Ed Aldridge doesn’t want to end up a dirty old man. That said, he thinks he probably will.
The writer and director of Tan Lines, a gay movie exploring burgeoning teenage sexuality just released on DVD, says he was excited about exploring the theme within the surfing culture.
I thought that it would be a good idea to explore teenage sexuality while I was still in my 20s. Firstly because it was a relatively fresh experience in my life and secondly because I didn’t want to be labelled an old perv when I was shooting teenagers fucking at the age of 60, he said.
Having said that, I’m sure I’ll be shooting teenagers fucking well into my 70s.
Setting the film in the surf culture was not as conscious a decision. I had travelled to Australia (from the UK) in order to surf and when I settled in Sydney (after travelling the east coast for a few months) the close proximity of the gay and surf cultures to one another was fascinating to me and I met many gay guys who used to surf when they were younger, but gave up when they came out.
I must stress though that never at any point did I intend to make a film about what it’s like to be gay within the surfing culture. To me, this is a story about a particular character and his unique sexuality.
Unfortunately, though not surprisingly, neither of the lead characters are actually gay, so you are unlikely to see them gracing the dancefloor at Stonewall or Arq.
For the part of Midget it was actually important that he didn’t come across as particularly gay because the character is in the closet and, if he were overtly camp, for example, this secrecy wouldn’t work, Aldridge said.
So I always thought I’d cast a straight actor in this role. But finding a teenager who could handle the deadpan humour, look like a surfer and not mind doing gay sex scenes was tricky to say the least.
Aldridge said he wanted to make a film that showed the truth about teenage sexuality, particularly the realisation of homosexuality.
I find most depictions of homosexuality to be flaccid and patronising. I like watching hot guys as much as anyone, but it is a waste of the cinematic form not to attempt to question our perceptions of the world, he said.
I’d rather watch a Bruce laBruce film than any of those crappy summer of love type films. The gay audience needs to get over its desire for sweet, easily explained depictions of sexuality.
In Tan Lines, Midget only comes out to himself and I think this is a much more interesting journey than the external coming out to family and friends.
info: Tan Lines is available on DVD through Force Entertainment -“ www.forceentertainment.com.au or Out DVD, www.outdvd.com.au
From bnews -“ www.bnews.net.au