After Louie


After Louie (10 Excerpts) was shown in 2008 at the Pulse Art Fair in New York. Since that time I have completed the screenplay and am currently in development with After Louie, a deeply personal, loosely-fictional, feature film about a generation of gay men who have survived their own generation.

“Whatever happened to the Mineshaft?”

The Mineshaft was a leather sex club along the West Side Highway in New York City. With the AIDS years becoming settled history, my generation remembers the “Mineshaft” years with nostalgia that grows uncomfortable because of where we are now. Often the younger generation views our recent past with shock and surprise and many have little idea about what we fought for and what sacrifices we made for our freedom.

I am making a film entitled After Louie about where we have gone since the Mineshaft years because I am increasingly disturbed by the fact our gay community has embraced a state of accelerated assimilation that ignores the complexities of the modern gay experience and inadvertently threatens to relegate our history and our lives to a place of shame. Are we becoming a single non-diverse movement that insinuates a “new normal” standard by which to live an acceptable gay life?

My film starts from the inspiration of a short story by my departed friend William Wilson. It begins in 1969 with William’s first encounter of Louie at the Bernini Fountain in Rome the day Judy Garland is found dead in London. It moves between eras in New York — from the gay sexual liberation of the 70s through the shuttering 80s to now, which is where I enter this semi-autobiographical story, as “Sam”, a gay artist at a creative impasse on the verge of 55, or as he puts it, “in the middle of things”. Sam’s current relationship is a rent boy half his age, who, in a surprise turn, becomes his path out of limbo. 
Jean-luc Godard states, "the problem is not to make political films, but to make films politically.” This is precisely what I am doing with After Louie. I want to make a deeply personal film that tells a brave, hopeful, and modern love story that goes beyond identification, oppression, or coming out stories.  I want to tap into larger issues and deeper emotions that can connect generations. By doing so, the film will ask all of us to think more deeply about what it means to be gay and to be human in this day and age.
“The Mineshaft closed in 1985, along with a couple of bathhouses in a sprit that can only be described as hysterical, William Wilson continues, "as the AIDs epidemic gained momentum, no one had any idea of where it was going.”
This is the story of just that – where we have gone After Louie.
Selected pages from Notebook 1

© Copyright 2012 Vincent Willliam Gagliostro. All rights reserved.