Before I Forget
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Jacques Nolot stars and directs a tale of a downward spiraling gay gigolo, struggling to cope with his advancing age, poverty, loneliness, writers block, and the increasing complications of HIV disease. When his wealthy benefactor dies after thirty years of lavish support, his inheritance is challenged by the benefactor`s family, leaving him destitute. Underscoring his every move is the fear of being forgotten, or worse: dying back where he started on the streets. Young hustlers, drugs, alcohol, and countless cigarettes provide momentary distractions, but ultimately, he must face his inner demons in order to be free of them.
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"Before I Forget" is unmistakably French in outlook and attitude (and language) and those are virtues, in my opinion. Interesting film, but not recommended for the depressed or morally squeamish.
I appreciate the unromantic view of aging and of the gay lifestyle. The men of "Before I Forget" are not interested in a same-sex version of bourgeois marriage. This is a relief after decades of the American media portraying gay men as innocuous and sexless to make them non-threatening to the middle class. As a woman, I empathize with Pierre's waning looks and desirability that translate into a loss of freedom and power with age. But Pierre is an idle, neurotic man whose friends have gotten too old, lovers gotten too expensive, and things are only going to get worse. The trouble is that we get the point quickly, and this film plods on for an hour and 40 minutes. Too much wallowing for too long.
The DVD (Strand Releasing 2008): The film is in French with English subtitles that cannot be turned off. The only bonus feature is a theatrical trailer (2 min), also subtitled.
World (shrinks, hustlers, whining old gays, cash cash cash) presented in this movie is completely unattractive to me, thus my low rating.