(18/07/08) – Edmund White, author of the most complete biography of French writer Jean Genet, wrote in his preface to the British Film Institute’s title on Genet’s short film Un Chant d’amour (France, 1950, 26′) that the film "reveals in a pure form the techniques he adopted to fiction and theatre … In addition, this films shows his lyrical vision of homosexual love, at once highly physical and romantic … Genet presents acts of homosexual love in a light that seems at once offensive to the naive and ennobling to the initiated."

During his lifetime Genet rejected the film. According to White, the author may have feared that the film would have appeared pornographic and amateurish. Ironically, despite his many other incursions into cinema, Un Chant d’amour is the one piece whereby Genet is associated with the moving image.

Set in a prison ward, the film is a homoerotically charged sequence of male fantasies and craving, which for today’s standards look rather tame, if surrounded by an aura of vintage elegance and grace.

To watch Un Chant d’amour please see link on the left of this page.