Laurent Gagliardi

Lives in
Montreal , QC
Quebec CA

Filmmaker, scriptwriter, arts administrator. Montreal cinephile Gagliardi, is best known to queer audiences for Quand l’amour est gai (When Love is Gay, NFB, 1994, 49), a resourceful documentary that finally brought the French studios of the NFB up to date on the wide world of male homosexuality. A survey of current issues in the gay community, Gagliardi’s film offers a lively urban cardiogram, distinctive for its respectful attention to older men and its frank depiction of sexuality, both dramatized and documentary (including a performance by a legendarily well-hung danseur from Club Taboo). The NFB nervously added “This film contains scenes which could shock certain people” to its description. The film was broadcast in both Quebec and France, and indeed certain people could be shocked, and made official complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council when the film aired (the complaints were thrown out by the Council after careful consideration). This politicization of sexual imagery was part of Gagliardi’s conscious intent, but Éric Fourlanty, the gay reviewer for Montreal’s weekly Voir, found the film weakened by its mandate as the first film to do everything all at once and by a related vagueness about its intended audience (15 Sept. 1994). Yves Lafontaine of Fugues defended the film’s simplicity and its manner of showing “Montreal gays, ordinary, intelligent and articulate, never ridiculous, most of the time right on, sometimes disconcerting in their frankness, but always interesting (July 1995).”

Gagliardi worked for the NFB in the late 1980s, collaborated with Jean-François Monette and Michel Langlois, as well as with Léa Pool on two of her less queer projects along the way, served with the Archives gaies du Québec, and is most recently project head at Quebec’s film funding agency SODEC.