The newest entry in the San Francisco Film Society’s wonderfully diverse and eclectic programming at the Sundance Kabuki is the latest from Jacques Nolot, Before I Forget, the latest offering in a string of semi-autobiographical movies about the life of a gay man in Paris. We hasten to assure you that it’s not necessary to have seen the earlier films, a couple of which were directed by Andre Techine to enjoy – if that’s the correct word, perhaps “connect” or “appreciate” would be better – this story of an aging, HIV-positive gay hustler, re-evaluating his existence after the loss of a client who’s sustained him financially for 30 years. His financial uncertainty, fragile health, and physical deterioration in the context of the demanding gay world leads Pierre to re-evaluate his existence. And isn’t that what aging is all about? The unexamined life is not worth watching!
Nolot, familiar to arthouse audiences from his role as Charlotte Rampling’s husband in Francois Ozon’s Sous le Sable, and whose lovers included famed French philosopher Roland Barthes, has made what new San Franciscan John Waters gleefully calls “the feel-bad movie of the summer”!