Back in 2012 the British Film Institute released what is undoubtedly one of the most explicit DVDs ever given an 18 certificate in the UK – The Erotic Films Of Peter De Rome. It was a collection of what are essentially hardcore gay porn short films, which isn’t the sort of thing you’d normally think the BFI would be involved with. They were a bit special though, as they were the work of Peter de Rome, who made them in the 1960s and 70s, at a time before there was such a thing as a gay porn industry. They are extremely rare looks at how gay life – and more particularly gay sex – was back then, as well as being influential in the direction gay erotica took.
The documentary Peter de Rome takes a look at the man’s life, putting his films in the context both of what the filmmaker was trying to do, and the world in which he created them. The film features plenty of interviews with de Rome – in fact he essentially acts as a tour guide to his own life. After serving in the Air Force during the Second World War, de Rome was Involved on the side of the film industry and led a transatlantic existence for most of his life, spending part of his time in the UK and the rest in New York. [Read more…]