Russell Smith on Bruce LaBruce (Toronto Life, December 1997):
My experience of watching is typical of an outsider’s experience in the world of gay art: The feeling that there are constants, valences, isotopes all around you, and they must be linked in some really obvious way that everyone but you gets. […] I know there are thematic links here, but I’m not in this loop. […] His films are rambling, numbingly slow-paced, shockingly amateurish. Like so much avant-grade art, they become interesting only when he explains them.
Smith on LaBruce today (2015):
He has become an example of the kind of success that well-connected, Canadian Film Centre–trained, CBC-supported writers and directors only dream of. In this he is evidence of the long-term effect of not trying to please the petrified, boardroom-bound managers of television networks. […]
Even he admits that the MoMA retrospective is rather brave of that august museum. I think it’s evidence of what happens when you do exactly the opposite of what is supposed to make you a successful writer or director in this country. Instead of conscientiously trying to work your way in by doing episodes of Little Mosque on the Prairie or by polishing your pitch for a new cooking-based reality show for a BlackBerry-distracted producer deep in the bowels of the MegaCorp building, you do exactly what you want to do, over and over, failing as many times as you like. Those rich yet timid producers are never going to have successes as international as these.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2015.03.14 12:00. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.