Pat Rocco’s Lost Gay Erotic Films!
Screenings in Philadelphia: Friday, January 31
Pat Rocco broke important ground in the summer of 1968, when his gay erotic short films screened at the Park Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. For a few years, he was one of the most important and visible gay culture workers in the United States, until he was displaced by hardcore pioneers like Wakefield Poole and Fred Halsted.
Since the 1970s, his work has been incredibly difficult to see—aside from a VHS release of his 1970 omnibus Mondo Rocco that’s long out of print and hard to obtain, Rocco’s films have never circulated on home-viewing formats, and to see them, you must venture to the UCLA Film & Television Archive, where his work is stored.
So I’m very excited to report that this Friday (1/31), at the International House in Philadelphia, I’ll be introducing a set of Rocco’s short films. They range from joyous beefcake to gay-liberation documentary, with some truly remarkable capturing of the look, feel, and spirit of the late 60s and early 70s.
Rocco is a really overlooked gay filmmaker, who shot all around the Los Angeles metropolitan area in guerilla style, without permits or much of a crew to speak of, filming on Hollywood Boulevard, Griffith Park, Echo Park, even Disneyland and the Hollywood Freeway (where, in his most audacious stunt, he had friends jam traffic as he shot a naked man dancing!). He embodies a true DIY spirit—untrained in film, he simply grabbed a camera, started filming, and caught (and contributed to) a revolutionary moment in gay history, and American sexuality at large.
I’ve written a bit more about Rocco’s work here, and here are some preview images from his amazing work. If you’re anywhere near the Philly area on Friday, this is a really rare screening, and worth attending. Hope to see you there!
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