Essentially four different short films (or at least the versions I watched) that spans from the 1880s to the 1980s that make up a feature-length documentary that starts with a curiously campy and queerly carnal pornographic docudrama about German pederast/photographer Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden and concludes with a pseudo-cinéma vérité 'arthouse' melodrama about a closet-case family man and his sleazy encounter with a dirty Frenchman whilst cruising Paris, The Homosexual Century is a relatively eclectic (as far as filmmaking techniques are concerned), if not thematically erratic, work that cannot decide whether it wants to be a piece of poofer erotica or a serious work of pole-smoking propaganda. Unsurprisingly, shot in gay guerilla-style during the height of mass demonstrations for “homo liberation” in fall of 1979 in France and elsewhere in the Occident, part one of The Homosexual Century, "Le temps de la pose" (23 mins), depicts late 19th-century cock-sucking kraut photographer Wilhelm von Gloeden as a princely pervert who started a virtual one-man-revolution with his proto-pornographic photographs of underage boys who he took a special liking due to their perceived exotic and ‘Arab’ appearances. In between goofy footage of von Gloeden getting his groove on as the master of getting disrobed Guido twinks to strike gay Greek poses, the segment also features sordid and salacious scenic sodomy from consenting young men that ultimately seems more silly than "sexy" as one can only assumed the director intended it to be. According to one of the boys, the Baron, “made us princes of art,” which must undoubtedly be true as high-profile pederast Oscar Wilde was a fan of von Gloeden’s Uranian photos. Naturally, von Gloeden and his cousin Guglielmo Plüschow are important in gay history because they made it somewhat acceptable to erotocize young men, but it seems quite ridiculous that this story would take up about a quarter of The Homosexual Century. It would probably have been better spent discussing Uranian poets like Lord Alfred Douglas (Wilde's treacherous butt boy), John Addington Symonds, John Moray Stuart-Young, Montague Summers, and the eccentric Frederick Rolfe aka "Baron Corvo," but I guess images have always been more popular than actual literature, even among the cultivated cock-sucking sort.
The second segment of The Homosexual Century, "Le troisième sexe ou Des années folles à l'extermination" (25 mins), is indubitably the most interesting and insightful part of the documentary as it depicts the various opposing and philosophically rivaling homosexual groups in Weimar Republic, Germany during the the 1920s and 1930s, which queer British novelist Christopher Isherwood apparently called the “Golden Age of Homosexuality.” Essentially divided into three rival yet somewhat overlapping groups – effete supporters of gay German-Jewish sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld; a man who believed homosexuals were a third sex (gay men being biological men with “female” souls), Adolf Brand; an anarchistic völkisch writer influenced by kraut egotist/atheistic anarchist philosopher Max Stirner who published the gay journal Der Eigene (aka The Own) that promoted neo-paganism and promoted the belief that homosexuals were more masculine than heterosexual men, and the “Confederation of Specials” (which is probably a bad translation of the real name); a group that promoted cultured cocktail aestheticism and anarchism – The Homosexual Century makes it quite clear there was actually a time when queers did not have a superficial pseudo-culture like they do today in the U.S. Like Adolf Brand, Hans Blüher (who later became a National Socialist for a time) supported the Wandervogel and German Youth Movement; proto-hippie back-to-nature groups that promoted neo-paganism, nudism, organic foods, eugenics, etc. that were partly inspired by the völkisch symbolist art of Fidus (Hugo Reinhold Karl Johann Höppener) – whose artistic works are featured in The Homosexual Century – and would later inspire the Hitler Youth. Ironically, Magnus Hirschfeld, who was called the “Einstein of Sex” by the New York Times (and later by Rosa von Praunheim), would develop a large body of research that was later used by the Nazis as scientific evidence of homosexual genetic degeneracy as depicted in The Homosexual Century in a most unflattering and quasi-pornographic manner in a debauched docudrama sequence featuring nude twinks and muscle fags dressed in black trench-coats with Nazi armbands. The documentary also goes on to describe how the Nazis trashed Hirshfeld’s research center, but made the mistake of featuring a picture of gay SA brownshirt Edmund Heines, who had his own mini-concentration camp where he tortured enemies as depicted in Rosa von Praunheim's documentary Men Heroes and Gay Nazis (2005) and was the deputy of Sturmabteilung leader Ernst Röhm (who introduced his boyish compatriot to sodomy, among other things); both of whom would be sacrificed in Hitler’s fratricidal purge, the Night of the Long Knives, under the dubious pretense (Hitler, who was one of Röhm's best friends, long knew about his loyal cock-sucking commando's 'vice') of their poofer perversity. To the credit of the makers of The Homosexual Century, while it is mentioned that the Nazis had a popular quote, “suppress the Jews, for Marxism to disappear,” it is also mentioned that Soviet writer Maxim Gorky once wrote, “suppress the homosexuals, for fascists to disappear,” thus revealing homosexuality was not uncommon among early leaders of the National Socialist Party. Judging by the political climate today in the Occident in regard to gay special interest groups, Gorky may have been on to something. Somewhat surprisingly, ‘conservative revolutionary’ poet Stefan George (who most modern academics write-off as a proto-Nazi poet of sorts) and his obsessions with getting his members of his literary circle to dress in ancient, homoerotic style Greek clothing is mentioned in a relatively positive light.
Undoubtedly, the final two parts of The Homosexual Century are most certainly the weakest despite the fact that they depict relatively 'homosexually liberated' periods in history. While the third part, "Sweet Sixteen in the Sixties" (10 mins), is nothing more than a Soviet montage-inspired agitprop piece of perverse poo-packing pornography filled with erect members, flower power fags frolicking around rather gayly, pretty boy orgies featuring buff bods and blowjobs, redundant rock ‘n’ roll/psychedelic music and aesthetics, and a celebration of how sodomy finally became sanctified in the Occident due to the emergence of counter-culture groups, Cultural Marxism/Frankfurt school ideas, and popular unisex clothing (which is described as a being more revolutionary and important than any other from of group protest), the final segment of the documentary, "Royal Opéra" (co-directed with Guy Hocquenghem, 25 mins), which was also released separately as an individual short film the same year (1979), is a minimalistic, melodramatic and would-be-erotic condemnation of homos in the closet as well as a demystification of public pissoir in the golden age of cruising that shares a striking resemblance to the French film Johan – Mon été 75 (1976) directed by the openly gay filmmaker Philippe Vallois (who also directed We Were One Man (1979) aka Nous étions un seul homme starring Piotr Stanislas, who plays one of the leads in Royal Opéra). About as interesting as Royal Opéra gets is when the characters decide to urinate in unison on a city sidewalk in broad daylight, as well as a scene where a racially insensitive remark is made by the dirty Frenchman regarding an urban abyss of sorts, where he states quite sardonically, "Moreover, this tunnel was as dark as a Negro's asshole in the depth of a mine." Needless to say, not a single segment of The Homosexual Century is LGBT-sensitive enough to make the curious contemporary plea for gay marriage to seem even remotely reasonable as most of the proto-twinks, queens, and leather-fags featured in this radically pro-decadence documentary are 'bad to the boner' and love living the wayward way.
Ultimately, The Homosexual Century is an uneven yet unintentionally eventful work of fierce fag agitprop from a bygone era when boy-on-boy buggery was still somewhat of a taboo in the Occidental world and that to some extent acts as counter-propaganda to the poofer political correctness that has infectiously engulfed Western European and Northern American society today. As with many works of its kind (and queer cinema in general), the documentary is also an incriminating and wildly wanton work that makes dudes that likes dudes seem like the most depraved and debauched deviants in the world, which is not helped by the the fact that co-writer/co-director Guy Hocquenghem was a vehement victim of his own political puffery, dying of “gay cancer,” which was probably caused by one too many anonymous trips to the tearoom. In terms of educational merit, The Homosexual Century, especially the second segment, is proof gay kultur was not always about retarded haircuts and a radically repugnant fashion sense, talking with a contrived lisp, glorifying dastardly drag queens and bitchy old hags and feminist fag hags, so-called LGBT’s collective war against heterosexuality (there was actually a time when fags hated dykes and vice versa), pill popping, and promoting a slave-morality-driven victim-based mentality. It might be a stretch, but I would not be surprised if the contemporary cock-sucker cry for "gay marriage" is a result of a lack of persecution among gays in the Western world because, after all, masochism and man-on-man love go hand-in-hand. In the past gays could proudly say they had Stefan George, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jean Cocteau, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, etc., – individuals who actually suffered to some extent during their time – but who do they have now; Ellen Degenerate, Ogre O'Donnell, and pedomorphic pansy Neil Patrick Harris!? If the last century was the “Homosexual Century,” then this zeitgeist should certainly be concluded with an abberosexual apocalypse of sorts. After all, while the paintings of Caravaggio and the cinematic works of F.W. Murnau will always be treasured, no one is going to miss hearing about the much publicized tearoom exploits of drug-addled fag singers like George Michael and his less masculine compatriot, fairy fag Boy George.