After Louie

Closing Night & 2017 Frameline Award Presentation

Director: Vincent Gagliostro
2017 | USA | 100m
GENRE: Activism | AIDS/HIV | Drama | Gay | Health/Medicine | Romance
SECTION: Closing Night | US Feature
Expected Guests: Director, Vincent Gagliostro, Actors: Alan Cumming, Zachary Booth & Wilson Cruz

Join Frameline and impresario Marc Huestis as we present Alan Cumming with the 2017 Frameline Award prior to the Closing Night screening of After Louie.

"The community is dead, literally...as well as figuratively," quips a curmudgeonly Sam (Alan Cumming) in After Louie. Still mourning the loss of his lover to AIDS two decades prior, and laden with the lingering trauma of the pandemic's dimmest days, Sam channels his ennui into rent boys, cigarettes, and an experimental video project that seems indefinitely stuck on pause. A once promising visual artist, Sam - as personified by his chaotic apartment - is virtually bereft of beauty with only glimmers of his once empowered sense of identity. An ACT UP-style collage is hastily tacked to his wall, a self-flagellating reminder to "never forget" that exceeds the original meaning of the pink triangle hovering above the SILENCE=DEATH.

Sympathetic and sometimes sweet, Sam could be any number of courageous men who lived through the early years of HIV/AIDS: scarred and still struggling with survivor's guilt. Cemented into an oppressive past, Sam is bewildered by a younger generation of carefree gay men with their uninhibited use of social media, sexting, and seeming political indifference. But when he meets the seductive young Braeden (Zachary Booth, Keep the Lights On) at a bar late one night, their pants quickly come down and, eventually, so does Sam's ossified guard. As the pair become increasingly intimate, an intergenerational relationship blossoms between them - one capable of reawakening Sam's artistic soul and reviving his wilted heart.  An absorbing drama that activist/playwright Larry Kramer rightfully declared "needed to be made," After Louie radiates with the specificity of a generation that has boldly persevered through adversity. Directed by longtime activist and ACT UP member Vincent Gagliostro, the film boasts an impressive roster of LGBTQ luminaries, including David Drake (The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me), Obie winner Justin Vivian Bond (Shortbus), Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life, Rent), performance artist Joey Arias, and, of course, legendary 2017 Frameline Award recipient Alan Cumming, who gives one of the most vivid and soulful performances of his career. Like the characters in After Louie, these folks have long been fighting the just fight and, collectively, prove that our community may be bruised, but its brilliant spark endures.  

-CURRAN NAULT