Encounters: Four Ground-Breaking Classics of Gay Cinema

This collection from the BFI brings together four rarely seen short films depicting the gay experience in post-war society.

This collection from the BFI brings together four rarely seen short films depicting the gay experience in post-war society. Essential viewing for anyone interested in issues of sexuality and individual freedom.

Dream A40 (UK, Lloyd Reckord, 1965, 16 min)

Two years before the Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexuality, a young gay couple’s relationship is put to the test as they make a journey during which they must refrain from public demonstrations of affection. Daring and poetic, Dream A40 was the second film by Jamaican actor-director Lloyd Reckord.

Vapors (US, Andy Milligan, 1965, 31 min)

Independent US director Andy Milligan’s first film offers a fascinating glimpse into the pre-Stonewall gay scene. Set in New York’s St Mark’s bathhouse, this bold and sensitive film chronicles an emotionally awkward encounter between two equally inexperienced strangers.

Come Dancing (UK, Bill Douglas, 1970, 13 min)

Celebrated filmmaker Bill Douglas’s early student short follows two men who meet in a cafe on a Southend pier. Glances, body language and very brief snatches of lewd dialogue suggest a pick-up, but the atmosphere soon darkens and events take an unexpected twist.

Encounter (US, Peter de Rome, 1971, 13 min)

A number of young men wander through the streets of New York in a dream-like trance before finally coming together in a secret tactile ritual. Directed by legendary filmmaker Peter de Rome, this wordless erotic fantasy is presented here with a new score by Stephen Thrower.

Special features

  • Lloyd Reckord in conversation at the BFI Southbank (2011): the director of Dream A40 discusses his controversial film.
  • 24-page illustrated booklet with essays and credits for each film.

Product information

    • Certificate

      18

    • Colour

      Colour and Black/white

    • Sound

      Sound

    • Running time

      80mins

    • Subtitles

      English for the hard-of-hearing

    • Original aspect ratio

      1.33:1

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number

      BFIVD938

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