Back in 1967 queer poet and artist James Broughton created The Bed, which has since been billed as ‘the first non-pornographic US film with full nudity’. It’s since become a bit of an underground, midnight movie favourite, but outside certain circles it’s been difficult to see. However, for just a couple of weeks it’s been released online for free (until February 28th 2017).
In it, ‘An old metal bed rolls down a hill, and is sequentially populated with a potpourri of beauties of all ages, including a coterie of young dance students, famous artists and avant-garde celebrities.’ It’s a strange, mischievous and anarchic film, which takes a look at all sorts of things that could happen on a bed – gay, straight, bisexual, mundane, silly and occasionally sexy – and all with plenty of nudity. It’s also sometimes rather bizarre with some unexpected imagery – a lizard crawling out of a naked man’s mouth springs to mind.
It’s certainly not your typical short film, but while it’s available to view, it’s well worth taking a look. And if you head over to Big Joy, which is the site the film’s been briefly released for, there’s the chance to win Broughton’s memoir, Coming Unbuttoned, and the award-winning feature-length documentary, Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton.