John Greyson, acclaimed Canadian director of Lilies (MIFF 97) and AIDS musical Zero Patience (1993), embraces a more experimental - though eminently accessible - style with Uncut. The scene is Ottawa, 1979, and three eccentric gay men - all named Peter - find their lives intertwined and problematic in a pre-digital era of queer consciousness and post-flares fashion. Peter (1) is obsessed with then-Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and hires Peter (2) to type his thesis on the history of circumcision. Peter (1) flirts with a video artist, Peter (3), who he meets in a bar. As all three lives intertwine with increasing regularity, a political miracle occurs, but tragedy soon follows.
The film's title cleverly alludes to its central themes, circumcision and censorship, teased out by Greyson's unique and visionary combination of new and sampled footage, real-life interviews with fictional narrative. The film's principle story is interwoven with a collage of comments from artists on subjects of defamation, copyright and AIDS activism. What holds the many imaginative threads of Uncut together is Greyson's masterful ability to effortlessly switch between moods, genres and even operatic musical numbers! His patient treatment of these multiple devices results in a cohesive and unitary whole. Uncut is a powerful drama and timely expose of central queer issues of voice, censorship, truth and connection.
"Uncut provides constant, handsome stimulus, with much... humour lodged amid multilayered images and sound bites. It also functions as a serious, provocative political statement. The three lead performances convey this earnest side to... poignant impact. This superb technical package redefines the highest standard for an 'experimental feature'." - Variety
John Greyson is a Toronto-based artist. Two of his films, Urinal (1989) and The Making of Monsters (1991), both earned Awards at the Berlin International Film Festival. Other films include Zero Patience (1993) and Lilies (1996), the latter winning the 1996 Best Picture Genie (the Canadian Oscar).