity on a big-budget film he predicted would flop because it featured a giant mechanical rubber shark. Other key players who give intense (and quite revealing) performances are Veronica Cartwright (ALIEN) and Jessica Harper (PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, SUSPIRIA). The late great Bob Hoskins (BRAZIL, ROGER RABBIT) plays a money man named Big Mac. Very theatrical and oddly compelling, INSERTS still has the ability to shock modern audiences, who get drawn into its cast of damaged characters and its intelligently acidic screenplay by a director who successfully pitched the idea to a producer riding in the New York taxi he was driving.

PLUS: Preceding the feature will be unedited footage of iconic pin-up Betty Page struck directly from 16mm camera negatives, and original vintage 16mm prints of shorts actually played at stag parties many decades ago, including a short film shot at the notorious Manson Family lair Spahn Ranch — and a clip from IF YOU SEE KAY. If you do see her, tell her not to miss all these rare moving images pulled from the Cinéclub/Film Society vaults, all to the benefit of your sexual education! (Strictly 18+)

— Philippe Spurrell