Screen Gems

Time to celebrate the spirit of 1970s hedonism, in the best possible way

Goodbye Seventies

Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a re-watch.

The Retro: Goodbye Seventies

We fell hard for this homage/history lesson to the hedonistic 70s and 90s underground Queer Cinema from writer/director Todd Verow earlier this year. Goodbye Seventies recalls both the Utopian adult filmmaking of Boogie Nights and the ole’ fashioned let’s put on a show attitude of Summer Stock. The story: in the late 1970s, a group of bathhouse buds decide to make a gay adult film together, which becomes a surprise success. Their newfound credentials soon bring plenty of money, sex, drugs, and chaos, even as the growing shadow of AIDS looms ever larger over their lives.

Verow channels the earliest films of the New Queer Cinema movement: gritty, low-budget production value, hardcore nudity and in-your-face attitude. It may appear amateurish at first glance, but in this case, that’s the pointGoodbye Seventies channels both the extreme low-budget gay adult films of the 1970s, as well as the explicit gay cinema of the 1990s. That period saw films such as Swoon, Poison, and RSVP push the envelope of content, usually on a shoestring budget. Verow challenges himself, in a sense, to do what innovators such as Cheryl Dunye, Kim Pierce, Todd Verow, Todd Haynes and Marlon Riggs did: find a way to make it work.

Explicit, very stylized and—much to our delight—moving in an odd way, we suggest giving it a watch as both an introduction to two important decades of queer history, and personal statement from someone who lived through both.

Streams on VUDU & YouTube.

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