THE LEATHER BOYS directed by Sidney J. Furie  (UK, 1964)

1964 The leather boys

The sixties might have swung for many but cinema’s representation of sexuality in this era was often anything but liberated.

The notion that sexual intercourse necessitates the removal of clothing is just one of the taboos filmmakers were reluctant to challenge.

An honest visual display of carnal lust and desire is controversial enough in straight relationships and is still more taboo when it comes to  homosexuality.

Even in our supposedly more enlightened 21st century, coming to terms with being gay can be unnecessarily traumatic. Ellen Page’s emotionally charged coming out speech is proof that this is still too often the “love that dare not speak its name”.

Mainstream cinema perpetuates negative attitudes by rarely treating same-sex relationships in an open or mature fashion.

The Leather Boys is regarded as an early example of ‘Queer Cinema’ and is unusual in that it tentatively tries to ‘normalise’ homosexuality instead of showing it as a threat to the moral wellbeing of society. Continue reading