After Louie | Chicago Reader

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click to enlarge After Louie

After Louie


100 minutes · 2017

This debut feature from longtime gay-rights activist Vincent Gagliostro, about a middle-aged New York artist (Alan Cumming) making a film about the ACT UP generation and a close friend who died of AIDS, is a valuable meditation on generational differences, particularly between gay men who lived through the worst years of the AIDS crisis and those who came of age afterward. The protagonist prefers these younger men sexually: "When I was your age . . . my friends were dropping like flies," he tells one. "So yeah, I am trying to recapture my youth." In another scene the artist is confronted by a peer for using their mutual friend as a documentary subject: "He's not a symbol." Clearly this is a personal project for Gagliostro, who seems to be working through his own issues, and though the film brims with thought-provoking conversations, it works better in these individual light-bulb moments than as a narrative whole.

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