House of Boys Movie to Open at Cinema Village July 29

HOUSE OF BOYS has been playing the LGBT Film Festival Circuit –  now it is coming to New York City July 29th!

A colorful and raw coming-of-age story set in the emerging gay dance club scene of Amsterdam 1984.

House of Boys tells the story of Frank, a high school kid who leaves home and falls into the exciting
new world of free sex, music and dance.
When Frank’s new world is suddenly turned upside down, his struggle for courage in the face the unknown gives him a new and deep understanding of the true
meaning of love.

Director Jean Claude Schlim says, “Thirty years on, the fight against AIDS is far from over:
more than 25 million people have died and an estimated 40 million people are infected. AIDS has turned out to be one of the most urgent topics that needs to be addressed in unison, worldwide, in order to avoid a major disaster for humanity.

As UNAIDS spokesmen Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton so poignantly underscored the urgency and
immensity of the crisis, in just three words: “Talk about it!“

For myself, as an artist, House of Boys became the central focus of my creative work, in order to keep fighting, but also to awaken an urgent consciousness in the younger generation. As a survivor, by all means I have to keep up the fight. The key image of House of Boys has always been this terrifying one of a young guy dying from AIDS. Images such as these are so powerful and far-reaching. I had this image of horror beyond description deep inside me, as I saw my boyfriend die in 1995 at age 27.

I guess at a certain moment, this image had to find expression; it became like a duty for me to share
this experience. I had to build a story around this central image; oddly enough I turned it into a kind of fairy tale, where the only evil character would be the disease.

The ‘80s were the apex of gay culture, an historic moment in a community coming out. The music
was outrageous, extravagant fashion and night-clubbing were a way of life, born out of the hippie
generation but also completely new. We called it the New Wave: the first beats of electronic music and gay culture were completely leading the way, a period where sex was fun and fearless. It was a new beginning, a new hope, summed up by the anthem, “Welcome to the Pleasure Dome!”

In House of Boys music plays an important role in the sense that the main character was driven by night-clubbing and I wanted a mix of scenes to reflect that: clubs, concerts, cabarets, as well as some romantic tracks to underline the more intimate aspects. Some of the songs were already mentioned in the script and were expressly meant as tributes to artists that died of AIDS.

I’m very fond of the soundtrack, which I created with a mix of classic themes and new electronic music, including Klaus Nomi, DAF, Dangerous Muse, Soft Cell, Steve Harley, Roy Orbison, Jimmy Somerville, Mahalia Jackson, Laurent Garnier, and Cyril Collard.
House of Boys has been a very rewarding experience for me; I am very proud that this film is my directorial debut. It is my small contribution in talking openly about a terrible disease, that is still taboo, especially for people living with HIV who very often cannot even speak about their disease for fear of rejection and stigmatization.

The inhabitants of the House of Boys live outside society in their own little fairy tale world. They are misfits, characters outside society, yet all beautiful, strong and good as in any fairy tale.

The main character describes himself as a survivor; we all live among the adversity of tragic events, that’s life I guess, that’s what makes us strong…This is the message of my film.

The global message I think is one of hope. Tremendous medical milestones have been reached since the dark ages of the disease, as portrayed in the film. In that sense the message to young generations should be: Enjoy life, have fun, you’re entitled to have fun. Our world is full of sadness, so be proud of being gay. It’s very important for me to fight against AIDS within the gay community. It’s our duty. Our engagement must be more focused than ever as there are many urgent issues to deal with.

I dedicate this movie to all HIV positive people and to those who fight against frightening and unacceptable serophobia in our society!”

Open Friday July 29th, Cinema Village, New York!
House of Boys on Facebook


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