INSIDE OUT ’14: I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole

wakefield poole
BY ISA MONTAGNESE

This film profiles the life and career of Wakefield Poole, the pioneer of art/gay porn (yes I meant to write that). This documentary is a perfect addition to the Inside Out film fest this year because it highlights the life of a filmmaker, dancer and all around trendy dude who forced audiences to take gay porn and erotic art cinema seriously.

In the time of changing Broadway, Harvey Milk, Deep Throat and Stonewall, Poole left his mark on the porn industry and the art scene all by refusing to be limited by what was already out there. This film highlights Pooles early Broadway career and how it lead to his curiosity of film. It also touches on his time working with Harvey Milk, and his personal battles with drugs, but for the most part it focuses on his career in porn. Poole wanted to make art films that pushed the gay erotic genre from bottom drawer, cheap filth to high quality, influential, trendy and aesthetically beautiful filth. He succeeded and made a name for himself as an important staple in the art world and the activist world.

Though this documentary isn’t the greatest, learning about another aspect of that truly important time in American gay history was exciting.

C+

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Toronto’s Inside Out Film Festival runs from May 22 – June 1. Read more Inside Out coverage.

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