In All Probability It’s The Movie Maker Who Is Perverse

If anyone wanted to know why West Germans have been denied the sight of It Is Not The Homosexual Who Is Perverse But The Situation In Which He Lives, a couple of showings the movie got at the London’s National Film showed that it’s probably for the good of gays in Germany and also for the majority of the TV audience, which is, presumably, heterosexual.

There are quite a few Germans and if they believed that gays lived a form of Rake’s Progress (or should it be The Three-penny Opera?) as it was portrayed in this movie they might do everything they could to make sure that Amendment 175 of the constitution of West Germany, which makes homosexual acts legal among legal consenting adult males, and all that stuff.

The NFT showed the movie on two successive nights, and on both nights they got a full house (it’s probably the first time the NFT’s commissionaire has ever seen a queue) and although Volker Eschge, the assistant director wasn’t allowed to finish his piece which tended to go on and on, by shouts of boredom from the audience, no-one who missed Herr Eschge’s summation of the director Rosa von Praunheim – who’s male, by the way – missed much.

On the second night, either the audience was more tolerant or Herr Eschge had severely curtailed his speech on the relevance of Marxism to a sexual revolution.

The important bit he said was that the movie was shot as a simulated documentary about 1967 and planned as far back as the first stirrings of the USA Gay Liberation Movement – the riots in the Greenwich Village Stonewall. Which put the movie into perspective. Even if no-one was admitting it, it was made as a piece of pro-gay propaganda made to show how society forced the homosexual into a degrading life-style.

As Derek Malcolm said in the post-movie discussion after its second showing: “It shows that Rosa von Praunheim knows nothing about the gay scene.”

Whether Mr Malcolm, who writes about movies for The Guardian, knows all that much about the gay scene is immaterial, largely because he found the movie’s fundamental flaw. Every scene looked like a cheap back-of-the-lot Hollywood Western set. Cheap fittings with any little bits of effort put into it so hard they stuck out a mile.

It’s true that this sort of garish gay scene did exist before Amendment 175 was passed. At a time when German gays were totally disorganised. So the movie preaches that they should join their local groups and become militant gays, equating sexual and social revolution with a political revolution.

It’s true that you can’t have the former without the latter, but the unprocessed propaganda that the movie came out with was more likely to get the millions of German gays retreating into their closets with their Bullworkers, iron crosses and elevator shoes, as well as turning the majority of society against gays.

It Is Not The Homosexual… followed one Daniel on the broad path through the bar scene, the rent scene, and, after freaking out of leather, and into drag to being talked at by six well-meaning nude gentlemen who were doing all they could to cover their naughty parts.

The plan of the movie is probably – it’s not so obvious as to be able to say that this is what it’s about definitely – the degradation of Daniel through his contact with the Berlin gay world. Unfortunately the only English language print was made for showing in the USA, so we had a lot of references to ‘faggots’, ‘leather-freaks’ etc. And that sort of categorising doesn’t do anyone any good.

During this scene there was a mysterious large bottle of Coca-Cola being passed from one end of the group to another.

So, basically, It Is Not The Homosexual… is about another time, another place and none of it is helped by the fact that it’s made with all the expertise of a ten-year-old psychopath turned loose with a Super-8 camera and a roll of Kodachrome II.

Herr von Praunheim won’t let the movie be shown unless there’s a discussion after it. So George Melly tried to get people discussing the movie one at a time on the first night the movie was shown.

Come the second night and Mr Melly (of The Observer) had been replaced – according to plan – by Mr Malcolm, Roger Baker of CHE by Bernard Greaves of CHE and Denis Lemon of Gay News by your faithful reporter.

Regrettably the movie is to be shown at last on German TV in January. Pity really, as the direction and the acting are both so wooden as to make Crossroads look like a masterpiece of movie-making.

GLF At Stoke Newington 8 Trial

Although there is absolutely no connection between the Gay Liberation Front and the activities of the ‘Angry Brigade’, a number of gays from GLF were called to give evidence at the Old Bailey Trial on Thursday 2nd November.

The group of people charged with the ‘Angry Brigade conspiracy’ are popularly known as the ‘Stoke Newington 8’. Among them is Angela Weir, who before her arrest last year was an active member of GLF.

The Gay Lib people were called by Angela’s defence council to give evidence, on oath, to the effect that she was a participant of a GLF demonstration on 19th August, 1971. The prosecution council claim that on that day she was on an ‘Angry Brigade’ expedition to France, which resulted in an illegal explosion in that country.

The prosecution allege that an identity photograph establishes that Angela was a member of the part of ‘AB’ people who supposedly made the cross-channel trip. The GLF people, amongst others, gave evidence to the contrary. In all about fifteen people were alibi witnesses for Angela.

The demonstration on Thursday 19th August, 1971, was held by GLF for two reasons. Partly it was about the misrepresentation of Gay Lib and homosexuality in general by the national press, and also because of the complete press silence on important gay activities. The demo was held in London’s Fleet Street and the surrounding area. A number of newspaper offices were visited. Leaflets were distributed throughout the event.

Most of the GLF witnesses giving evidence stated that they positively remember seeing Angela, accompanied by Sarah Grimes, outside the Sun building in Bouverie Street, just off Fleet Street. Amongst the Gay Libbers verifying this were Michael Lynham, Timothy Bollingbroke and Andrew Lumsden. Sarah Grimes also gave evidence substantiating this claim, as did Denis Lemon (of Gay News), who was at that time involved in GLF.

Other witnesses testified to the fact that they had met Angela in London on the day in question. Amongst those who met her at her flat were GLF member Tony Hallyday, who said on oath that he had spoken and been with Angela in the evening of the 19th August. Tony lived in the same house as Angela.

The prosecution also claims that samples of Angela’s handwriting are the same as written material alleged to be connected with ‘AB’ activities. But the defence’s handwriting expert disagrees with the findings of those stated by the prosecution’s expert in the same field.

The case, where all the defendants are jointly charged with conspiracy to cause illegal explosions and with firearms offences, is not expected to be over until some time in December.

Hired To Murder

COPENHAGEN: Danish police have arrested a man for killing Wolfgang Ihns in Hamburg late last month and claim he says he was hired to kill Ihns by Frau Ihns’ 24-year-old girlfriend.

The police arrested a young Dane called Danny Nielsen, an invalid living on a disability pension. They say he immediately admitted to committing the murder in Germany.

According to the police, Nielsen said he had been hired for £175 to “get the husband out of the way”.

Official sources add that 34-year-old Frau Ihns and the girl had been living together earlier this year.

Old Boy And Fag

Our thanks to The Sunday Times for a little weekend hilarity in its Atticus column: After many years of drifting across to America and over Europe, one of Oxford’s most illustrious old boys, W.H. Auden, has come shuffling back to the University town with a fag dangling out of his mouth and octopal hands in baggy pockets to spend a winter in a cottage in Christ Church where, as an occasional lecturer, he will be meeting students.

Premier Meets Gay Opposition

WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Mr Jack Marshall, is meeting with unusual opposition in his Karori constituency in the forthcoming general election. Mr Marshall’s opponent is standing as a Gay Liberation candidate.

He’s David Johnstone, a 32-year-old former female impersonator, who came to New Zealand from his native Australia to work as a stripper in a Wellington nightclub.

Later David opened New Zealand’s first restaurant with topless waitresses. After that he started a club featuring drag shows in Auckland.

Now working as a cafeteria steward, he will campaign on increasing all types of sexual freedom. Part of his platform will be homosexual law reform and freedom for nudity and pornography.

David had started his electoral aspirations by planning to oppose the National Party’s Ken Comber in Wellington Central ward – Mr Comber is the son-in-law of ex-premier Sir Keith Holyoake.

But, David said, the electors of Wellington Central were “fairly up with the play”. The electors of Karori would be more likely to benefit from his message.

He told pressmen he was sincere in his candidacy in the election.

He said: “There is so much suffering caused by sexual repression that I feel it my duty to do everything possible to bring enlightenment.”

Wellington GLF has almost 300 members.

Premier Marshall may be up against a candidate who is standing for liberation but all he can do is laugh. “We live in a democracy” he chortled meaninglessly.

If David is elected in Mr Marshall’s place his seat in the Parliament buildings will be just a few yards from the topless restaurant he ran.