René-Daniel Dubois

male
Born
1955
in
Montreal , QC
Canada
Quebec CA
Lives in
Montreal , QC
Canada
Quebec CA
Biography

Playwright. One of Quebec’s conspicuous pantheon of openly gay playwrights, the NTS graduate Dubois’s language-drunk universe has been translated to the screen much less than that of Tremblay, Bouchard or Lepage. To film audiences, Dubois is known chiefly as author of the play Being at Home with Claude (1985), brought to life with respect and flair (1992, 84) by the mainstream heterosexual director Jean Beaudin (b. 1939). The character of Claude, the hustler who murders his lover at the peak of ecstasy, fearing that they will not be able to live with less, is incarnated viscerally onscreen by queer-friendly matinee idol Roy Dupuis (b. 1963). The role had been played on stage by the even more intense (and also more ascetic and queerer) persona of Lothaire Bluteau, but it was Dupuis’s box office clout and calfcake glamour that financed the film. Fortunately for the star, Marc Paradis volunteered to show him real hustler bars to get him in the right mood, and Dupuis rose to the occasion. Beaudin opened up Dubois’s claustrophobic chamber drama by showing the fatal sex in graphic detail as well as its frenzied summer-in-Montreal setting, as if Dubois’s dynamic crescendo of cross-examination and confession could not sustain a film. Claude was a modest success at home. Foreigners had trouble keeping up with the subtitles during the screaming matches between the interrogating detective and the hustler, but queer audiences approved of this interesting entry in the New Queer Cinema stakes of the early 1990s.