Before I Forget

Section: French Shoals
Directed by: Jacques Nolot

Avant que j’oublie
France, 2007

Dir.: Jacques Nolot
Scr.: Jacques Nolot
Phot.: Josée Deshaies
Editor: Sophie Reine
Music: Gustave Mahler
Cast: Jacques Nolot, Marc Rioufol, Bastien d’Asnières, Bruno Moneglia, Lionel Goldstein, Bernard Herlem
Format: 35 mm; Colour
108 mins
Contact: Francia Intézet/Institut Français, Budapest


Growing old gracefully is definitely not on anyone’s gay agenda in Before I Forget. It is a caustic memoir told in the present tense, a cold-eyed appraisal of the indignities faced by a near-death homosexual with no money, mostly dead friends. Sex is paid for or stolen from delivery boys, prostates flare up, work dries up, HIV meds run out and the hot young gay boys look at him with pity. So what’s a queen to do? Get high, put on a dress and tell them all to go to hell.

Jacques Nolot’s films typically star Nolot himself and they are always partly autobiographical. The sex is alarmingly graphic, the dialogue vicious and the cinematography stunning. In Before I Forget, there is also an interesting subcultural theme at play. The film’s few sequences involve the way families try to dislodge inheritances from long-time toy boys. They were hustlers when their older, richer partners found them; now, these men are much fatter, less coarse, drink-in-the-afternoon types. Ultimately every action of these aged gigolos is driven by fear: the fear of being forgotten or of dying back where they started - on the streets. (Noah Cowan)

See also:
57.000 Km Between Us La France
Lady Chatterley The Secret of the Grain
Very Well, Thank You Witnesses
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