No other filmmaker better embodied the spirit of the gay liberation movement than Arthur J. Bressan, Jr. (Buddies, Gay USA). A true pioneer of queer cinema, his films fearlessly blurred the boundaries between the artistic, the erotic and the cinematic - and never so clearly as with his first two narrative films, the critically-acclaimed Passing Strangers and Forbidden Letters. Altered Innocence and the Bressan Project are proud to present these two landmarks of early queer cinema, newly restored in 2K from their original film elements with a host of new bonus features.
In Passing Strangers, a closeted gay teenager (Robert Adams) finds love, community and a political awakening when he decides to answer a personal ad from an older, jaded man (Robert Carnagey). One of cinema's first coming out stories, Passing Strangers is a romantic portrait of gay liberation-era San Francisco that still resonates today.
Robert Adams returns in Forbidden Letters as Larry, a man trying to pass time on the day his older lover Richard (Richard Locke) is set to be released from prison. Unable to clear his head through casual sex, he reads through his letters to Richard - letters he could never send out of fear that his outing would lead to a harsher sentence. As Richard's release draws nearer, the question remains: will the spark still be there when he gets out?
Special features include audio commentaries, interviews with Robert Adams and various queer film historians, five early short films by Bressan (on the Blu-ray only), print materials, photo galleries, theatrical trailers, a twenty-page booklet featuring writing by Bressan and an essay by queer trans film critic Caden Mark Gardner (Blu-ray only) and much, much more.
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