Un Chant d’Amour

The short film Un Chant d’Amour is mainly notable as the lone directorial effort of the French poet, playwright, and novelist Jean Genet. It was shot in 1950, the year after Genet was released from prison for the last time, and was banned in France upon release. This film originally was produced as a limited-edition print for Parisian gay-porn collectors, which just goes to show the remarkable advances we’ve made in the field of gay porn. Genet’s movie remains, however, arty and cool as hell, 25 silent minutes of Cocteau-influenced, full-frontal images of frustrated eroticism in a prison cell. The two-disc set also features a pair of documentary interviews with Genet from the early 1980s, both of them dull, discursive and shut off from my television after 10 minutes.